Plot: What’s it about?
Tina Menzhal (Jessica Pare) has just had her father leave her home, but she continues to push ahead. She uses her time on the ice to cool down, as she loves to play hockey and although her father often criticized her on that front, she never let it get her down. So she is a normal, beautiful young woman in a normal lifestyle, but that is all about to change. A sports photographer snaps a great photo of her, sends it to a modeling agency, and within a short while, she finds herself pulled into the world of fame and fortune. She is slapped down into a chair, glossed with all sorts of makeup devices, measured in all respects, slid into glamorous clothes, and then thrown to the lions of the press & public. But as Tina discovers how this realm works, she learns she must do certain things to keep rising in profile, some things which might not be in her best overall interest. Will she ever wake up to what is at stake and if so, will it already be too late?
Call me a sucker for the downward spiral of innocence, but I found Stardom to be a very worthwhile picture, though perhaps not for the intended reasons. I think the world of fame, celebrities, and models is hilarious and to watch as a new name is formed, this is great stuff and if dark at times, it is never unbelievable. I can imagine this kind of stuff happening to all sorts of young girls, which makes it that much more interesting, I think. You simply can’t side with the forces that whirlwind around her, but then again, she is a moron most of the time, so part of you just says, she gets what she deserves. At least she has wealth, fame, and beauty, even if she was abused for those elements, as some of us will never experience the luxuries she has. But while this almost tries to be serious at times and deliver a real message, this is a comic picture in all respects, even if it wasn’t supposed to be. I couldn’t find a character to care about in this whole mess, but in the end, it never detracted from my enjoyment, which might be sad, but it is true. I just like to watch people ruin their lives to be famous, I guess, so if you’re in the same line, give Stardom a look.
In the lead here is Jessica Pare, who is so natural as the clueless, leashed model, one has to wonder if it is far from her real life persona. I think some might confuse her work here with real acting, but Pare is simply being herself here, just like in interviews and public relation tours. I’ve seen some interviews and read some also, and in all of them, Pare comes off just like her character here does, very eerie, but not much of a shocker, all things considered. Pare looks good and while she is a second rate Liv Tyler, she manages to pull it off well enough to stay in business, but let’s hope she refrains from any serious roles. As I mentioned, she is the natural choice to take on this role, but not due to her skills, instead due to her own vapid persona. You can also see Pare in such films as Possible Worlds, Holiday, and Lost and Delirious. The cast also includes Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers), Frank Langella (The Ninth Gate, Brainscan), and Thomas Gibson (The Age of Innocence, Eyes Wide Shut).
Video: How does it look?
Stardom is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a nice looking visual effort, as the film has some wonderful visuals and this treatment more than does them all justice, I think. The intense and bold color scheme is preserved here, via rich hues and streaming shades, none of which ever err in the least, very impressive stuff. No issues on the contrast side either, as black levels are spot on and detail remains high throughout. I saw no compression errors at all either, this is one terrific visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is not an explosive film in terms of audio, but the included 2.0 surround option is quite good, so it all works out. No, your system won’t be pushed to the limits, but the rear channels see some use, so you’ll know where all the cash went. The music is what presses the surrounds the most, but some subtle use is also evident, which enhances the film’s atmosphere. The dialogue is sharp and never hard to understand, leaving me to score this one well. This disc also includes a French language option, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.