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State and Main

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Garnering comparisons to the classic madcap comedies of Preston Sturges, David Mamet's latest offering concerns a film company with a dwindling budget that decides to move its shoot to a small Vermont town. Of course, everyone from the local thespians to the town socialites decide to make the most of production and mingle with the stars. It's a film about second chances: the changing fortunes of the movie within the movie, the former big deal actor who's getting his first break since a scandal with an underaged girl derailed his career, and the remaining characters who blunder from one unseemly predicament to the next. In a stroke of casting genius, the fabulously deadpan William H. Macy (Fargo, Magnolia stars as sketchy film director Walt Price, heading a cast that includes William Baldwin, Patti Lupone and indie-film fixture Philip Seymour Hoffman. State and Main, besides delivering the laughs, is sentimental without losing its satirical edge.

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