Childstar (2004)

DON McKELLAR

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

Canada, 2004.  Rhombus Media.  Screenplay by Don McKellar, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2004.  

Hollywood North is all aflutter when an obnoxious, twelve year-old movie star () travels to Toronto to begin shooting a teen-oriented action movie. His emotionally restrained mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) enjoys using her son’s status to get free stuff out of everybody around her, while he annoys his entire crew with his bratty attitude. When Rendall runs through every possible tutor that the city has to offer, his limo driver (director ) takes on a double role, eventually getting close to the young man and escorting him through some important life lessons before the kid throws the production into bedlam by running away for a day. McKellar’s witty script (co-written with Michael Goldbach) explores the landscape of celebrity and its obsession with youth, revealing the naked truth about vulnerable children being dressed up as indestructible icons for the world’s entertainment. Engaging characters and strong performances contribute to an intuitive and memorable look at the world behind the silver screen, dragged down a notch in value only by that traditional Canadian film custom, bad lighting. Otherwise it’s a good time, and Leigh is rarely this appealing.

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