When a rumor spreads that an aging, passed-by actress named Marilyn Hack is in line for an Oscar nomination for her role in the yet-to-be-released corn-pone movie, Home for Purim, the gods of ambition, resentment, hope, angst and envy descend on Tinsel Town. This isn't one of Christopher Guest's and his partner Eugene Levy's docu-comedy satires, it's a cocked-eyebrow story about Hollywood pretensions. For Your Consideration has some clever set-ups, some genuinely funny actors strutting about while they improvise and some funny bits. But how do you successfully satirize something -- Hollywood -- which already is so bloated with self-esteem we snicker at the name?
Guest and Levy give us great takes on such smarmy situations as the Oscar race, the E! Network and it's clones, actor neediness, agents and writers, and self-justifying ambition. Trouble is, it's all being done in the real world while we watch. Few things in fiction are as awesome as in real life studios and stars campaign for Oscar wins. Few things are as awful as entertainment "reporters" with their inane, insincere questions and perfect grooming. Can one satirize performance art by screaming the p-word when in real life an artist on stage covers her nude body with Hershey's chocolate syrup and moans?
The idea of the movie, for me, just doesn't work, but that doesn't mean it lacks lots of funny piece-parts. The stand-out is Catherine O'Hara. She plays Marilyn Hack, an over-the-hill actress who is stunned to hear her name used in the same sentence as "Oscar." She doesn't believe it...she wants to believe it...she does believe it. From an actress resigned to hanging on by her fingertips in the movie world, she winds up blow-dried, lips plumped, in a too-tight short-short skirt doing the TV late-night entertainment rounds. O'Hara is magnificent...totally unafraid as an actress to show herself as the dumpy Hack, and then transformed through chemistry, injections, dye and corsets into a caricature of a Hollywood star. More importantly, O'Hara is so skilled as an actress she makes us like Marilyn Hack. Plus, she's funny.
Too bad, but I didn't heard any rumors about O'Hara and an Oscar nomination.