Ellie Parker (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ellie Parker (2005)



Critic Consensus: Despite some poignant commentary about struggling actors and Naomi Watts' inspired performance, Ellie Parker stutters in making the transition from short to feature length.

Ellie Parker Photos

Movie Info

Naomi Watts produces and stars in Ellie Parker, a semi-autobiographical story of an Australian actress struggling to make it in Hollywood. Ellie is young enough to still schlep to auditions back and forth across L.A., changing wardrobes and slapping on makeup en route, but just old enough that the future feels "more like a threat than a promise." She lives with her vacant musician boyfriend (Mark Pellegrino), who leaves her just about as dissatisfied as any other part of her life, and has a loose definition of the word "fidelity." Helping make sense of their surreal and humiliating Hollywood existence is her best friend Sam (Rebecca Rigg), another out-of-work actress trying her hand at design, who attends acting classes with Ellie to stay sharp. When Ellie gets into a fender bender with a guy who claims he's a cinematographer (Scott Coffey), her perspective on her work and the dating world starts to change. Chevy Chase also makes an appearance in this series of Hollywood vignettes, playing Ellie's agent. Watts, Coffey, and Pellegrino all worked together on David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, where Watts had her breakout performance, and Ellie Parker grew out of the friendship forged between Watts and director/screenwriter Coffey. It was shot on digital video over the course of five years, having begun its life as a series of shorts featuring Watts' character. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi

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Naomi Watts
as Ellie Parker
Jennifer Syme
as Casting Chick
Gregory Frietas
as Rick Saul
Johanna Ray
as Casting Director
Davie Baer
as Acting Teacher
Keanu Reeves
as Himself
Robbi Chong
as Acting Student
Todd Coffey
as Upstairs Neighbour
David Baer
as Acting Teacher
Kim Fay
as Therapist
Victoria Smirnova
as Russian Producer
Fanshen Cox
as Hostile Receptionist
Greg Freitas
as Rick Saul
Cyrus Pahlavi
as Producer
Brian McCardie
as Acting Student
Gaye Pope
as Leslie Towne
Bret Domrose
as Dogstar Band Member
Robert Mailhouse
as Dogstar Band Member
Marcel Sarmiento
as Acting Student
Jessicka Whitt Crane
as Acting Student
Debbie Leavit
as Vicodin Girl
Brian McArdie
as Acting Student
Gabriella Wall
as `Slut' Yelling Girl
Julie Fay
as Therapist's Companion
Kate Garwood
as Actress Before Ellie
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Critic Reviews for Ellie Parker

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (19)

This low-budget effort about a struggling, shallow L.A. actress who has nightmare auditions . . . stars a sensational Naomi Watts. But she's basically the only great thing in this highly uneven flick.

June 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Like a sputtering career, Ellie Parker pretty much goes nowhere, and it's difficult to imagine that it would be of interest to many beyond the Hollywood community.

March 15, 2006 | Rating: C | Full Review…

The picture looks cheap and feels stretched.

January 5, 2006 | Rating: C+

Eventually the energy of the original short runs out and the movie coasts on fumes, but it remains surprisingly enjoyable for all that.

December 17, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The premise -- someone trying to inject meaning into a necessarily vacuous existence -- is depressing, but there are moments of vaguely uncomfortable hilarity. The whole endeavor, however, winds up feeling flat and a bit dull.

December 15, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

This is the movie they should show in college acting classes, instead of tapes of Inside the Actors' Studio.

December 15, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ellie Parker


Really entertaining, experimental piece of work with a beyond good performance by Naomi Watts.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]There are many actors who pass through Hollywood without becoming stars or making much of an impact. To think if it had not been for the unique trajectory of "Mullholland Drive," Naomi Watts might have been one of them, despite her great talent. In "Ellie Parker," Watts plays the title character, a struggling Australian actress, constantly driving from audition to audition in Hollywood, until she finds her musician boyfriend(Mark Pellegrino) in bed with another woman, followed by her being involved in a fender bender.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]I have a great deal of empathy for struggling actors as events in "Ellie Parker" remind me of when I was unemployed and going to interviews non-stop. Ellie has an interesting pathology of not being comfortable in her own skin which might explain her wanting to be an actress and occasionally dressing up for auditions but there is not much depth or story in the film. It is odd that Ellie has no visible means of support(she does not have a day job like her friend, Sam(Rebecca Rigg)). And a star vehicle such as this can only make a modest production which was shot on digital video rather unwieldy.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


An extremely uncomfortable movie-going experience. I would never watch it again. But Naomi Watts kept my interest in a truly brave performance. Apparently this was supposed to be funny? I think I smiled twice. It's not that dramatic or eventful either. The best way to describe this is "uncomfortable."

Joey Nevarez
Joey Nevarez

Super Reviewer

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