Review: ‘Actors Anonymous’

Mockumentary about a detox program to cure actors of their "addiction" to acting, "Actors Anonymous" is a one joke movie whose moderately amusing premise could be adapted and embellished nearly anywhere. Largely improvised, DV-shot pic is distinguished by an utterly deadpan tongue-in-cheekiness that is genuinely droll.

Mockumentary about a detox program to cure actors of their “addiction” to acting, “Actors Anonymous” is a one joke movie whose moderately amusing premise could be adapted and embellished nearly anywhere. Largely improvised, DV-shot pic is distinguished by an utterly deadpan tongue-in-cheekiness that is genuinely droll in stretches but cumulatively underwhelming. Fests may warm to this lightweight item, whose game cast — all of whom keep their real first names — sustains just the right mood from start to finish.

A collection of dejected young men and women arrive at a stone farmhouse in the French countryside for a four-week cold turkey cure from the “illness” of acting. Mirrors, dark glasses and cell phones are verboten during the strict, communal program run by a former, now-recovered thesp. Treatment milestones include telling your agent you’re quitting the biz and learning to say “Pass the salt” without theatrical emphasis. Off-the-cuff, handheld lensing suits the semi-motley proceedings, which would probably make the Dogma cut were it not for the post-produced score, which provides pleasing punctuation.

Actors Anonymous

France

Production

An Attention Moteur!, Shadow Films presentation. (International sales: Rodolphe Rouxel, Paris.) Produced by Frederic Bal, Veronique Rofe, Benoit Cohen. Directed by Benoit Cohen. Screenplay, Eleonore Pourriat, Cohen, Marc Habib.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Bertrand Mouly; editor, Marine Deleu; music, &Leo . Reviewed at UCG Les Halles, Paris, Oct. 9, 2001. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Chantal Banlier, Julien Boisselier, Benedicte Cerutti, Mathieu Demy, Marie-Sophie Ferdane, Alban Guitteny, Gaela Le Devehat, Mathias Mlekuz, Eleonore Pourriat, Gregoire Tachnakian, Bruno Walrenier, Fabio Zenoni.
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