Article excerpt


Directed by Denys Arcand

rStarring Jessica Pare, Thomas Gibson and Dan Aykroyd

*** (out of five)

WHEN DENYS Arcand introduced his film Stardom to the audience at the Vancouver International Film Festival, he described it as a light subject with very serious overtones. It is a comedy, but a dark and ribald one. Newcomer Jessica Pare stars as Tina Menzhal, a hockey player from Cornwall, Ont., who is discovered and begins her ascent towards stardom as an international supermodel.

Among the men who seek to take her under their wings and into their beds are the photographer who discovered her (Charles Berling), a restaurateur (Dan Aykroyd) and the Canadian ambassador to the United Nations (Frank Langella). Tina's business affairs are managed deftly by an agent (Thomas Gibson) and her rise to fame is chronicled by an avant-garde photographer (Robert Lepage). It's a story that's been told before -- young pretty girl becomes international superstar -- but Arcand tells it in a most interesting way.

Arcand chooses to tell the stow of Tina Menzhal through television. In this media-obsessed age, if something important is happening, it's on television. While reality TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother try to create real life in real time on TV and recent films like The Truman Show and Ed TV seek to expose the complex relationship between "life" and "TV", Stardom chooses another way.

From beginning to end, Arcand skips from cut to cut, from cable TV shows to "infotainment" specials to news clips. It's as if you're sitting at home with TV channel changer in hand, surfing through the story of Tina's rise to stardom. You see her at the hockey rink, in the cable TV studio, on the entertainment portion of the nightly newscast, on the set of the talk show. …


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