2 October 2005 | davidkaori
A refreshing antidote to Hollywood
"Le grand rôle" effectively dramatizes a simple and elegant premise: the dramas we play in our daily lives are more vital than anything people might play on a stage. The film, set in present-day Paris--unglorified but beautiful as always--explores issues of relationship and integrity as Hollywood films of the past might have done. Probably, younger audiences will be mystified by the film's unadorned grasp of what's important in life. In refreshing contrast to our current notions of get-ahead-whatever-it-takes, the main characters in this film--a group of struggling actors--place an old-fashioned value on their sense of community. Of course they want to advance in their careers, but never at the expense of their families or friends. Into their midst comes a big-time Hollywood director--a killing portrait by Peter Coyote--who is clever enough to have gotten to the top but whose basic notes invariably ring false. The result is a drama of the heart that keeps your attention riveted from first to last and, if you're able to relate to it, will send you away from the theater a bigger human being.