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Overall Rating
3.95

Awesome: 32.54%
Worth A Look40.48%
Average: 20.63%
Pretty Bad: 2.38%
Total Crap: 3.97%

11 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Mighty Wind, A
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by Charles Tatum

"A hiccup on the rainbow of comedy"
3 stars

Christopher Guest was on a roll after the one-two laugh punch of "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best of Show." His mockumentary skills were at their peak, and everything he was churning out seemed to be universally acclaimed- and then along came another can't-miss story about a reunion of some fictional 1960's folk singing acts.

The great manager/promoter Irving Steinbloom has passed on and his son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) goes about organizing a tribute concert reuniting three of the biggest folk singing acts of the 1960's. The Folksmen- Mark (Harry Shearer), Alan (Christopher Guest), and Jerry (Michael McKean) are back together, mildly bickering about how to sing their old hits. The Main Street Singers have morphed into the New Main Street Singers, led by married couple Terry (John Michael Higgins) and Laurie (Jane Lynch), and former rebel Sissy (Parker Posey). Finally, duet (and former lovers) Mitch and Mickey are back together. Mitch (Eugene Levy) is a burned out mental case, and Mickey (Catherine O'Hara) is a subdued housewife married to a catheter salesman. Old wounds are opened and old fights rehashed as the countdown to Irving's tribute concert, which is being broadcast live on public television, begins. The unseen "documentary" crew goes behind-the-scenes with the acts, catching their nervousness after being out of the limelight for so long, as well as those involved behind the curtain of the concert, including Jonathan's equally crazed family. Many crises arise on the big night, all to the delight of New York City's Town Hall, and the film's, audience.

I am very fond of Christopher Guest's "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best of Show," but I think "A Mighty Wind" is the weaker of the three. While the folk songs, all written by the cast, and Michael McKean's wife Annette O'Toole (I didn't know they were married), sound eerily similar to those songs I hear on late night television infomercials, I get the idea Guest threw in too much, and did not want to cut all of it out. The extra characters, while often funny, overwhelm the film: the PR duo, Jonathan's fighting siblings, the New Main Street Singers' former sitcom star-manager, the event liaison at the Town Hall, the old Main Street Singers members, the public broadcasting network crew; all funny, but if he left everything in, the film would have been three hours long. On the other hand, at ninety-two minutes, you wonder what all was cut.

If "For Your Consideration" (which I have not seen...yet) was Catherine O'Hara's best chance at an Oscar nomination, then "A Mighty Wind" was Eugene Levy's best stab at a supporting actor Academy Award. His slow talking Mitch is astoundingly hilarious, from his insane solo album covers to the genuine chemistry Levy has with O'Hara. Levy steals every scene he is in, and steals from a cast that all have their hysterical moments: the Folksmen's hole-less vinyl records, the Main Street Singers' ten year-thirty album output, and even the back stage antics of the groups. Terry and Laurie's religious choice is just plain unfunny, and for once Parker Posey is wasted in a too small role.

