A Mighty Wind (2003)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though not as uproariously funny as Guest's previous movies, A Mighty Wind is also more heartfelt.

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Movie Info

The writing and directing team who created Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show turn their satiric eye toward the world of folk music in this sly mockumentary. Irving Steinbloom was one of the great behind-the-scenes figures of the folk music boom of the late '50s and early '60s, and helped to nurture the careers of three of the best known acts of the era. The Folksmen -- Mark Shubb (Harry Shearer), Alan Barrows (Christopher Guest), and Jerry Palter (Michael McKean) -- were an earnest folk trio who sang of America's noble past and the challenges of the future; they split up in the early '70s after a failed attempt to go electric. Mitch & Mickey were a duo in both music and life, comprised of Mitch Cohen (Eugene Levy) and Mickey Devlin (Catherine O'Hara). They sang soulful songs of love until the collapse of their relationship sent Mitch into a deep and incapacitating depression. And The Main Street Singers were a nine-piece vocal group -- a "neuftet," as they prefer it -- who offered energetic good-time music, cranking out nearly 30 albums in the course of a decade; their current incarnation, The New Main Street Singers (played by Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, David Alan Blasucci, Steve Pandis, Christopher Moynihan, Paul Dooley and Patrick Sauber) is still on the road. When it is announced that the legendary Irving Steinbloom has died (the character never appears in the film), his son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) decides that the best way to memorialize his father is through music, and with the help of Mike LaFontaine (Fred Willard) of Hi-Class Management, they set out to bring The Folksmen, Mitch & Mickey, and The New Main Street Singers back together for a special concert at New York's Town Hall. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer -- who previously teamed up for This Is Spinal Tap -- not only perform together as The Folksmen in A Mighty Wind, but composed most of the songs performed onscreen. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for sex-related humor)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Box Office:
$17,475,811.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Eugene Levy
as Mitch Cohen
John Michael Higgins
as Terry Bohner
Diane Baker
as Supreme Folk Defense Lawyer
Catherine O'Hara
as Mickey Devlin Crabbe
Harry Shearer
as Mark Shubb
Christopher Guest
as Alan Barrows
Michael McKean
as Jerry Palter
Jennifer Coolidge
as Amber Cole
Parker Posey
as Sissy Knox
Larry Miller
as Wally Fenton
Bob Balaban
as Jonathan Steinbloom
Keva Rosenfeld
as 1971 Chuck Wiseman
Fred Willard
as Mike LaFontaine
Bill Cobbs
as Blues Musician
Jim Piddock
as Leonard Crabbe
Jane Lynch
as Laurie Bohner
Freda Foh Shen
as Melinda Barrows
Laura Harris
as Girl Klapper
Deborah Theaker
as Naomi Steinbloom
Paul Dooley
as George Menschell
Todd Lieberman
as Fred Knox
Marty Belafsky
as Ramblin' Sandy Pitnik
Mary Gross
as Ma Klapper
Paul Benedict
as Martin Berg
Don Lake
as Elliott Steinbloom
Michael Hitchcock
as Lawrence Turpin
Scott Williamson
as PBN TV Director
Michael Mantell
as Deputy Mayor
Jim Ortlieb
as David Kantor
Diane Delano
as Witch No. 2
Rachael Harris
as Steinbloom's Assistant
Wendel Meldrum
as Witch No. 1
Michael S. Baser
as Pa Klapper
Brian Allen
as 1960s Mitch & Mickey Bass
Andrew Dickler
as 1971 Dell Wiseman
Ryan Raddatz
as Bill Weyburn
Mina Kolb
as Dr. Mildred Wickes
Richard Hicks
as Witch No. 4
Christopher Moynihan
as Sean Halloran
David Blasucci
as Tony Pollono
Floyd VanBuskirk
as Steve Lang
Bruce Gaitsch
as Mitch & Mickey Guitar
Darlene Kardon
as Shirley Steinbloom
Brian Riley
as Young George Menschell
Jim Moret
as Newscaster
Joe Godfrey
as Mitch & Mickey Bass
Jared Nelson Smith
as Young Chuck Wiseman
Cameron Sprague
as Young Terry Bohner
LeShay Tomlinson
as Steinbloom's Secretary
Ed Begley Jr.
as Lars Olfen
Jim Piddick
as Leonard Crabbe
Stuart Luce
as Irving Steinbloom
Matthew Joy
as Boy Klapper
Tyler Forsberg
as Young Jonathan Steinbloom
Thom Lowry
as 1971 Howard Wiseman
Danny Merritt
as 1960s Mitch & Mickey Guitar
Patrick Sauber
as Jerald Smithers
Steve Pandis
as Johnny Athenakis
Mark Nonisa
as Mike Maryama
James Jennewein
as Witch No. 3
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Critic Reviews for A Mighty Wind

All Critics (173) | Top Critics (41)

There is no shortage of performers with comic skills in A Mighty Wind. What's lacking instead is a visible premise for the satire and ridicule.

Full Review… | May 16, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

More of a warm breeze than a great gust, but its simple, smart pleasures carry the force of a hurricane.

Full Review… | May 9, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

You don't leave A Mighty Wind laughing so much as humming. Its dialogue may be improvised, but its music is well rehearsed.

May 9, 2003
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

While Guest never forgets to laugh, he never forgets to love either, embracing the very subject he is simultaneously throttling.

May 9, 2003
Detroit News
Top Critic

A hoot.

Full Review… | May 9, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

A rollicking, tongue-in-cheek sendup.

May 8, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Mighty Wind

½

Full confession alert: I'm not the biggest Christopher Guest fan; however, A Mighty Wind is maturely directed, heartfelt, and keenly observed. I never thought I would be genuinely touched by a Guest film, but that's why we watch movies, right?

Jonathan Hutchings
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

Whenever I want to watch something light and comedic I either watch a Woody Allen or one of Christopher Guests' mockumentaries. This film is lacking compared to the over the top ensemble Waiting for Guffman and the polarizing Best in Show, but what it doesn't hold in a secure and structured plot it makes up for in heart and gumption. I agree that when it tries to be subtle it's not well understood and when it tries to be obvious it's a bit in your face, but overall I found this to still to have a quiet charm about it. Guest always satirizes the easy targets: dog shows, local theater, and retired rock bands. Anywhere where eccentric characters thrive he mines for the laughs, usually easy with his usual cast of characters. Guest always uses his old stand-bys of Eugene Levy (who co-writes the scripts with Guest), Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean. He also utilizes youthful character actors John Michael Higgins, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch (an unknown in both this and Best in Show), and Bob Balaban. Every one of these films works exactly the same: a group of characters with misshaped values work to find fame and love from the crowd, either don't succeed or thoroughly embarrass themselves, and we flash to a short amount of time later to see the depths to which they have fallen. Most of this film is solely the folk music, the characters playing their instruments, and the oncoming concert. Through the interviews we learn strange details about these people including the involvement in a cult, a past in pornography, homelessness, and transgendered choices. The sub-plot over Mitch and Mickey was probably one of the sweeter things I've seen in film in a long time. Really, a delightful ensemble.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

What it lacks in plot it makes up for in an abundance of laughs. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

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