DiCillo's second feature gets great mileage out of the simple, familiar premise of an idealistic film-maker struggling to complete his movie. The director is Nick (Buscemi), an arty tyro believed by some to be 'tight with Tarantino' and by himself to be in love with leading lady Nicole (Keener). Nick's main headache, however, is leading man Chad Palomino (LeGros), a petulant hunk whose vanity outweighs his doubtful commitment, and whose philandering inflames rivalries between various women on set, notably Nicole and producer Wanda, whose lover Wolf was never too fond of Chad in the first place. And then, as further irritants, there are the errant booms and malfunctioning smoke-machines, the eye-patches and goatees, the senile mothers, psycho-analysing drivers and hypersensitive extras - a total nightmare. The ingenious narrative, told from differing perspectives and incorporating tales within tales and teasing elisions between 'film' and 'reality', is actually informative about the nuts and bolts of shooting a movie, and not only as a catalogue of technical disasters - through the shamefully under-rated Keener, we get a real insight into screen acting and the way fatigue, memory, stress and surroundings can take their toll. Hers, however, is merely the finest of a whole host of spot-on performances. A treat.
Cast and crew
Danielle von Zerneck