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A Mighty Wind (12A)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

THE comic team behind Best In Show and Waiting for Guffman reunite for another winning docu-comedy, this time focused upon the world of folk music.

A Mighty Wind is a typically funny, if somewhat more heartfelt affair, about a tribute concert in aid of one of the great names in the industry.

When folk music icon, Irving Steinbloom, dies, his loving son, Jonathan (Bob Balaban) resolves to put together a memorial event featuring some of his father’s best-loved musicians. The only trouble is, bringing them together proves more difficult and stressful than even he could have imagined.

For starters, there’s Mitch and Mickey (Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara), who epitomised young love until their popular partnership hit the ropes; as well as classic troubadours, The Folksmen (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer), who records were endlessly entertaining for anyone able to punch a hole in their centre to play them.

And then there’s the Main Street Singers (featuring John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch and Parker Posey), the most meticulously constructed ‘neuftet’ ever to hit the world of folk.

All must overcome their differences and insecurities to perform at New York’s Town Hall, in honour of their mentor, and to recapture the heady days of their former glory.

A Mighty Wind follows the same documentary, fly-on-the-wall format of Best in Show to similarly winning effect, despite not being quite as funny as that excellent dog show parody.

Packed with oddball characters, and quirky scenarios, there is plenty of fun to be had in watching the show come together, before the big night itself, which brings things to a suitably rousing finale.

American Pie father, Levy, is particularly strong as the nervous wreck, Mitch, while all three of The Folksmen provide several scene-stealing moments, but this is a team which continues to thrive as a while in each other’s company, so that very few of the jokes, or visual gags, fail to hit their mark.

Given the nature of the movie, however, there are fewer out-and-out laughs as in previous ventures, making it a slightly more thoughtful experience.

The relationship between Mitch and Mickey, for instance, drifts a little into sentimentality, and occupies much of the latter part of proceedings, while a lot of effort seems to have gone into the songwriting as well, so that plenty of time is afforded to them.

But, in the main, this is another impressive effort from one of the most creative teams in the business at present, which virtually ensures that a smile is never far from the face.

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