Audrey Brodsky (Tegan Ashton Cohan) is a lovable loser who has wanted to be an actress since the age of nine. Encouraged by her doting mother, Audrey tried every artistic endeavor as a child, including painting and violin lessons. But her life fell into place when she tried acting. The problem is that she’s a terrible actress. Now at age 35 Audrey works in an office at a regular 40 hour a week job. She’s very good at it, but hates it. After meeting with her weekly group of friends, Audrey decides to finally make an all out attempt to achieve her dreams. So she quits her job, hires a reality cameraman (Matthew Kevin Anderson) to film her life and gets on the Hollywood treadmill.
Cindy Baer is very familiar to the readers of Rogue Cinema. She’s a talented actress, writer, producer and director who has worked on everything from mainstream TV shows to indie horror. “Odd Brodsky” is her latest directorial effort, and it’s a total charmer. It’s a weird and offbeat look at those of us who have the dream, but not the talent. In many ways, the film reminds me of those early and strange movies from Tim Burton and Joe Dante.
Baer recycles the very familiar “loser goes for it” theme and populates “Odd Brodsky” with strange and lovable characters who always do things slightly differently than we “normals.” These include Brodsky’s cameraman (only known as Camera One), who’s secretly in love with Audrey, and the delightful stoner Spuds (wonderfully played by Scotty Dickert). These charming loonies add immeasurably to the movie’s enjoyment, but perhaps Baer’s greatest triumph is creating Audrey. She’s wonderfully determined and though slightly demented, she wins your heart with her hair-brained schemes.
This movie is very funny. Baer successfully riffs on some classic “breaking into Hollywood” scenes including ones where Audrey changes her name to stand out from the crowd, buys a billboard to advertise herself, and auditions for various film roles. All of these are enjoyable and really launch the movie into the stratosphere.
“Odd Brodsky” also has a wonderful cast. Tegan Ashton Cohan amazes as Audrey and is a naturally gifted comedienne. She’s all pluck and energy and is so likeable that it’s impossible not to root for her. High praise also has to go to Matthew Kevin Anderson, Scotty Dickert and Cindy Baer (who plays Audrey’s best friend Sammy). They all put in delightful performances.
“Odd Brodsky” is a great comedy and a great indie feature as well. Do your best to search for this one. It’s definitely on my top ten list for the year!