Tuesday, July 25, 2006

ELLIE PARKER - shitty production values; mediocre content

ELLIE PARKER is a deeply disappointing movie. From the first ten minutes you think it's going to be a barbed satire at the expense of Hollywood. No such luck. It's an ultra-low budget flick shot by actor Scott Coffey on Digital Video. Seriously, I have seen better prodution values in my Unky Herb's holiday videos. Grainy print and shoddy sound aside, the substance of the movie is also mediocre. The plot consists of an actress named Ellie Parker going from audition to audition, interspersed with therapy, acting class and various encounters with her boyfriend. So much for a narrative arc. The actors do well with limited material. In particular, Naomi Watts turns in another good performance, despite the fact that she was filmed over a period of months and with radically different haircuts! In fairness, I should point out that ELLIE PARKER garnered a lot of critical acclaim for its "truthful" portrayal of the harsh realities of being an aspiring actress. Alls I know is that the "it's no biggy" scene in KISS KISS BANG BANG says more in less time and with more laughs. So perhaps fans of Naomi Watts' work or aspiring actors should check this out on DVD. But it's not worth a cinema trip.

ELLIE PARKER played Sundance 2005 and went on limited release in the US last fall. It is currently playing in the UK but it also available on DVD.

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