The Sloth loves Alec Baldwin. Like a fine wine, he gets mellower and rounder and fruitier each year. The spoof, but only part spoof, documentary Seduced and Abandoned sees him reaching probably his peak vintage.
Alec is at the Cannes Film Festival because he wants to make a movie. He has a director, James Caan (the Godfather one, not the Dragon). He has a script, of sorts. What he doesn’t have is money. Movies don’t get made without money. More importantly, movies don’t get made unless they are going to make money.
Touting his script round the Cannes marketplace like a streethawker, Alec quickly finds that in Hollywood there is a ferocious pecking order. His first choice of leading lady, Neve Campbell, is denounced by all and sundry as C or D-list. But it’s not just Neve that is the problem. Alec himself is dismissed as a very small fish in a very big pond. Interspersed with talking heads from luminaries including Martin Scorsese, Frances Ford Coppola, Diane Kruger, Jessica Chastain and (a wonderfully dry) Ryan Gosling discussing the brutality of the system, it becomes clear there is no time for protecting fragile egos here.
Seduced And Abandoned is two things. Firstly, it is very funny. Furnished with surreal, larger than life characters that you really, truly, couldn’t make up and further embellished with Alec’s droll commentary, it skewers the utter ridiculousness of the movie machine. Secondly, it is fascinating. We learnt more about the slimey, underbelly workings of Hollywood in its 98 minutes than we ever knew before (and probably wanted to). Pour yourself a large glass of movie magic, sit back and savour.
UK release 8 November / UK DVD release 24 February