"A Mighty Wind" was critically successful, garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, and even winning a Grammy! My only wish is that just as much effort went into getting the pacing and characterization down as went into the excellent recreations of a very campy forgotten musical genre.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7217&reviewer=325
originally posted: 04/02/09 08:30:19
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/11/13 Kymberly Pray Know they've done a few, this group should do *every* movie together. Great chemistry. 5 stars
12/27/11 Jim McLennan "Hilarious"? "Hysterical"? Er... No. 2 stars
5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT SO LOW KEY IT ALMOST PUTS YOU TO SLEEP 1 stars
2/28/07 Clyde One of the best locations I've come across lately!!! Definately a permanent bookmark! Pleas 1 stars
2/08/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
1/24/06 Indrid Cold Like Spinal Tap, except for folk music, and with about 1/3 as many jokes. 3 stars
12/10/05 MAttIFUL Is that really supposed to be funny? I dont get it. I feel embarassed for all in this movie 1 stars
11/08/05 blue dolphin a sad commentary of folk music 4 stars
8/13/05 Ben Quinn Not as funny as Best in Show, but still better than Waiting for Guffman 4 stars
12/17/04 Ken Cenerelli Funny but not as good as Best In Show. 4 stars
7/25/04 DM Some funny parts, but it's so whatevery 3 stars
4/26/04 Lord Jiggy A surprise. Funny, even touching, with whackball humor out of nowhere. 4 stars
4/19/04 Ionicera "these were my friends....and they were made out of gin cartons" 4 stars
3/22/04 Goofy Maxwell More heart than previous Guest gigs, just not mighty funny. 4 stars
3/13/04 James Kustes second only to Spinal Tap 5 stars
3/09/04 gerry great really loved it esprcially The Kiss song 4 stars
3/06/04 Snickerdoodle I LOVED THIS MOVIE!! THE MUSIC WAS SO GREAT! 5 stars
2/06/04 john not worse, not better, just different than guest's other stuff. still great! 5 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody Ey, what happened?!?!?! A total pisser!!! 4 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Brilliant, superb, hysterically funny mockumentary; O'Hara is outstanding. 5 stars
1/05/04 astra astra omg it was the worst movie i have ever seen in my life 1 stars
11/22/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. A satirical spin on the folk music craze. EAT AT OES ! 4 stars
11/09/03 b awesome 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston Great fot first two thirds lost it at the end but always fun to watch these crazies. 4 stars
10/21/03 Jorchel Smithenstein This is the best movie ever made. 5 stars
10/06/03 BDB Two words: Wha' Happened??? ... BAHAHAHA! 5 stars
9/13/03 Ant A brilliantly acted film, full of laugh-out-loud moments. A pure joy to watch. 5 stars
9/01/03 Marcia Lartz Peculiarly watchable, though I'd never have guessed so from the premise. 4 stars
8/24/03 francis moves on from the 'best of show' concept - very funny if you are the right mood 4 stars
7/28/03 Elendil It's like `Waiting for Guffman', only this time, you've seen it before. 3 stars
7/14/03 skye just plain not funny. and i'm a big fan. could've been great 3 stars
7/02/03 Jacob Simmering Great movie, esp if it was improved 5 stars
6/05/03 LaFontis The best film this summer. Don't waste your time and money with mainsteam movies. 5 stars
6/01/03 Jack Bourbon Not very funny, oddly. Still, Levy was great, and the blonde from "BiS" was smokin' here. 4 stars
5/29/03 Ellwood Erb This movie is definity worth watching.... Very Funny stuff 4 stars
5/28/03 ADAM SHERMAN OWEN ALWAYS LOVED CHILDREN.... FREQUENTLY 5 stars
5/23/03 Karl Mattson Guest's best to date. Hillarity tempered with tenderness. 5 stars
5/20/03 malcolm not as good as 'best...' or 'waiting...' maybe i'm just too used to the formula. 3 stars
5/20/03 the snakes yes, a mighty wind. a mighty broken wind if you catch my drift 1 stars
5/15/03 A film observer This film is about the hilarity and beauty of the moment - not about political messages. 5 stars
5/14/03 Allen Overall, pretty good but some hillarious moments 4 stars
5/13/03 scottyrobotty tries to be funny and fails a lot, a lot of other times it doesn't even try. very let down 2 stars
5/12/03 Warren Norwood A Mighty Miss, this movie misses most of the folk scene as it really was. Falls way short. 2 stars
5/12/03 skye NOT the best of the 3, or even close. 3 stars
5/11/03 Vicious Awsome is too strong, but Eugene Levy was too good to call anything less than great 5 stars
5/07/03 ajay very funny, I laughed out loud *several* times 5 stars
5/06/03 H.E. Brilliant. For those who did not rate it "awesome", I can only say: "Wha' happened?" :) 5 stars
5/01/03 T. Oliver Worst of the three 3 stars
5/01/03 Andrew Carden Hilariously Funny Indie Comedy With Fantastic Performances By Posey, O'Hara, and Levy. 5 stars
4/30/03 Vangela THANK HEAVEN FOR CHRISTOPHER GUEST!!! 5 stars
4/24/03 Desmond Barely tries to be funny, but it's surprisingly touching and dramatic 5 stars
4/23/03 Daddy Phil Pine nut...pastacio nut...macadamia nut 5 stars
4/22/03 jamie one of the more ecletic, yet entertaining films I have see this year. great! 5 stars
4/22/03 Johnny little something Fan Tas Tic. 5 stars
4/20/03 Weezer Christopher Guest is a comic genius. 5 stars
4/20/03 George Jung The funniest movie I've seen since...Best In Show. Keep it up, Guest. 5 stars
4/19/03 Dana Carvey must DIE!!! It is very funny, but more than that it is sometimes moving. And the music rocks (kinda). 5 stars
4/14/03 bluegirl funny!! 5 stars
4/12/03 steve christiansen an outstanding and hilarious film! the best of the three by far. 5 stars
4/09/03 reggie wagstaff BRILLIANT!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Apr-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 23-Sep-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Jul-2003




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