Ellie Parker

Strand Releasing

Ellie Parker is the sort of shot-on-DV, shown-at-Sundance indie film that A-listers like Naomi Watts feel compelled to make as penance for elephantine travesties like King Kong. Watts is near-brilliant as the title character, a struggling actress losing her identity amid humiliating Hollywood auditions and narcissistic boyfriends. Writer/director/co-star Scott Coffey shoots Watts almost exclusively in close-ups, and she holds the screen like a pro, although she’s more convincing in the audition scenes than as Ellie herself. There are a number of memorable episodes, but the film ambles and flits over too much well-worn territory and eventually dissolves into nothing. As Ellie’s agent, Chevy Chase acts as though he’s in a different movie, presumably one set on the planet Neptune.