Sunday, November 26, 2006

hooray for Hollywood

The movie review in my favorite magazine says that if you love "Entertainment Weekly," you will love "For Your Consideration." It's another comedy from the same people who did the very funny "Best In Show." This time they make fun of "Oscar buzz," the industry's speculation over who will get an Academy Award nomination. However this time they don't use the "mockumentary" style that I love so much. I enjoyed the movie but some of the satire rang so true that it made me a little sad, especially toward the end. I would have rather left the theater laughing than feeling bummed out. I still liked it better than Betsy Pickle did.

I promised to tell you how I have participated in some Oscar hype myself. The now split public relations team of Weissman/Angellotti once asked me to book a then little known writer/director/actor as a guest on the Mark & Brian show. Their pitch convinced us to have Billy Bob Thornton come on to promote "Sling Blade." It would be great if our listeners bought tickets to go see the movie but they were really trying to reach any Academy voters in our audience. We made Billy Bob promise to return if he won the Oscar. He showed up the morning after still wearing his tux and carrying the trophy.

During my unscheduled hiatus from radio in 2001, publicist Roger Neal would occasionally hire me for odd jobs. He had me escort celebrities down the press line at the Saturn Awards. I delivered stuff to fashion stylists like Phillip Bloch. I babysat camera crews from CNN and Entertainment Tonight. The most interesting task was working the Stuart Weitzman hospitality suite during Oscar week. Stylists would come by to get free shoes for their clients to wear to the Academy Awards and/or any Oscar party where there would be a camera and an opportunity to tell a reporter whose shoes they were wearing. A few actresses showed up to claim their shoes in person.

I wish "For Your Consideration" spent less of its time on the set of "Home For Purim," the film within the film, and more time on the all the stuff that happens after a movie wraps. As the announcement of the Oscar nominations neared, the characters were briefly interviewed by radio deejays and TV hosts. The satire seemed sharpest when skewering shows like "Access Hollywood" and "Good Day L.A." Both Jane Lynch and Fred Willard were letter perfect in their roles as the hosts of "Hollywood Now."

The filmmakers were willing to parody the moviemaking process but they went too easy on the actual awards. They missed an opportunity to spoof some of the lesser award shows like the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards. They could have ridiculed all the free stuff given to nominees and presenters. But if they did that, they may have found themselves empty-handed when award season comes around in the Spring.

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