Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
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 fathers best-loved musicians. The
only trouble is, bringing them together proves more difficult
and stressful than even he could have imagined.
For starters, theres Mitch and Mickey (Eugene Levy and
Catherine OHara), 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 theres 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 Yorks 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
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 others 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
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
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.