Next up on the Memorial Day Binge Watch is a mockumentary from Christopher Guest, director of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. Guest was one of the members of Spinal Tap, but now we are looking at the world of folk music.
The three members of Spinal Tap, Guest, Michael McKeon and Harry Shearer are here, but now they are the Folksmen, one of three acts brought together for a special one night only concert to honor folk icon Irving Steinbloom, who had just passed away.
Steinbloom’s son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) organized the event along with his brother and sister, reuniting the Kingmen, the New Main Street Singers and Mitch and Mickey.
Each group had great stories about the good old days and their lives since. Mitch and Mickey in particular was top notch as Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara showed their skills and their chemistry. Mitch and Mickey had had a terrible break up that sent Mitch into a mental institution and the questions about whether Mitch would even be willing to return to sing with Mickey surrounded the performance.
Like most of Christopher Guest’s movies, the actors are presented with ideas about their characters, a back story and most of their actual lines are improvised. It shows the talent of this group of actors that they can make this story not only cohesive but wildly entertaining through their skills and their familiarity with one another.
The music included in the film is tremendous. The music here is written by Michael McKeon, Eugene Levy, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer. The four of them show a great understanding of the folk music genre because the songs do more than satirize folk music. Through the humor, it shows a real love of the music. The Kiss at the End of a Rainbow was nominated for Best Song at the Academy Awards.
There are some true laugh out loud moments of dialogue here. My favorite one is when Mitch has seemingly disappeared moments before he and Mickey was set to take the stage, Mickey, as she is searching for him, turns to Jonathan and asks if there is a cockfighting ring near the theater. LOL
There is so much heart in A Mighty Wind that it is more than just a satire. It is a mockumentary that not only mocks but also shows a great deal of love.