Rating and Review:
Directed by: Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Cast: Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Benjamin Hickey, Jennifer Beals, Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates
USA, 2001, 115 minutes
Wonderful ensemble, improvisational acting and a digital video-Hollywood landmark production.
Joe (Alan Cumming) and Sally Therrian (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are a celebrity couple that have been married for six years, the last year seems to have been a rocky one. Joe is a writer and his novels are on the rise and Sally is an accomplished actress who is on the slide. Joe has developed a semi-autobiographical screenplay about their relationship that he is going to direct with Sallys rival, Skye Davidson (Gwenyth Paltrow) as the lead. The two are having an anniversary party for their sixth and Joe has invited Skye. The story spans the night of the party with the complex relationships between each character.
"The Anniversary Party" was written and directed by the stars, Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The two used their close friends to make up the cast and party participants. They allowed each "friend" to write (completely) one of their own scenes, the toasts to the couple at the party, which each character was not allowed to share with the stars or other characters. The movie was shot entirely with digital cinematography, which is impossible to distinguish from film.
The strength of this movie is the performances of this dynamite cast. The weakness is the lack of a truly substansial story. "The Anniversary Party" should appeal to true film lovers, critics and hardcore indie fans alike. I enjoyed this movie and its great character devolopment.
© Kimojb 2002