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The Big Picture
The Big Picture
Actors: Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Longstreth, J.T. Walsh, Michael McKean
Director: Christopher Guest
Genres: Comedy
PG-13     2002     1hr 40min

Christopher Guest cowrote and directed this solid spoof about the pitfalls of believing your own hype. Kevin Bacon plays a high-minded would-be filmmaker whose student movie wins a prestigious national award and an invitat...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Longstreth, J.T. Walsh, Michael McKean
Director: Christopher Guest
Creators: Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Michael Varhol, Richard Gilbert Abramson, Richard Luke Rothschild, Valen Watson
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Comedy
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/08/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1989
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1989
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

See the film before your first job in the "Industry"
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this film a few years after I worked for a very famous film company in Nothern California. This VERY humorous film is right on the mark about what it is like to work in the film industry! I laughed so hard my stomach hurt for hours after after the movie. If you are going to work in the "industry" as they say in the film world, see this humorous film to see what it is really like!"
The Road to Riches
Jason Vance | Hollywood, CA | 09/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The quintessential movie about the business for our generation, in which a good-hearted Kevin Bacon wins his film school's student competition, momentarily thrusting him into the spotlight, as well as the sights of Hollywood's bigwigs, and hence onto the road to artistic ruin. Superior writing, and exceptional performances from the entire cast, especially Martin Short as Bacon's completely over-the-top agent, highlight this gem directed by Christopher Guest and featuring Michael McKean, both of Spinal Tap."
Skewed Comedy at It's Best
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's very hard to predict what movie a given person will like. Many people find this movie to be ho hum, at best. It's not conventional big release comedy, like The Addams Family, Mrs. Doubtfire, or Look Who's Talking. It's unselfconsciously odd in a very wonderful way. If you like movies such as Rushmore, The Princess Bride, 1000 Clowns, and Groundhog Day, I think I can guarantee that you will absolutely love this movie. It's my favorite comedy of all time."
Everyone was my friend then...
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hollywood make them, then they break them -- stars can fall as fast as they rise. Sometimes they rise again, and sometimes they disappear.

And Christopher Guest casts a jaded eye on the fickle ups and downs of Hollywood in "The Big Picture," a quirky, cynical movie which focuses on what the successful should never let go of. It has a few awkward stretches, but overall it's a darkly witty cult comedy ("You're tracking failure all over my carpet!").

Nick Chapman (Kevin Bacon) is the winner at an arty student movie competition, and instantly agents are chasing him all over L.A. In no time, he's the Rising Young Director, with a movie deal at a major movie corporation. But he's also starting to lose sight of his old life, as he tries to become a major success.

He changes the style, plot and characters of his arty movie for demographics, turning it into a beach bums/naked ghost movie. He dumps his pretty girlfriend (Emily Longstreth) for a bimbo actress (Teri Hatcher). When the studio head gets dropped, Nick falls as quickly as he rose. But a chance encounter with an old pal gives him a second chance -- an arty music video. This time, can he get it right?

Christopher Guest is best known for his brilliant mockumentaries, tackling everything from small-town musicals to folk festivals. His forthcoming one is another one about showbiz. But his talents are just as present in a "typical" movie, and Guest does a smart, quirky job of it.

The lesson: Be true to yourself and your art, don't fall for empty glitz, and don't let success go to your head if you're lucky enough to get it.

The story is a pretty straightforward one -- Nick gets great success, it goes to his head, he falls, and he rises again a wiser man. And the movie falls into straightforward lines, without many unpredictable plot twists. At first glance, it doesn't seem that unusual.

What makes it special? Well, simply put, Guest manages to infuse it with his unique type of wit, like the oddballish Pez music video and the noir fantasies of Nick's life. Not to mention the glorious dialogue. When speaking of Nick's one'n'only music video, a studio woman announces, "It's the best one yet, and I've seen 'em ALL!"

And Guest manages to show us agents, artists, students, directors and actors, but never descended to cliches. They're real people, no matter how nasty. And Bacon does a solid job as a young man who learns how empty glitz is. His best scene is the reunion with his friend Emmet, where he confesses, "I wanna be your friend again." And he's backed by good performances by Longstreth, Michael McKean and a dancing Jennifer Jason Leigh.

"Big Picture" treads where many movies have gone before, but it does so with an approach as fresh as a Pez People music video. A must-see."