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Posted on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Ann Arbor-filmed 'Cedar Rapids' nominated for 2 Film Independent Spirit Awards

By Jenn McKee


Courtesy photo

"Cedar Rapids," the feature film comedy shot primarily in the Ann Arbor area in late 2009, has earned 2 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, which were just announced.

The movie, starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, and Anne Heche, focuses on insurance salesmen gathered for an annual conference.

Reilly is nominated for best supporting male actor, and screenwriter Phil Johnston is nominated for best first screenplay.

Also of interest to local film fans is Tom McCarthy's best screenplay nomination for "Win Win," which co-premiered in Ann Arbor and Park City, Utah during the Sundance USA program at the Michigan Theater earlier this year.

Winners of this year's awards will be announced Feb. 25.



Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 10:22 a.m.

What's interesting is that, considering the potential of a movie shot locally, there's NO interest whatever in commenting on it. The poll of last March had this movie in a virtual tie with "Whip It" (27-28% thought these were the two best locally shot movies). As one reviewer puts it: "Anyone who can make insurance and Ramada Inn's look like fun deserves credit." That's my take as well. And I'd like to add that any movie with Sigourney Weaver and Ann Heche in it is worth seeing. What this movie reminds me of: When I first started working long ago (early Sixties), I experienced some of this same "reality" at a factory located north of Detroit. They had a Wednesday night bowling league where there was bowling - followed by the inevitable wipe-out drinking party at the adjacent night club. The night club comedian dubbed us: "The Last Supper League" because we arranged all the tables the same way they're shown in the famous Da Vinci Last Supper painting. It was a hilarious and insightful characterization. Thursday mornings: about 30 or so people called off work. The "inside" seaminess, bad behaviors and bad reputations which inevitably became part of that work place social structure were (for a 20-year old) really eye-opening. 3 stars for Cedar Rapids. It's not "Death of a Salesman" but rather the beginning of life for a salesman.


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 4:50 a.m.

PS: I'm in negotiation with the Japanese Sci Fi film production company which was responsible for the famous movie: Destroy All Monsters. I've given them my film script for the remake of that film, it's titled: Destroy All Republicans.


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 4:48 a.m.

Okay - just got a copy of the Cedar Rapids DVD from Netflix. Tonight, I'll see what all the fuss is about. BTW: Though "thin" and formulaic - I thought Youth In Revolt was pretty good for a "teen rebellion" flick. I'm bummed though because of the Snyder Destroys Movie Making In Michigan Initiative. It's the typical Faux Capitalist Ploy: destroy the source of something popular than corner the market on the remaining supply of product. Snyder & Co. Gets Richer Again - should be the name of his anti-movie / anti-Michigan campaign.