Childstar (Opening Night)
2004 - Canada - 98 min.
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CAST: Don McKellar, Mark Rendall, Jennifer Jason Leigh,Dave Foley, Gil Bellows, Brendan Fehr, Kristin Adams, Eric Stoltz
Hollywood North or Toronto, where a lot of Hollywood films are shot, was sooner or later to become material for Canada’s satirist-and triple-threat-filmmaker in-residence, Don McKellar, a household name to Canuck cinephiles ( and there a lot of them). For the multi-talented McKellar nothing sums up the Dream Factory as much as his spooky sense of how l2-year-olds can become Åmerican celebrities, having met some at Toronto Oscar parties. As a result, the premise of his second directing feature, is the story of a Yank child star who comes up to Çanada to shoot a big action flick about a president who is kidnapped by terrorists and whose young son has to come home from summer camp to take over. McKellar, who wrote the script, among his many screenwriting credits(Thirty-two Short Films About Glenn Gould, The Red Violin), also plays male lead to Jennifer Jason Leigh, flaky, horny mother to the spoiled brat Taylor Brandon Burns (Rendall). Amid the chaos of production, McKellar, an aspiring experimental filmmaker going nowhere , becomes the family driver and not long after,mama’s lover, thereby enmeshing himself in the childstar’s world. In creating a zany pit of emotional artifice, McKellar in the process has a lot say about family truths , about trying to find one’s center and the role of art in the commercial world. Not forgetting also about audience pleasure, there is Leigh as the self-centered stage mother, Dave Foley as maniacal film producer and Eric Stolz as absentee surfer-dude dad .(At print time, Childstar was in top contention for Canada’s “Genie” (Oscar) awards. (see also film Clean, with McKellar in a supporting role as well as havingscript credits)
PRODUCER: Niv Fichman, Daniel Iron, Jennifer Jonas
SCREENWRITER: Don McKellar, Michael Goldbach
CINEMATOGRAPHER: André Turpin
EDITOR: Reginald Harkema
MUSIC: Christopher Dedrick
PRINT SOURCE: Rhombus Media