The 24-year-old French actress Isild Le Besco has made a career portraying sullen teenagers, mostly for veteran gamine-connoisseur Benoît Jacquot. But angst-ridden adolescence won't be her signature role much longer, and she kisses it off to splendid effect in Emmanuelle Bercot's Backstage. An enjoyably overwrought meditation on the consequences of celebrity and the vicissitudes of fandom, Backstage stars Le Besco as the schoolgirl acolyte of Emmanuelle Seigner's pop diva, a singer-songwriter and high priestess of cheese. Le Besco makes a pilgrimage to Paris and -- thanks in part to a spontaneous nosebleed at a strategic moment -- manages to cross the border between heaven and earth and insinuate herself into Seigner's entourage. Thereafter, Backstage develops into an appropriately mood-swinging two-hander, with each of the principals more than a little scary. Publicity for Backstage compares it to All About Eve, but Le Besco's character wants something far crazier and more primal than to assume the star's career or have her clothes or her cute boyfriend or even her identity. Those are rational, if not exactly heartwarming, ambitions. Her desire is closer to founding a new religion. She's possessed -- and Backstage is less case history than myth.
Director: Emmanuelle Bercot
Writer: Emmanuelle Bercot and JÃ©rÃ´me Tonnerre
Producer: Caroline Benjo and Carole Scotta
Cast: Isild Le Besco, Emmanuelle Seigner, NoÃ©mie Lvovsky, Valery Zeitoun and Samuel Benchetrit