It’s a tough life being a Hollywood actor. No, really – the frst five minutes of this film gives us a succinct taste of how life at the bottom of the LA food chain can drive a girl insane. Ellie Parker (a hilarious tour de force performance by Naomi Watts) drives from one rehearsal to another, putting on her make-up while rehearsing her lines in the car. One minute she’s a demure southern belle, the next she’s arguing with her boyfriend, before slamming the phone down and getting all Courtney Love for her next role, screaming ‘I sucked his cock! I sucked all their cocks!’ To see who is the better actor, she and her friend have a competition to cry the fastest.
Switching in and out of all these characters leaves her not knowing who she is any more. It’s a common enough condition, but it’s played with a ludicrous sense of humour. Watts is outstanding, and the cast of LA fools includes cameos from Keanu Reeves and Chevy Chase. This was made before Mulholland Drive, when Watts’ life really did resemble Ellie Parker’s, and the film ends up feeling very honest, while never leaving the laughs behind. NS
Playing with BATTLE CHESS
Canada 35mm 6 mins Directors/Producer John Dunstan, Michael Paszt DoP Ludek Bogner Cast Richard Zeppieri, Trent McMullen Print Source firstname.lastname@example.org
When things get rough during a serious game of chess, one can be certain there will be no punches pulled.