David Mamet, Director & Screenwriter
Fineline Features; Widescreen & Pan & Scan; Dolby 5.1 & Surround; English Subtitles & Closed Captions; 106 Minutes
This is a delightful film, and its real star is an audiophile favourite, singer Rebecca Pidgeon, who in the film doesn’t sing a note. She just steals the movie with her warmth and humour. State And Main is about the exploits of a film crew who descend on the small town of Waterford, Vermont, and their interaction with the locals, including Pidgeon as owner of the local bookstore.
Like Gosford Park, this film takes advantage of an ensemble cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, and Sarah Jessica Parker. I won’t summarize the plot, but again, a quote from the DVD box gives insight: “When a big-budget film crew takes over a small town, they shoot first…and ask questions later.”
I’m not sure why, but this movie reminds me of Groundhog Day, I guess because of its similar preoccupation with big egos and small towns, and the interaction thereof. It’s a very funny film, well written and directed by David Mamet, with his characteristic playwright’s deft touch and pacing. And it’s better to be surprised by a good script rather than a bad one. State And Main is a movie worth owning, so you can pull it out of the shelf once a year when you need cheering up.
Unusual in movies today, it comes in both widescreen and pan-and-scan editions on the same disc side, and both look terrific, with a very natural and atmospheric surround soundtrack.