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Ellie Parker

Year: 2005
Director: Scott Coffey
Producer: Scott Coffey
Writer: Scott Coffey
Cast: Naomi Watts, Rebecca Rigg
This little film came and went without a whimper, but it was criminally under appreciated.

Destined for any top ten list of films that parody Hollywood, it tells the story of young actress Ellie (Watts) doing the rounds in LA as she tries to break into stardom.

Told with a highly inventive style that chops from one angle to the next mid scene and gives the whole movie an urgent, fractured feeling that perfectly captures the lot of struggling actresses in Ellie position, you can't help wondering if it was largely autobiographical about Watt's time in Hollywood pre Mulholland Drive, especially as she has a producer credit and starred in the 2001 short on which it expands.

The driving from one audition to the next doing ridiculous speech exercises, the pretentious acting class with the coke-snorting coach, the final audition carried out in a hotel room where the filmmakers are a bunch of kids given too much money and lounging in a drug-fuelled haze, even the stilted, jaded way Ellie falls for a wannabe cinematographer (before he realises he's gay after sleeping with her) are all pitch-perfect.

It features an absolutely perfect role for Chevy Chase as Ellie's agent. He deserves an Oscar for being off the cinematic radar for years and suddenly turning up in this tiny independent gem.

Fast, punchy, nimble, witty and leaves you wanting more; the polar opposite of most movies.

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