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(2006) *** Unrated
115 min. Strand Releasing. Director: Emmanuelle Bercot. Cast: Emmanuelle Seigner, Isild Le Besco, Noemie Lvovsky, Valery Zeitoun, Samuel Benchetrit.
Emmanuelle Bercot's Backstage is a creepy look at the borderline personalities on both sides of the line between celebrity and citizen. Madonna-like French pop star Lauren (played by Emmanuelle Seigner) grudgingly participates in the botched reality-TV ambush of one of her biggest fans, 16-year-old Lucie (played by Isild Le Besco). After a meltdown in front of her idol, Lucie worms her way back into Lauren's presence and winds up squatting in her hotel as an assistant who winds up a bit too close for comfort. Though the approach to the entertainment biz shows admirable restraint, Backstage is emotionally torrid. Both actresses are magnetic in their depictions of women on the edge, and Bercot cleverly uses suggestive lyrics and well-staged stress tests to tease out her themes: the remote sexuality of celebrity and the unreasoned sense of ownership among fans.
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