5.7/10
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39 user 47 critic

Ellie Parker (2005)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 14 July 2006 (UK)
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A hilarious comic portrait of a young woman's struggle for integrity, happiness and a Hollywood acting career.

Director:

Scott Coffey

Writer:

Scott Coffey
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Ellie Parker
Jennifer Syme Jennifer Syme ... Casting Chick
Greg Freitas Greg Freitas ... Rick Saul (as Gregory Frietas)
Gaye Pope Gaye Pope ... Leslie Towne
Blair Mastbaum Blair Mastbaum ... Smash Jackson
Jessica Vogl Jessica Vogl ... Trixie
Rebecca Rigg ... Sam
Mark Pellegrino ... Justin
Kim Fay Kim Fay ... Therapist
Scott Coffey ... Chris
Todd Coffey Todd Coffey ... Upstairs Neighbor
David Baer ... Acting Teacher
Marcel Sarmiento ... Acting Student
Robbi Chong Robbi Chong ... Acting Student (as Robby Chong)
Jessicka Jessicka ... Acting Class Student
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Storyline

Slice of life look at a young woman trying to make it as an actress in Hollywood. Ellie Parker, from Australia, works hard: she's gifted with accents, hustles to auditions, changes clothes and makeup as she drives across L.A., goes to acting classes and therapy, maintains a friendship with another Aussie searching for the same roles, meets a cinematographer when he bangs into her car at a stop sign, and faces a failing relationship with her slacker thinks-he's-a-musician boyfriend. All this brings on an identity crisis - who am I, and should I keep trying to be an actress? Ellie's balancing act and her inquiry into self carry the story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when you become the person you pretend to be?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 July 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ele Parker See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,299, 11 November 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$34,410
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Naomi Watts and Scott Coffey shot additional footage to the original short version (Ellie Parker (2001)) over a process of five years. You can mainly tell which are new and old scenes due to Watts changing hair length. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie as Ellie enters the hotel for an audition, the cameraman is reflected in the glass door. See more »

Quotes

Ellie Parker: I don't hate myself enough to love you.
See more »

Connections

References Mission: Impossible III (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Opening Credits Song
Written and Performed by BC Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watts Slightly Wasted in an Inconsequential Film
16 November 2006 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

With the exception perhaps of "King Kong," Naomi Watts has looked like total hell at some point in every movie she's starred in. She's a brave actress, one with Hollywood starlet looks but without any of the Hollywood starlet vanity.

One can't help but feel that she's somewhat wasted in "Ellie Parker," an offbeat, super low-budget film about one struggling actress's daily trials in that vast wasteland known as L.A. The film looks like the kind of thing I would make if I had a fairly high-quality digital camcorder and some editing software. But I do not hold the movie's visual style against it, and it's not for that reason that I think Watts was slumming a bit. No, it's the material that makes "Ellie Parker" a less than (o.k. MUCH less than) satisfying viewing experience.

Parker is going through an identity crisis, but unfortunately for us, it's not a very interesting one. She spends all of her time trying to be something that other people want her to be. Even when she's alone, driving from one audition to another, she's practicing lines and accents, and putting on costumes to fit a part. One senses that the filmmakers wanted to show the acting life as it really is for the majority of people in the business: a harrowing, degrading, grueling and exhausting process that leaves those living it adrift. As Parker says at one point in the film, she feels like her life hasn't started yet, and that everything is an audition for some future part. I'm not sure we need yet one more movie that deflates the glamour of Hollywood. I had a hard time not getting frustrated with Parker -- she chooses the acting life, so it's up to her to deal with the consequences. There's nothing stopping her from getting an unglamorous desk job like millions of other Americans who go to work every day and don't spend all of their time whining about it.

"Ellie Parker" does provide some fascinating glimpses into the entertainment industry, especially in a scene that shows Parker and her friend attending an acting class -- it goes a long way to supporting my half-serious belief that all really good actors must be to a certain extent mentally unbalanced. There's also a delightfully weird final scene that shows Parker auditioning to a living room full of stoned and bored movie producers, a scene that leaves you wondering how certain films ever get made at all.

But most of the movie feels underdeveloped and inconsequential, like a film-student experiment.

Grade: C


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