LIFE IN A GOLDFISH BOWL...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 09/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Deftly directed by Denys Arcand, this is an inventive, highly stylized film about an athletic and beautiful, teenage girl who plays hockey, Tina Menzhal, and her transition to international celebrity and super model. Her life is seen exclusively through the eyes of the various media. This is a fast paced, eclectic, imaginative, and innovative look at a young celebrity and her interactions with those around her, as well as her various romantic relationships. Tina's rise to stardom is shown through a number of media montages. The viewer sees her life progress through the eyes of a camera and the media, at all times, whether it be talk shows, newscasts, a cinema verite documentary, music videos, or fashion shoots. This is a totally engrossing film, as if the viewer were taking a naughty peak into the life of another. It is voyeurism at its best. At the same time, it is a biting, funny, and sad commentary on celebrity life.Beautiful Jessica Pare, a real life model, is wonderful as Tina, bringing a certain wide-eyed naivete to the role. Dan Ackroyd is very good as the successful restauraneur who, during a midlife crisis, sacrifices his family and his business to be with Tina, only to find himself caught in an obsession that ends badly. Robert LePage is drolly funny as the cameraman who seeks to record every moment of Tina's life. Hunky Thomas Gibson is sensational as Tina's agent, a cooly cynical master of the universe. Frank Langella is terrific as a controlling and urbane diplomat with very set ideas about the role of a wife. The rest of the supporting cast is also excellent. The film alternates between a black and white and color picture, which adds to its overall quirkiness. This Canadian film deserves kudos!"
Take a look at ourselves!
Zdenko Juskuv | Rhode Island | 11/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't get the world of fashion. It all seems like ridiculous clothes that no one would wear or could afford. Yet it generates millions of dollars a year.
But the makers of Stardom do know enough to make you laugh. This movie is terrific. It's as artsy and pretentious as the people it makes fun of. for example, all the whole movie is seen as footage taken from other filmmakers and tv shows. It mercilessly pokes fun at models, designers, rich people, and fashion.
Overall its a excellent movie with a lot of inovation, good acting, and laughs."
Sympathy for the MTV Generation?
David M. Rogge | San Jose, CA United States | 12/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having watched and enjoyed Jesus of M., I picked this up -despite- what looked like a rather cliched premise - I'm -very- glad that I did. While told in a fashion sure to appeal to ADD sufferers everywhere (...) this is a highly taut, biting inquisition on celebrity, sex and everything else irrelevant in life. This movie shows exactly how most people think about the entire modern media world.Having a super-model playing a super-model works better than you (or do I mean I?) might think - and the supporting cast all turn in good to excellent performances. -very- worth a watch."
azindn | Arizona, USA | 10/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The cult of celebrity and beauty is exposed in the blackest humor by Denys Arcand with the hysterical "Stardom." Jessica Pare as Tina Menzel is a vacuous beauty never allowed to be more than pretty face and sexy body. The casting of mostly Canadian actors, Dan Ackroyd (SNL), Thomas Gibson (Dahrma and Greg), and newcomer Pare are ensemble perfection in a scathing parody of entertainment television, expose documentaries, fashion, and confrontational talk shows. Frank Langella (HBO Unscripted) who rarely is seen in comedic roles portrays the stuffy Blaine de Castillion, an aging minor diplomat who marries Menzel, his young trophy wife only to be overthrown for another monosyllabic athletic type.
Menzel as characterized by Pare is the uneducated, unsophisticated, and naive young girl swept to the heights of fashion and celebrity solely by the manipulation of others. She is a victim of both men and women of the vapid fashion and art trade that cashes in at her expense. The modeling world which Tina inhabits is revealed with stunning cinematography as Arcand strips away the layers of commercialism that relies on selling notions of youth and physical perfection like Menzel. No pc topic is overlooked by Arcand who takes a swipe at Canada's First Nation's eco-hype and indigenous spirituality, PETA animal rights fanaticism, heavily accented, and pretentious Toronto ET-like reporters, Canadian ice hockey, and feminist-lesbian-politics -- all with hilarious results.
Gibson as the steely agent for a multinational public relation agency who represents Tina never permits his client to be anything but an innocent yet desirable money-making commodity. Gibson's brief b/w screen time reflected roots of high production cosmetic ads, and with Pare, is beautifully photographed to highlight the couple's physical attractiveness although theirs is the only relationship never consumated. His droll performance is ambiguous and dead on esp. teaching a 400-level Yale course in "Sports and Celebrity Entertainment" and warning students of Millie-Vanilli versus Celine Dion talent spotting.
With little exposure beyond HBO, "Stardom" continues to be true to the reality-TV trend. Yet, it was ahead of its time particularly in forecasting the reactions to full frontal nudity and actress, Meg Ryan that unfortunately have come true. Arcand's film is so subtle with drollness and satire that much of its humor may fly over non-Canadian audience failing to grasp the sources of regional and nationalistic jibes. There are no sacred cows in Arcand's stable, just sharply insider commentary on the cult of celebrity. A film that should be included in every home collection."