Monday, 11 February 2008
Mitch & Mickey was Robbed!
I re-watched Christopher Guest's "A Mighty Wind" the other night and three things came to mind:
1) If not his funniest, I think it's his best film overall. Oh sure, it isn't perfect - there's some slow passages followed by strangely out of place humour - but the characters are great and the music is wonderful.
2) Catherine O'Hara is simply fantastic in her role and she's just one of my favourite performers EVER. Her comedic skills are unsurpassed (her celebrity impressions, character creations, ability with slapstick, etc.), but she shines here as an actress with some nicely subtle moments.
3) The song "A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow" by the film's fictional duo Mitch & Mickey was nominated for an Oscar as Best Song that year - and I think it should have won. It was written by Eugene Levy, performed by both himself and O'Hara in the film, used as bookends for their story and did a great job of mimicking the style of music that was being gently parodied. Best of all, it's just simply a very lovely song.
This was their performance of it at the 2004 Oscars:
C'mon, Catherine O'Hara even plays the autoharp herself! Can she do no wrong?
Like the recent winner "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" and this year's likely winner from "Once", the song was integral to the story of the film. Isn't that a better indication of a Best Song winner than something that plays over the credits?
By the way, 2004 was a strong year for Best Song contenders. I would've been happy if either of these other two nominees had won:
"The Scarlet Tide" was from the film "Cold Mountain" (which I did not see) and combined the talents of Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett and the lovely voice of Alison Krauss.
"Belleville Rendezvous" from the animated "The Triplets Of Belleville" is probably my favourite song of the bunch - something I would listen to outside the context of the film. And there's a guy playing a bicycle in this performance. C'mon!
But in the end, Annie Lennox's "Into The West" won since it was featured in the juggernaut that was "The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King" - over the end credits I believe...
Oh well. So as not to leave on that note, here's another tune by the fictional Mitch & Mickey from "A Mighty Wind" (actually this footage wasn't in the film, but parts of this song played during the movie and the entirety of it was during the closing credits). Again, it's a terrific tune and honestly sweet in a way that much of today's "twee" pop could only hope to achieve.