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A Mighty Wind (12A)



Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: Two

THE brains behind Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Mike McKean, are back with another brilliant parody of the music business: but this time the target is folk music rather than heavy metal.

When Irving Steinbloom, a major player in the US folk-music industry, dies his son Jonathan decides to hold a tribute concert featuring a few of the major artistes, The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers and Micky and Mitch, that his father had steered to success during his time in the 1960s as head of Folk Town records.

The problem is he only has two weeks to organise the bash and not one of the acts has yet agreed to appear on the bill. But after a lot of effort he tracks them all down and gets them to agree to appear.
It's at this point that the fun really begins.

As he did with Best In Show and the aforementioned, if you will, 'rockumentary', Christopher Guest has written a sharply observed script, which, while not quite as satirical as his previous outings, is a gas from start to finish.

As always with Guest's projects, the humour comes from the acutely drawn characters as much as the situations that they find themselves in.

The Folksmen, Guest, McKean and Shearer (who excels as the bald headed, bearded bass-man), are a smug, slightly pompous trio who hold themselves in far too high a regard since their music is actually as corny as a field of maize.

The New Main Street Singers are a slightly sinister bunch of rednecks whose philosophy embraces everything from down-home family values to the holistic benefits of colour therapy.

Last but not least are the bill toppers Mitch and Micky, a saccharine-sweet duo whose male half suffers from mental health problems and is prone to disappearing at the drop of a hat.

Will the Irving Steinbloom memorial concert ever get off the ground? The only way to find out is to see this excellent film.

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