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Ellie Parker
     

Ellie Parker

Cast: Scott Coffey, Naomi Watts, Rebecca Rigg, Mark Pellegrino

 
Naomi Watts produces and stars in Ellie Parker, a semi-autobiographical story of an Australian actress struggling to make it in Hollywood. Ellie is young enough to still schlep to auditions back and forth across L.A., changing wardrobes and slapping on makeup en route, but just old enough that the future feels "more like a threat than a promise." She lives with

Overview

Naomi Watts produces and stars in Ellie Parker, a semi-autobiographical story of an Australian actress struggling to make it in Hollywood. Ellie is young enough to still schlep to auditions back and forth across L.A., changing wardrobes and slapping on makeup en route, but just old enough that the future feels "more like a threat than a promise." She lives with her vacant musician boyfriend (Mark Pellegrino), who leaves her just about as dissatisfied as any other part of her life, and has a loose definition of the word "fidelity." Helping make sense of their surreal and humiliating Hollywood existence is her best friend Sam (Rebecca Rigg), another out-of-work actress trying her hand at design, who attends acting classes with Ellie to stay sharp. When Ellie gets into a fender bender with a guy who claims he's a cinematographer (Scott Coffey), her perspective on her work and the dating world starts to change. Chevy Chase also makes an appearance in this series of Hollywood vignettes, playing Ellie's agent. Watts, Coffey, and Pellegrino all worked together on David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, where Watts had her breakout performance, and Ellie Parker grew out of the friendship forged between Watts and director/screenwriter Coffey. It was shot on digital video over the course of five years, having begun its life as a series of shorts featuring Watts' character. ~ Derek Armstrong

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The indie Hollywood satire may be nothing new, but through digital video and the dedication of Naomi Watts and Scott Coffey, it finds welcome new life in Ellie Parker. With its unique format and scathing insights into the industry's workaday grind, the film feels like a stylistic and thematic cousin of Time Code, Mike Figgis' daring quad-screen experiment in real-time cinema. But instead of interweaving narratives, it offers a series of potentially non-sequential peeks into Ellie's life, which gather into a satisfying whole. It's almost unnerving how Watts' acting equals the exacting standards of digital video, which tends to weed out false performances because it's such a hyper-real medium. The fact that she's an actress who works tirelessly at perfecting her craft -- and plays that same character -- makes it all the more delicious. But her reactions to the succession of humbling setbacks wouldn't tell the story without Coffey's brilliantly absurdist set pieces. In one, after finishing a too-weird-to-be-fake acting class, Ellie and her friend Sam (Rebecca Rigg) get into a spat about who's the better actor -- to be determined by which one can produce tears first. Their efforts inspire gales of laughter from the audience, yet it's a sadder moment than that, one that reduces them to Pavlovian dogs, willing to drool for whoever will guide them toward the prize. This veteran intelligence doesn't prevent Coffey from occasionally behaving like a recent film-school grad enamored with his new toys. At one point, Ellie eats a bright blue sherbet ice cream cone, for no apparent purpose beyond the aesthetic value of her vomiting it up in the next scene. And the film's overly bitter denouement seems likely to mystify some of its previously contented audience. Still, for a project cobbled together on the cheap over five years, Ellie Parker is rich with bittersweet ruminations on the failure to become somebody.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/11/2006
UPC:
0712267251629
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
NR
Source:
Strand Home Video
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
54,778

Special Features

Over 90 minutes of special features including deleted, alternate and bonus scenes!; Director's commentary; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Naomi Watts Ellie Parker
Rebecca Rigg Sam
Scott Coffey Chris
Mark Pellegrino Justin
Blair Mastbaum Smash Jackson
Chevy Chase Dennis Swartzbaum
Jennifer Syme Casting Chick
Gregory Frietas Rick Saul
Gaye Pope Leslie Towne
Jessica Vogl Trixie
Kim Fay Therapist
Todd Coffey Upstairs Neighbour
David Baer Acting Teacher
Marcel Sarmiento Acting Student
Robbi Chong Acting Student
Jessicka Whitt Crane Acting Student
Brian McCardie Acting Student
Bret Domrose Dogstar Band Member
Robert Mailhouse Dogstar Band Member
Keanu Reeves Dogstar Band Member
Debbie Leavit Vicodin Girl
Gabriella Wall 'Slut' Yelling Girl
Fanshen Cox Receptionist
Samantha Shelton Rainbow
Julie Fay Therapist's Companion
Kate Garwood Actress Before Ellie
Victoria Smirnova Russian
Sergei Afrika Russian
Billy Ray Cyrus Russian
Neil Jackson Actor

Technical Credits
Scott Coffey Director,Cinematographer,Producer,Screenwriter
Jai Bourgeois Sound/Sound Designer
Matt Chessé Co-producer,Editor
Peter Cole Sound/Sound Designer
Jeanne Fay Musical Direction/Supervision
Catherine Hollander Associate Producer,Editor
Marti Humphrey Sound/Sound Designer
Neil Jackson Score Composer
Blair Mastbaum Cinematographer,Co-producer
Bruce Nyznik Sound/Sound Designer
B.C. Smith Songwriter
Naomi Watts Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Ellie Parker
1. Under Hollywood [2:06]
2. Delta Breeze [10:29]
3. Identity [7:16]
4. Suffocating [7:55]
5. Monkeys [8:43]
6. Best Friend? [7:08]
7. Act Off [8:12]
8. "Just Your Type..." [8:56]
9. Dennis [12:10]
10. A Sociopath [10:26]
11. The Russians [9:59]
12. Closing Credits [1:49]

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