Author(s): Connor Campbell
"A Unanimous Verdict"
Directed by Christopher Guest
Written by Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
Christopher Guest- Judge Allen Marcus
Jane Lynch- District Attorney Angela Parks
Eugene Levy- Julian Silverman
Jennifer Coolidge- Melissa Jo Baney
Catherine O’Hara- Sally Westerlidge
Bob Balaban- Frank George
Parker Posey- Cheryl Cheyenne Cassidy
Rachael Harris- Vicky Burke
Ricky Gervais- Cornelius Talmidge
Fred Willard- Simon Griffin
Harry Shearer- Thomas Youngblood
Ed Begely, Jr.- Ryan Shore
John Michael Higgins- Gregory Whitmore
Deborah Theaker- Rita Gankin
Larry Miller- Victor Crane
Jim Piddock- Lionel Banks
Tagline: "A comedy about murder"
Synopsis: When Francis Baney, CEO of Erotamart, the nation’s largest adult video store chain is found murdered, his wife Melissa Jo is quickly arrested, having filed for divorce the day before the murder. Presiding over the case, Judge Allen Marcus, an aging man who has frequent “senior moments” and is no position to be working. Representing Melissa, Julian Silverman, a man who despite never having won a case is still worth millions. Apposing council is D.A. Angela Parks, the first lesbian D.A. in county history.
The evidence is presented. A possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Francis’s affair with a 19 year old boy, Melissa Jo being Francis’s sole beneficiary & hell of a lot of DNA. Closing Arguments have ended and now the jury deliberates.
The jury consists of:
Sally Westerlidge- The wife of a car dealership owner who’s dog just died, causing sudden emotional outbursts.
Frank George- A middle school orchestra director who just suffered a heart attack.
Cheryl Cheyenne Cassidy- The president of the Rockwell Elementary PTA, despite the fact she has no children, she poses as her niece’s mother because she is barren.
Vicky Burke- A successful businesswoman who wants to get this hole thing done with as soon as possible.
Cornelius Talmidge- A janitor at a hospital who struggles to support his triplet sons.
Simon Griffin- A veterinarian who likes to practice illegally on humans.
Thomas Youngblood- An accomplished flautist in a band called “Ethnic Kiss”
Ryan Shore- A flamboyant gay man who designs outfits for figure skaters that he likes to wear.
Gregory Whitmore- A struggling artist/drug dealer/children’s book writer.
Rita Gankin- Weekend anchor for Channel 16 who has gambling and drinking problems.
Victor Crane- Manager of the local Wal Mart where the workers have gone on strike demanding an end to “No underwear Tuesdays”.
Lionel Banks- A priest of a notoriously black church, despite being a racist bigot.
The jury deliberates, fighting and screaming at each other until they reach a unanimous verdict. But the question is, what’s the verdict? The answer just might shock you.
What the Press would say:
From the team that brought us Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration comes the hilarious new comedy A Unanimous Verdict, a mockumentary about a murder trial and the deliberation process. Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy have written a brilliant comedy with sudden spurts of drama that are unexpected, but welcome and make this ridiculous situation seem more real. The cast that we’ve come to know and love once again is full of power punch performances such as Christopher Guest, a bumbling old judge, Eugene Levy, a dead-beat lawyer, Jennifer Coolidge, a stricken widow, Jane Lynch, a hard as nails District Attorney, Fred Willard, a crazy veterinarian & Catherine O’Hara, a woman mourning the loss of her dog. But there are two performances that steal the show. The first is Bob Balaban, an orchestra director recuperating from a heart attack. His performance is full of emotion and brings a dramatic flare to this wacky comedy. The other is Parker Posey, a woman incapable of having children that tells everyone her niece is her daughter and acts as PTA president. She nails the uptight suburban soccer mom and has the best scene of the movie with an emotional breakdown in which she reveals her lie. Overall, A Unanimous Verdict is an amazing film that everyone should see. ****/****
Best Picture- Karen Murphy
Best Director- Christopher Guest
Best Supporting Actor- Bob Balaban, Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard
Best Supporting Actress- Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey
Best Original Screenplay- Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy