EIFF 2015: Welcome to Me
Based on premise alone, Welcome to Me could have gone horribly wrong all too easily, but director Shira Piven’s barbed satire successfully walks a fine line between mockery and sincerity.
A magnificent Kristen Wiig is Alice, a woman with borderline personality disorder who’s self-medicating rather than listening to her therapist’s pleas. Her prescription includes obsessing over VHS recordings of Oprah, and, when she wins $86 million in a lottery, this fuels her ambition to buy time on a local TV network and start her own daytime chat show.
Alice’s investment is a large-scale vanity project, a shrine to her tortured past and bitter grudges complete with hired actors re-enacting her past embarrassments. The broadcasted narcissistic bubble eventually becomes a viral sensation. There’s shades of Network, The King of Comedy and the endurance art of Tom Green (in one episode Alice silently eats a cake for five minutes), and the film, though messy when it comes to a sentimental climax, is a strong send-up of self-actualisation and exhibitionism culture.
More from EIFF 2015:
Welcome to Me has its UK premiere at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival
21 Jun, 5.50pm, Filmhouse
23 Jun, 8.45pm, Cineworld http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/films/2015/welcome-to-me