Sunday, June 22, 2008

Flying Circus

uthor: Daniel Crooke
Location: Ohio

"Flying Circus"

Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Written by: Jonathan Lynn and Eric Idle
Score by: Danny Elfman

Principal Cast:

Hank Azaria as John Cleese
Paul Bettany as Graham Chapman
Johnny Depp as Eric Idle
Mark Moses as Michael Palin
Michael McGrath as Terry Gilliam
Rowan Atkinson as Terry Jones
Amy Poehler as Carol Cleveland

Tagline: "And now for something completely different!"

Synopsis: In 1969, BBC produced a sketch comedy show that would go down through ages, Monty Python's Flying Circus. The show ran from 1969-1974. The film focuses on the beginning of the Python's careers to the beginning of the show to the end of the show and everything in between. The six Pythons went down in comedy history, and this is how it all happened.

What the press would say:

"Flying Circus" is the exact definition of what a dramedy should be. The film was both comical and serious at the same time. The film, itself, is a long shot for a Best Picture nomination, but the cast are sure locks for the acting awards this season. What impressed me the most is the fact that almost all of these actors are not British. They took on the accent, beautifully, to put themselves in the roles of these comic geniuses. Eric Idle and Jonathan Lynn have written a beautiful screenplay, sure for some recognition. Another great move by the casting directors was to take two actors (Azaria and McGrath) who either played or still play these actor's famous parts in "Spamalot", which won the Tony Award for best musical. The musical is of course based off of the Python's most well-known work, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". "Flying Circus" chronicles the lives of the Pythons and of their show. One of the elements that made the film so great were that these actors actually recreated certain sketches from the show! Such as "The Spanish Inquisition", "Dead Parrot", and others.

But, the real question is- Did they accurately portray the Pythons? My answer is that they could not have done a better job. "Huff"'s Hank Azaria is extremely convincing as John Cleese, from playing Sir Lancelot to when Cleese quit the show. "Desperate Housewives" fans might know Mark Moses as the murderous Paul Young, but Moses has portrayed Michael Palin as the genius he really was. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in Depps' Eric Idle. Although convincing and well acted, I did not feel the certain spark I usually do by an exceptional Depp performance. Paul Bettany did a nice job, as did Michael McGrath. But, the scene stealer and by far most likely to win Best Actor this year is Rowan Atkinson as Terry Jones. Although Jones was not the most well-known Python, Atkinson shows unbelievable depth and spirit. I thought Atkinson's career was over after "Johnny English", but I was wrong. A great supporting role as Carol Cleveland (or "Zoot" from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail) was Amy Poehler. Ms. Poehler is a sure lock for the Best Supporting Actress, and a possible frontrunner.

Looking back, I sadly do not think the Academy will choose this as a "Best Picture" nominee. I really do hope that I am wrong and that the Academy will, but I am not sure. The cast is sure to get some nods, as is the screenplay. My personal opinion is that this is the best picture of the year, and it deserves extreme recognition. Hopefully the Academy will agree with me.


Best Picture
Best Actor: Rowan Atkinson
Best Actor: Hank Azaria
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Moses
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Poehler
Best Original Screenplay- Jonathan Lynn and Eric Idle
Best Editing

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