When A Mighty Wind came out last year, it received a rather lukewarm response from the critics. I was really disappointed because I had enjoyed Christopher Guest's previous film (Best in Show) enormously. I didn't go to see it at the cinema, but since we subscribed to LOVEFiLM we've been catching up on a lot of films that we missed when when they came out. I have to say that the critics were talking utter tosh. A Mighty Wind is a wonderful film. It's true that there aren't quite as many 'laugh out loud' moments as Best in Show, but it's still very funny, acutely observed and unexpectedly touching.
The film is a mock documentary about a reunion folk concert held in memory of a recently-deceased folk impresario. The details of the costumes, old album covers and album titles are so perfectly judged that you start thinking that they must be real. The semi-improvised dialogue works brilliantly, and there are some fabulous moments when a character comes out with something completely bizarre or outrageous. The part that worked best for me was the tender relationship between Mitch (completely dazed after his recent release from a mental institution) and Mickey (his one-time musical and romantic partner, until they had a huge row). Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara judge their performance perfectly, as Mitch and Mickey tentatively get to know one another again. It's a bonus that the music is actually pretty good, and I even found myself humming Mitch and Mickey's slightly sickly hits for a while after watching the film.