Dir: Christopher Guest. US.2006. 86mins.

The finest comedy stems from painfully truthful,accurate reflections of real life. That may explain why Christopher Guest'ssharply observed ensemble comedies have become such surefire guarantees ofhilarity. For Your Consideration isno exception as it captures all the inanity and indignity of the Hollywood Oscar season.

Filled with quotable linesand performances to cherish, it should transform strong critical support intorobust commercial returns after its world premiere at Toronto. Global fascination with the Oscarsand familiarity with the campaigning hoopla suggests perky prospects in excessof any benchmarks set by recent Guest features like Best In Show (2000) and A Mighty Wind (2003). A constant delightthat rarely falters, this is a little gem of a comedythat may face the ultimate irony of being an awards season contender in its ownright especially in the screenplay category.

Dispensing with the fauxdocumentary format that has distinguished much of his work, Guest stages For Your Consideration as a morestraightforward narrative and may even gain a little comic purity in the process:now there is nothing false standing between us and the situation being explored.

He even dares to begin thefilm with a luscious clip from Warner Brothers classic Jezebel before capturing the making of low-budget independent featureHome For Purim and how a whiff ofOscar-buzz surrounding the performances distorts the lives of all thoseconcerned.

Guest may be biting the handthat feeds but he does it with such affection and unerring precision thateveryone will be able to share the joke. Period drama Home For Purim is only a slight distortionof the kind of worthy fare that occasionally leaves a mark on Oscar's radar.The chipper publicist, boorish studio head and splendidly vacuous televisionentertainment show hosts are all figures that strike an immediate chord ofrecognition and are ripe for parody.

Expertly written by Guestand Eugene Levy, For Your Considerationis tightly focused and crisply edited combining the feel of improvisationwithout any of the self-indulgence that can sometimes accompany it.

The performances are universallyfine with Fred Willard excelling as EntertainmentNow TV anchor Chuck Porter, John Michael Higgins extracting all the laughsfrom gung-ho, dim-witted publicist Corey Taft and Catherine O'Hara relishingthe vanities and insecurities of veteran actress Marilyn Hack, who is the firstto hear of the internet buzz surrounding her performance. Her awards season transformationinto a golden-tanned babe with flawless but immobile feline features andmountainous cleavage is wickedly funny.

Production companies/backers
Shangri-La Entertainment
Castle Rock Entertainment

US distribution
Warner Independent Pictures
International distribution
Warner Bros

Karen Murphy

Christopher Guest
Eugene Levy

Roberto Schaefer

Robert Leighton

Production design
Joseph T Garrity

CJ Vanston

Main cast
Catherine O'Hara
Harry Shearer
Parker Posey
Fred Willard
Christopher Guest
Jennifer Coolidge
Ricky Gervais
Eugene Levy