I really liked this movie. I saw it last weekend and have been thinking about it a lot all week.
The film is about a recording scam that works this way: Place an ad in the paper that you are a producer looking for the next big thing. People come to audition. You tell them you like them and are ready to commit to them if they are ready to commit to you by giving you 30 percent of the eventual recording costs. The wannabe stars are so committed to making it big that they don't even notice that the audition is held in seedy hotel rooms and that the recordings are eventually done in ramshackle studios.
The two main characters, Clarence and Martin, make a good team but have conflicting emotions on scamming people and this conflict ends up being a key plot point of the film.
The filmmaking process itself is very interesting. Most of the people coming in to audition really thought that they were coming to audition. They had no idea that they were being filmed for a fiction movie. After each audition, they were told what was going on and invited to stay for the rest of the day of shooting, hidden behind two-way mirrors. Some of the amazing moments of this film could not have been scripted and the film is all the better for it.
It is remarkable for such an entertaining movie to make such interesting points about our obsession with making it big. At the end of the day, this doesn't leave you feeling good. It is quite a sad film actually. But the movie is so interesting and so much fun to watch that it is never a drag.
Director Craig Zobel has spent many years working with one of my favorites, David Gordon Green who is a producer of this film.
On a sidenote, I would not have predicted that my mom would love this as much as she did so I can't give this a Marilyn Would Love this tag, can I? Not to mention, she already did love it so I'm all sorts of confused. Do I create another Marilyn related tag? After everyone else went to bed, she stayed up watching all of the extras and bonus scenes and full footage of the auditions.
Directed by Craig Zobel
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