Movie Review
A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind poster
By Todd Heustess     Published April 15, 2003
US Release: April 16, 2003

Directed by: Christopher Guest
Starring: Christopher Guest , Eugene Levy , Michael McKean , Catherine O'Hara

Running Time: 87 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $17,509,000
If you liked Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman, you will love A Mighty Wind
Christopher Guest has created a whole new genre of movies with Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and now A Mighty Wind.

He has said in interviews that he dislikes the name "mockumentary" for his movies and I can see why; he never mocks his characters, but instead shows them all genuine, if not with bemused affection. I think "inspired comedic documentary" is a better fit for what Guest and his gang of comic geniuses came up with in their movies. The actors create fully realized characters, that while not caricatures or stereotypes, do lack a bit of self-awareness and live in their own little bubbles; and therein lies a lot of the humor.
Most of the actors from the previous two collaborations are here, including Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard, Ed Begley Jr., and Parker Posey to name just a few of the talented comedians in the cast. A Mighty Wind is a documentary-like account of the fateful reunion of the three top folk-singing bands from the 60's: Mitch & Mickey (the Sonny & Cher of Folk Music), The New Main Street Singers, and The Folksmen. The bands have agreed to reunite for a one-time concert at NY's Town Hall as a tribute to their deceased manager, a "legend in folk music" and the reunion concert will be broadcasted live on PBN (Public Broadcasting Network). Only one of the bands, The New Main Street Singers, is currently together, with the Main Street Singers touring and playing such well-known venues as The Florida Gardens Amusement Park.

If you liked Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman, you will love A Mighty Wind. The exceptional cast excels at improvisation and some of the funniest lines come from Ed Begley Jr (he's the head of PBN) and Fred Willard, who plays a character not unlike his scene stealing sports commentator in Best in Show. The result is a witty satire that's consistently funny with clever dialogue and a healthy sense of the absurd. The songs performed by the bands were written by Guest and Levy and are wonderfully delicious parodies of folk-singing lyrics, and yet you find yourself tapping your foot at the melodies.

It's musical satire that's actually good music, which is quite an accomplishment. I laughed and chuckled consistently throughout, and about every five-to-ten minutes let out a hearty guffaw. Eugene Levy is proving to be a comic treasure with this, coming right after his inspired scene-stealing performance in Bringing Down the House; and I hope the one-two combination of these funny movies will give him a much deserved higher profile. A Mighty Wind is mighty fun.
Todd's Grade: B+
Todd's Overall Grading: 13 graded movies
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'A Mighty Wind' Articles
  • Lee's review B
    April 19, 2003    May not be consistently funny, but it serves up a good amount of laughs -- Lee Tistaert