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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

A Mighty Wind (2003)

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

This movie is nearly 20 years old and when I realized that during this viewing I needed a moment and needed a moment again upon writing it. Okay now we can proceed.


I watched this in college and just loved it. This is one of the weirdest pop cultural statements I can make but this movie is why I got into Spinal Tap. One of my favorite bits of trivia is that Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer used to tour as Spinal Tap and they would open for themselves as The Folksmen and would get booed off the stage because no one knew they were the same performers. What a beautiful example of versatility in art. Lovelovelove those gentlemen. They've been jamming together via video chats in the pandemic and that makes me so happy.


I was a little worried that the final "joke" of the movie would leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think it's great but it's better than I remembered, if only because Harry Shearer plays her so happy. It's dangerously close to "man in dress = comedy" and maybe it is and I just want it to be better? But her delightful little laugh after "ee aah ohs" just warms my heart. And Jerry is a very good and supportive friend.


There are so many bonkers good performances in this film. Bob Balaban does stick-in-the-mud so well. Ed Begley Jr's use of every yiddish word he's ever heard made me laugh in a whole new way this time. Jennifer Coolidge's hum is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Jane Lynch's monologues are incredible and the fixed smile throughout them is only topped by John Michael Higgins' MASTER CLASS in facial expression next to her.


But this movie really belongs to Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy. I've been enamored with them since I first saw Guffman and watching the rest of the world catch up with Schitt's Creek feels correct. They both give so much to this performance and you can tell that they're able to do what they do because they trust and respect each other. They are creative life goals for me. I'm a little in love with Catherine O'Hara and the gentle way she breaks your heart in this movie. I've seen it so many times but I'm still disappointed to see her at the medical equipment conference. "I'm a musician again" is such a deeply poignant line and for a troupe of comedians who just relish in the absurd, the tenderness they give the Mitch & Mickey storyline is remarkable but unsurprising. Eugene Levy slays every aspect of his role as Mitch and part of me wants copies of all of his solo album covers on my walls. God bless Canadian comedians.


Digital.

Takeaways:

-Yay iPad! Come on stimulus check so I can buy one!

-I'm shocked at how much easier this piece got when I stopped trying to trace my reference images and just had them visible nearby so I could... reference them. I was waaaaaay happier with my shading, colors, and overall shape when I was just letting myself draw.

-I had a little angst about posting this one because it's not as... sophisticated? as I would like. And I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that. Thanks to Emily for talking me off that ledge.

-For as laugh out loud funny as this movie is, the fondness it fosters for its characters is why I love it. The juxtaposition of the footage of the first performance of "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" with the rehearsal in Mickey's living room broke my heart. If I was a betting woman, I'd have guessed I'd do a poster for The Folksmen/Spinal Tap this week. But that moment in the rehearsal when they're so close and they're getting to the kiss but they just refuse to even look at each other? UGH MY HEART. We've never given Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara enough credit culturally and even if I had hated Schitt's Creek (impossible), I would love it for the necessary attention it brought them.


See you next week for Predator (which my partner is surprised I own but... why would I not own Predator??)!!

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