|The Anniversary Party|
Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Cumming, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates
Special edition widescreen; closed caption; English subtitles; audio commentary by co-directors Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming; anatomy of a scene (Sundance Channel documentary); theatrical trailer. DVD-ROM: Original Web site; script-to-screen.
|Scintillating, incisive and, at times, as painful to watch as a loudmouthed drunk on a bender, the first writing-directing collaboration from ace actors Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh is a chance to attend a marvelous party in the Hollywood Hills via the magic of digital video. The central figures at the soiree are the host and hostess, a married couple who just reunited after a protracted separation. Effortlessly portrayed by Cumming and Leigh respectively, he's a rising novelist and she's an actress whose career is in a slump. And if that isn't a recipe for problems once the booze and ecstasy kick in, what is? The gathering is populated by a guest list of the filmmakers' friends, playing fictionalized versions of themselves. Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates show up as a working actor and a retired actress who are husband and wife, as in real life. Gwyneth Paltrow has the role of a young, overly earnest actress, etc., etc. The cast and screenplay are so on-the-mark that it looks and feels like celebrity cinema verité.|