Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star

Canadian Premiere on June 28 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto

Leslie Caron, the beloved star of classic American cinema, is one of the last witnesses to a golden age of the 20th century. She is a rare triple threat of talent in the worlds of film, dance, and theatre.

Though her early childhood was bathed in luxury, Caron’s life changed dramatically with the start of World War II. The deprivation of those years affected her mental and physical health. Driven by her American mother to pursue a career in the ballet, she found discipline and a professional focus at a young age. At 18, her world changed forever.

Discovered while dancing onstage in France by Gene Kelly, she co-starred in An American in Paris and was catapulted to stardom. Success followed success with musicals Daddy Long Legs and Gigi, and Academy Award nominations and British awards for dramas Lili and The L-Shaped Room. Her life turned into the stuff that movies are made of - international celebrity, lavish parties, and love affairs with powerful men.

She is the only performer who can claim to have danced with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Rudolf Nureyev! Rounding out a career of distinction, more recently she has acted in Chocolat and Le Divorce, and won an Emmy for her appearance on Law and Order.

As an artist struggling to fulfill her destiny, she fought obstacles: the young French ballet dancer of An American in Paris leapt beyond the dancer stereotype to become an award-winning dramatic actress. But with greater success came personal sacrifices.

Our film begins in present-day Paris where Leslie resides, and unfolds as a journey that takes us back to a glorious time in Hollywood. It is a story seen through the prism of a living legend who reveals stories of a life lived large and with passion. It offers a rare and privileged glimpse into the world of the beloved icons of film, dance, and theatre of the 20th century - a world of contradictions, ambitions, dreams, nostalgia, and intense emotion - through one of its most luminous personalities.

Information

2016 – 1 hour documentary


Producers: Vanessa Dylyn and Anne Schuchman

Director: Larry Weinstein

Editor: David New


North American Distributor:

Craig McGillivray

Breakthrough Entertainment

Email: cmcgillivray@breakthroughentertainment.com


International Distributor:

Tracy Beckett

PBS International

Email: tabeckett@pbs.org


Produced in association with:

Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit

and

Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit