Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Author(s): Chris P. / Zgamer
Location: IL / Eagle, ID


Written and Directed by Jason Reitman
Music by Rolfe Kent
Edited by Dana E. Glauberman
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Produced by Daniel Dubiecki and Joseph Drake

Main Cast
Jason Bateman as Patrick Layton
Linda Cardenilli as Amy Witherspoon
Andy Griffith as Richard Goodwin
Hank Azaria as Jim Shultz
Cloris Leachman as Wendy Goodwin
J.K. Simmons as Brad Eastbrook
Jenna Fisher as Susan Page

Tagline: "With the right reviews, any film can win an Oscar"

Synopsis: Patrick Layton (Bateman) is a well-known romantic comedy producer who has just recently funded a new film he feels will win him respect from the critics and his peers. It's a masterful big budget WWII epic romance titled, "The Other Side of the World", written by his war film loving friend Jim Shultz (Azaria). Ever since he read the first draft, he'd been convinced it would be a hit. It has Oscar written all over it. However, once the heads of Megamount Studios viewed the film, it became apparent that Layton's Oscar hopeful film could turn out to be a flop. So Brad Eastbrook (Simmons), the bombastic studio head, comes up with an idea. They must hire a critic to write fake reviews around the Internet promoting the film as a legitimate Oscar contender and a sure box office success to protect their investments. The critic he hires is Richard Goodwin (Griffith), a recently unemployed professional critic who was fired from his job after writing bad reviews to future successes, tarnishing his magazines respected name. Goodwin is first unsure about the idea but soon accepts the offer in order to keep his naggy wife, Wendy (Leachman), off his back. Once the reviews are posted on the web, Layton and his pregnant girlfriend, Amy Witherspoon (Cardenilli), start to believe his film actually has a chance at winning an Oscar. Then the film's good buzz finds itself in jeopardy after Susan Page (Fisher), an up and coming entertainment reporter, writes an article exposing the fake reviews that could ultimately hurt the film's chances at being a hit.

What the Press would say:
Jason Reitman certainly knows how to satirize Hollywood with his newest release "Buzzed" . He delved into it a little in "Thank You For Smoking" , but now he really gets a chance to smack around not only the awards-crazy mentality of studio heads but also the God-like power Hollywood gives critics come Oscar time. However, rather than go for the usual visual gags other directors use, Reitman weapon of choice in the film is witty dialogue and there's plenty of it in this film. Whether it's a heated argument between studio head Eastbrook and critic Goodwin or the casually mindless chatter of Layton and his girlfriend, Reitman covers a lot of ground that ranges from humorous, touching and, more often than not, truthful. His screenplay is simply brilliant, with some really hilarious scenes and very likable characters backing it up.The technicals for the film, while not its strong point, really create a distinct identity for the piece in a way that could only suit Reitman's directing style. The editing sets a nice pace that intermingles with the dialogue effectively and the settings, though not huge set pieces, really establish location. However, what will keep audiences attention is Reitman collaborator Rolfe Kent's delightful score. Just like his score in "Sideways", it creates the perfect mood for the bait, with a bit of light heartedness sprinkled with a dose of reality. From the opening suite to the closing credits, this may be the film's sure-fire Oscar win for technicals.Of course, it's the acting that really makes the film shine. Reitman has created another likable ensemble from actors few know about, but whom everyone will love. Bateman shines as Patrick Layton, the hopeful yet naive producer who wants to get his due. It's not exactly what specific thing Bateman does onscreen that him great, but just the way he handles his character throughout. All the little quirks Layton is given (especially that laugh) make the character come to life. The supporting cast is no slacker though. From Leachman's naggy but good intentioned wife to Cardenilli's faithful but distracted girlfriend/fiance, everyone has a chance to shine. However, two individuals make the biggest impression of the group. First is Simmon's loudmouthed (and sometimes foul-mouthed) studio head Brad Eastbrook. He is such a hilariously misguided character who embodies everything that makes people think Hollywood is nothing but a money whore. From his rapid-fire speech to his cut-corners attitude, Simmon's character steals the spotlight from almost everyone around him. The other is Griffith's Roger Ebert-like critic Richard Goodwin. He's such a lovable old guy that you just can't help but be mad at the way he handles his personal life. Plus, his scene with Simmons where they discuss "pretty actors" will most likely go down as one of the funniest dialogue scenes ever filmed. That should earn him an easy nod.This is by far the wittiest film of the year. From the great characters to the superb dialogue, this sets the benchmark for Reitman's films to come.

Awards Consideration
Best Picture
Best Director - Jason Reitman
Best Original Screenplay- Jason Reitman
Best Actor - Jason Bateman
Best Supporting Actor - Andy Griffith
Best Supporting Actor - J.K. Simmons
Best Supporting Actress - Cloris Leachman
Best Supporting Actress - Linda Cardenilli
Best Original Score- Rolfe Kent

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