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Childstar
Childstar
Actors: Kristin Adams, Gil Bellows, Brendan Fehr, Niv Fichman, Victoria Fodor
Genres: Comedy
R     2005     1hr 38min

Taylor brandon burns a conflicted 12 year old tv star fron the u.S. runs away from the set & his problems while shooting a big-budget film in canada. His reluctant limo driver rick schiller a down-on-his-luck undie filmmak...  more »
     
     
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Movie Details

Actors: Kristin Adams, Gil Bellows, Brendan Fehr, Niv Fichman, Victoria Fodor
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Comedy
Studio: Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/13/2005
Original Release Date: 06/11/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 06/11/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A must-see for cynical movie-lovers
Kristin Dreyer Kramer | NightsAndWeekends.com | 09/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Taylor Brandon Burns (Mark Rendall) is a 12-year-old star known for his role on a popular family TV show. On his show, he's cute and funny. In real life, he's an obnoxious almost-teenager who's demanding and spoiled. To make his latest movie, he's shipped off to Canada with his bored, uncaring, and equally demanding mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh). They're put in the care of Rick Schiller (Don McKellar), a former college professor who quit his job to make movies-and who's now working as a limo driver. As filming begins, though, Rick becomes more than just Taylor's driver. He soon also takes on the roles of Taylor's tutor and legal guardian-and his mother's lover.

Childstar is a darkly comedic look at the world on the other side of the big screen-giving viewers a peek at the movie-making world and revealing child actors for what they really are. It also shows another side-the broken families, the money-hungry parents, the difficulty of finding real friends, and the impossibility of having a normal childhood or living a normal life. It even shows the child actor's future-though Taylor's costar, Chip (Brendan Fehr), a former child star who battles a fading career and a problem with addiction while trying to gain recognition as an adult.

The theme may not be totally original, but it's well-executed-for the majority of the film. Writer/director Don McKellar creates a captivating story that's insightful as well as amusing. Unfortunately, however, things fall apart toward the end of the film, when Taylor sneaks out and follows Rick's advice to "live a little." He meets a girl, decides he's fallen in love, and disappears from the set-and things go downhill from there. The rather confusing turn of events leads to an ending that's unnecessarily preachy.

As a whole, Childstar is an excellent indie. McKellar plays his role with an understated dry wit that enhances the story. And Rendall is wonderful in his role as the obnoxious yet conflicted child star. Despite its disappointing conclusion, Childstar is a clever and witty film-a must-see for movie-lovers and cynics (and especially for cynical movie-lovers)."
We're Just Doin' It for the Kids
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"What is it with Don McKellar and why do you keep seeing him in the movies? Does he represent some sort of Canadian triple threat like Orson Welles did in the USA? All through the two hours of CHILDSTAR I kept wondering about the casting agents who said, "A perfect fit for our Don McKellar!" To those of you who don't know who I'm talking about, he's in every Canadian movie that manages to cross the border to the US--the so called "nylon curtain." He's a little bit like Woody Allen, with his constant stream of backtalk and non sequiturs and that nerdy intellectual appeal. Except Don's more fit, almost like a real star, with a good figure and a hint of hard muscle. Opposite him, Jennifer Jason Leigh is more appealing than I've ever seen her in a movie, and she's beautiful too, almost as though she had some sort of plastic surgery of the soul, how old is she now, she's still young, but she's gorgeous here as the driven "stage mother" determined to prove the old cliche wrong.

Her little boy, Taylor Brandon Burns, is a huge US sitcom star who acts up on a fictional show called FAMILY DIFFERENCES as the son of omnipresent but goodhumored Alan Thicke. Toronto lures him with the promise of big screen glory as "The First Son" a ludicrous action movie aimed at tweens in which he gets to save the entire Western World and drive a fighter plane to rescue Dad, the POTUS, from a cabal of evildoers who have him tied up and riding a chair on Air Force One. If "The First Son" is more entertaining than the tired satire of CHILDSTAR, who says you have to choose? You get both movies and you get more of them than you want, anyhow.

I was like, WTF Don McKellar, but now I know he's good for me. Sign me up for whatever club he stands for."
Star (not quite) Struck
Antonio J. Gray | 08/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A good movie, made that way by good performances, nonsentimentality, and dark comedy (the police raid on Eric Stoltz' house was especially funny). Good performance by Mark Rendall. The movie, overall, was uninvolving."