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A MIGHTY WIND

From director Christopher Guest and the Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman mockumentary team comes this clever, nasty take on folk music. Jonathan (Bob Balaban), the son of folk mogul Irving Steinbloom, commemorates his father’s death with a PBS-televised live concert reuniting 1960s has-beens. Acts include the Folkmen (Guest, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean, formerly of Spinal Tap), who are loosely based on the Kingston Trio, and the New Main Street Singers, a " neuftet " featuring former porn queen Laurie Bohner (Jane Lynch), husband Terry (John Michael Higgins), former teen-runaway Sissy Knox (Parker Posey), and manager Mike LaFontaine (Fred Willard), a former TV actor whose references to his 15 seconds of fame are bewildering and hilarious. Oh and there’s Mitch and Mickey, divorced folk sweethearts whose autoharp-accompanied ballads are both saccharine and heartbreaking. Eugene Levy is brilliant as Mitch, whose tic-ridden speech testifies to a history of mental breakdown, and Catherine O’Hara is letter-perfect as Mickey, a wistful suburbanite whose current husband sells incontinence products. My only question: where are the stand-ins for Woody, Arlo, and Bob? (87 minutes)

BY PEG ALOI

Issue Date: April 17 - 24, 2003
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