For Your Consideration is a 2006 comedy film directed by Christopher Guest. It was co-written by Guest and Eugene Levy, and both also star in the film. The film's title is a phrase used in trade advertisements to promote films for honors such as the Academy Awards. The plot revolves around three actors (played by Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, and Harry Shearer) who learn that their performances in the film they haven't even completed yet, Home for Purim, a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, are supposedly generating a great deal of award-season buzz.
Many of the cast return from Guest's other films This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind, including Levy, O'Hara, Posey, Shearer, Michael McKean, Fred Willard, Larry Miller, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley, Jr., Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins and Jim Piddock.
Ricky Gervais, the co-creator of the British television series The Office, also appears, while John Krasinski, Richard Kind, Scott Adsit, and Sandra Oh make brief cameos. Though the dialogue is largely improvised by the actors as in Guest's earlier films, the format is a departure from the mockumentary style.
The film received its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2006. It was produced by Warner Independent Pictures in association with Castle Rock Entertainment and Shangri-La Entertainment.
Character actress Marilyn Hack (O'Hara), despite having been in the entertainment industry for 30 years, is best known for playing a blind prostitute in a film from the late 1980s. Victor Allen Miller (Shearer) is also an acting veteran who is known to the public as the hot-dog wearing mascot for a kosher line of frankfurters. Together they are cast in a new low-budget film called Home for Purim as the patriarch and dying matriarch of a Southern U.S. Jewish family in the 1940s.
A newcomer ingenue, Callie Webb (Posey), plays their lesbian daughter, who has come home along with her girlfriend (Rachael Harris). Rounding out the cast is Brian Chubb (Christopher Moynihan), playing Webb's brother who has returned home from the Navy. The family reunites in time to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Home for Purim's cast and crew are in the process of making what appears to be a cheap melodrama. The director (Guest) is constantly adding bizarre camera shots and acting notes. The producer (Coolidge), heiress to a diaper service, dresses flamboyantly but doesn't seem to know much about managing a film beyond paying for expenses. The two writers (Balaban and McKean) are at odds with the director, seeing their script mash together Southern genteel with out-of-place Jewish references and words.
The film-within-a-film's plot centers around the daughter's confession of her lesbianism as her mother gets nearer to death and the family celebrates an awkward Purim.
Because of an off-hand remark that turns into a full-blown rumor, Oscar buzz begins around all of the cast (with the exception of Chubb). Each begins obsessing about the award potential in his or her own way.
Hack pretends not to care while secretly pining for the award. Miller begins to demand a higher salary and push his agent (Levy) for more dignified work. Webb breaks up with Chubb (her boyfriend), claiming he is not being supportive. He is virtually left in the dark. The obnoxious entertainment news program Hollywood Now and its hosts (Willard and Lynch) fuel the awards-season buzz, even coming to the set to interview the cast.
At this point, studio executives butt in and force the writers to make script changes, feeling the film is "too Jewish." It is retitled Home for Thanksgiving. Despite the changes, the Oscar buzz intensifies to the point where Hack, Miller, and Webb are convinced they will be nominated for Academy Awards. An inept publicist, Corey Taft (Higgins), becomes very excited about the film's word of mouth, even though he only has a vague idea of what the Internet is.
They all begin to do major press appearances for the film. These are often embarrassing, both for the actors and the movie audience. Miller appears on a hip-hop teen show called Chillaxin' in youthful attire with capped teeth, a tan, and dyed blonde hair. Hack gets breast implants and extensive plastic surgery to the point where her face is comically ecstatic. Callie goes on an L.A. shock-jock radio show, only to field questions about topless scenes rather than her performance. All rise early in the morning for the televised announcement of the Oscar nominees, although Miller doesn't even own a TV.
Ultimately the only person nominated for an award is Chubb, the one person for whom there was no buzz at all. (He sleeps in on the morning of the announcement of the nominations.) Miller goes back to auditioning for food commercials and other infomercials for useless products. Webb revives her failed one-woman show, No Penis Intended. Hack (after a drunken, explosive rant on Hollywood Now) becomes an acting teacher and seems uncomfortably at peace with her mediocre career.Catherine O'Hara as Marilyn Hack
Ed Begley, Jr. as Sandy Lane
Eugene Levy as Morley Orfkin
Harry Shearer as Victor Allan Miller
Christopher Guest as Jay Berman
John Michael Higgins as Corey Taft
Jim Piddock as Simon Whitset
Jennifer Coolidge as Whitney Taylor Brown
Parker Posey as Callie Webb
Rachael Harris as Debbie Gilchrist
Christopher Moynihan as Brian Chubb
Paul Dooley as Paper Badge Sgt.
John Krasinski as Paper Badge Officer
Don Lake as "Love It" critic Ben Lilly
Michael Hitchcock as "Hate It" critic David van Zyverdan
Sandra Oh as Marketing Person
Richard Kind as Marketing Person
Bob Balaban as Philip Koontz
Michael McKean as Lane Iverson
Ari Graynor as Young PA
Scott Adsit as First AD
Simon Helberg as Junior Agent
Kevin Sussman as Commercial Director
Fred Willard as Chuck
Jane Lynch as Cindy
Jordan Black as Whitney's Assistant
Nina Conti as Weather Woman
Mary McCormack as Pilgrim Woman
Shawn Christian as Pilgrim Man
Deborah Theaker as Liz Fenneman
Ricky Gervais as Martin Gibb
Larry Miller as Syd Finkleman
Craig Bierko as Talk Show Host
Loudon Wainwright as Nominee Ben Connelly
Jessica St. Clair as Hula Balls Spokeswoman
Casey Wilson as Young Actress
Derek Waters as Young Actor
Based on 160 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 51% of critics gave For Your Consideration a positive review, with an average rating of 5.8/10. Leonard Maltin gave the film three stars, describing it as "uncanny in its dead-on parodies of TV and radio talk shows and other follies of show business”.
Catherine O'Hara won the National Board of Review's Best Supporting Actress award and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in the category of Best Female Lead. O'Hara's performance earned many good reviews, spurring for a short time rumors that, in an ironic twist, she could be nominated for an Academy Award.