Movie Review – ‘For Your Consideration’

Synopsis: During shooting on a quiet ’40s film set in the South, mediocre actors hear a joke that expands to rumor then fixation … one or all three are on the Oscar Award train to world wide recognition.

Genre: Comedy

Writers: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy

Producer: Karen Murphy

Release Date: November 17, 2006

Rating: Adult Situations

Run Time: 1.26

Cast: Christopher Guest, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch

“For Your Consideration” pokes tongue-in-cheek fun at Hollywood’s focus on itself, on the lengths it will go for ever-more recognition and cash. Especially when fame and fortune are attached to being nominated for a big award.

If Christopher Guest had but one touch of genius it would be his ability to cull comedians created by any media from their past then build an entirely new ensemble with his newly mixed bank of talent and coax the very best out of them.

Nobody in film today can match his skill in setting up the joke after which he oddly uses “Cut” to generate scene-change that delivers his punch line.

Guest is a master at drawing inner weirdness from what began as sane if facetious characters. This time Catherine O’Hara is presented as an over-weight dowdy actress, still, a nice person who listens to Hollywood hype about herself. It turns her into a thin blond hottie in a red leather jumpsuit but a sort of lost soul uncertain just why she’s about to be gifted with worldwide fame. Under all this Guest manages to still show us the sadness, almost desperation his character began with..

As one reviewer put it when writing of O’Hara herself, “I would already have given her an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, a Peabody, a Nobel and a People’s Global Golden Choice Award for her performances as Lola Heatherton and Dusty Towne in the 1982 SCTV “Network 90″ Christmas special alone.”

I can only add, “Me too.”

Guest has been making such near miracles, stars of known considered by Hollywood to sometimes be past their prime, for a while now. His film “Best In Show” where he first began it. Guest lampooned competition there.

This time around he and co-writer Eugene Levy, wire up O’Hara with an awards rumor based in part on an anecdotal story of “For Your Consideration.” Whether being asked to vote for candidate offerings as a Senior Round Judge of Film Fest America, or NATAS member (National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) I had not realized until now how often that phrase is put before we who vote.

Rather than bore you dear reader with lengthy descriptions of Guest past credits or continued referrals to Guest’s body of work, suffice it to say in this case the Guest repertory group falls prey to Oscar madness. It begins with a blog. Not uncommon, Internet bloggers post bits of info on websites in the form of news-baiting hyperbole, usually to get personal attention.

Once that spark ignites the “What If It’s So” fire in minds of normally sane people, Guest-flavored-weirdness takes hold and the race to win is on, whether or not anybody is even certain of the prize.

For those who enjoy humor by the truly gifted, Guest delivers a load of laughs. The entire cast without exception is inordinately skilled, especially his leading lady Marilyn who turns in an Oscar-worthy performance.

“For Your Consideration” captures the will to win born into all us. Add delight at (Harry Shearer) character, Victor Allan Miller playing a weinner in televised hot dog commercials; (Eugene Levy) Morley Orfkin, depicting what has to be the most worthless talent agent in Hollywood; add a clueless publicist to the cast of wannabes and the chase for notoriety is underway.

“For Your Consideration” is a contest to deliver lots of laughs, a little disappointment, tad of sad tinge of regret, that will leave you smiling for hours after the show closes.

There is one downside, Guest as a terrific director could have found a more clever method of closing out the game without relying on that tired old, worn standby, playing “Hooray for Hollywood.”

The other hour and 25 minutes, are all charm-filled enough to keep you in high spirits long after you exit the theater.

Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer’s Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show “Kill ‘EM With Comedy,” plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a nonprofit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.