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Hooray for Christopher Guest’s Hollywood, where Purim gets Oscar buzz and Charlie Rose his due.

Elsewhere on the set, producer Whitney Taylor Brown (Jennifer Coolidge), heiress of the Brown diaper fortune, struggles with polysyllabic words; bumbling agent Morley Orfkin (Eugene Levy) gobbles down bagels; and unit publicist Corey Taft (John Michael Higgins) calls for the marketing campaign to be "timely, quantifiable and orotund." All of Guest's films have their designated scene-stealer, and this time it's Higgins, whose daffy flack adds much to the film's off-kilter hilarity, as well as to its mannered fustiness. His ignorance of the "Interweb" is typical of the way the Hollywood of Consideration often seems as outdated as the Georgia of Purim.

Guest's movies revel in marginal cultures and obsolete sensibilities, whether it's the podunk thespians of Waiting for Guffman, the dog nerds of Best in Show or the folk singers of A Mighty Wind. By infusing his antiquated sympathies into au courant Hollywood, he risks a disconnect in the material; imagine The Playerand A Prairie Home Companiondone as one film. But it's exactly that tension, a bristle of styles, that lends Consideration a more memorable texture than something like The Big Picture, Guest's 1989 directorial debut about the odyssey of a naïve filmmaker through 1980s Hollywood.

The movie doesn't lack for topical zingers. The Charlie Rose Show receives its definitive mocking, and grubbier celebrity parasites are squashed to death. As Chuck Porter, meathead co-host of TV tabloid Hollywood Now, Fred Willard is done up with faux-hawk, diamond earring, hot-pink tie and the pathetic exuberance of a professional ass-kisser. Yet in an amusing send-up of an Ebert & Roeper-style duo, the best bit isn't the squabbling personalities or blurb-whoring inanity, but a tossed-off quip, barely overheard as the scene fades out: "This film reminds me of your wife and her ceramic turtle collection."

Lines like that (the screenplay is by Guest and Levy) go to the heart of Consideration, a movie about insiders from an outsider perspective. A less selfish movie about egotism is hard to imagine. Credit the cast as much as the concept. Some of these folks have been working with Guest for longer than I've been alive, and they work in perfect accord, confidence and timing. They keep the material from descending into grotesquerie because they know its secret: Hoopla in Hollywood isn't the real subject here, merely the pretext for another oddball ode to lovable losers.

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