Stardom

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Welcome to the wild world of sudden, outrageous, global celebrity—and its price tag. Internationally acclaimed, two-time Oscar-nominated director Denys Arcand ingeniously uses the ever-watchful eyes of dozens of television cameras to provide a provocative exposé of our fame-obsessed culture in Stardom, a spicy and darkly humourous tale of a young model’s meteoric rise. The result is a unique reflection of celebrity in which life imitates art, art imitates life, and the media imitates anything and everything.

Stardom is about the power of beauty and more importantly, about the power of the media—and its preoccupation with celebrity. Stardom stars breathtaking newcomer Jessica Paré in her feature film debut as Tina Menzhal, a young girl plucked from small-town obscurity and thrust into the international spotlight. The film also stars Academy Award nominee Dan Aykroyd, Thomas Gibson, Frank Langella, Charles Berling, Robert Lepage and supermodel Camilla Rutherford.

A presentation of Alliance Atlantis and Serendipity Point Films, in association with Cinémaginaire and Ciné b, Stardom is a Robert Lantos and Denise Robert production of a Denys Arcand film. The screenplay is by Denys Arcand and J. Jacob Potashnik. The film is produced by Denise Robert and Robert Lantos.

LONG SYNOPSIS

Following the story of a newfound supermodel as seen through the eyes of the hordes of television cameras who follow her every move, Stardom provides an entertaining and thought-provoking glimpse at the not-so-glamourous world of the super-beautiful and the superficial. Directed by Denys Arcand (Jesus of Montreal), who co-wrote the screenplay, the dramatic comedy scrutinizes the role of television in nurturing, exploiting, hyping, idolizing and ultimately abandoning the very stars it creates.

Young Tina Menzhal (Jessica Pare) goes from body checks to lighting checks when she is catapulted from her ordinary life on small-town Ontario’s Cornwall Women’s Hockey Team to international celebrity as a model after a local photographer brings her to the attention of a modeling agency. Almost overnight, Tina is off to Paris and New York, leaping from small local morning shows to VH1.

Before she can say “cheese,” Tina is taking the global media by storm. Her scene becomes being seen, and she jet-sets through commercials, star-studded openings, talk shows and celebrity charity galas, maneuvering through a tumultuous sea of agents, photographers, journalists, publicity flacks, wannabes and hangers-on.

Before long, Tina becomes the focus of top fashion photographer and enfant terrible Bruce Taylor (Robert Lepage), who invades and occasionally saves her life with his documentary camera. She is also taken under the wing of New York super-agent Renny Ohayon (Thomas Gibson), who controls her every move as he molds her into a marketable commodity. At the same time, she begins a relationship with power-hungry restaurateur Barry Levine (Dan Aykrod), who is seduced by Tina’s beauty.

As Tina becomes more famous, nothing about her life remains sacred—and nothing escapes the media’s attention. Not the father who abandoned her. Not the petty jealousies of friends such as Toni (Camilla Rutherford), the bitter, strung-out model whose career took a bad turn. Not even the bedroom video footage shot by an increasingly desperate-for-fame Philippe Gascon (CHARLES BERLING), the photographer who “discovered” her.

When Tina meets UN ambassador Blaine de Castillon (Frank Langella), things seem to take a turn for the better. De Castillon is an international diplomat who whisks her off to foreign locales and high profile meetings with heads of state. His power and wealth coupled with her fame and beauty makes them the perfect media darlings. But when she agrees to marry him, a media frenzy ensues, capturing every moment of what becomes a far-from-blissful union.

An incident at Wimbledon, a ski resort debacle and a dysfunctional quarrel that becomes an international crisis keep the media tuned in.Through it all, Tina’s relationships continue to play themselves out in heated television gossip, sensationalized headlines and comically public scandals.