Ellie Parker Review

Ellie Parker (Watts) is an Australian actress in Los Angeles, waiting for her big break. Her life is an endless round of auditions, desperately hoping for that call back. Her boyfriend (Mark Pellegrino) is a layabout stoner who is been cheating on her with a casting assistant. Her best friend Sam, also a wannabe actress, can be a complete cow. Ellie spends her days driving round Los Angeles, changing clothes and makeup and chatting on her phone as she goes, and auditioning for more or less hideously pretentious producers and directors. It’s only a matter of time before Ellie has an accident, and she meets the repressed and nerdish Chris (Coffey). Her hopes of a relationship with him are soon dashed and when even her agent (Chase) seems to lose interest in her career, Ellie considers giving up acting for good.

Naomi Watts agreed to make Ellie Parker as a favour to her friend Scott Coffey, who she met when working on Mulholland Drive. Four years in the making, the intervening years have seen Watts become a star, moving with ease from independent films like We Don’t Live Here Anymore to Hollywood blockbusters like King Kong. In Ellie Parker she is true to her roots – she was a struggling actress in Hollywood for years – and uses her own accent for once. The film is an accurate, satirical look at Los Angeles life – these people are, while not starving, definitely from the wrong side of the tracks, and the film gives a clear idea of just how hard making it big can be.

Sadly the film, shot over 4 years, fails to really hold together or make any deeper points – it feels soap opera-ish and inconsequential, and it fails to hold the attention once Watts has cried more than three times. A curiosity, but not much more.

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