Friday, April 18, 2003

A Mighty Wind (IMDB) (Netflix)
A fix for those of you impatiently awaiting the next PBS pledge drive. Mockumentarians Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and pals (This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman) have their satirical way with folk music, the device being a hastily arranged live reunion concert of washed-up groups from the 60s. Kindof a "we're gettin' the band back together," three times over.

Success in this genre-ette requires balancing exaggeration with verisimilitude, ridicule with affection, and objectivity with thematic punch. And while it doesn't break much ground in the process, "Wind" achieves these happy media quite gracefully, amid sweater vests, dickies, balding pates and over-compensatory facial hair. Levy is the standout as troubled sweet soul Mitch Cohen of Mitch & Micky fame, closely followed by Fred Willard as the shamelessly crass promoter, shamelessly reprising his shamelessly crass commentator moves from "Best in Show." Just what the psychiatrist might have ordered.