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The Great Role

Directed by Steve Suissa

France | 89 minutes | 2004

French and Yiddish with English subtitles

Laughter and tears vie for top billing in The Grand Role, the second feature by French director Steve Suissa. Stéphane Freiss is Maurice, a French Jewish actor who, along with three fellow actor friends, has been waiting years for his big break. It comes in the form of the famous American director Rudolph Grishenberg (Peter Coyote) who offers Maurice the part of Shylock in his Yiddish screen adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. But fortunes reverse quickly when Maurice learns that the role must go to another more famous actor and that his beloved wife Perla (Bérénice Bojo) is gravely ill. Maurice comes to believe that the only thing keeping her happy is knowing that her husband is finally going to make it big in show business, which leads Maurice to take on the role of his life. Adapted from a novel by Daniel Goldenberg, The Grand Role is a bittersweet, romantic comedy that starts with a humorous rhythm, and then transforms into something more subtle and meaningful as the characters' fortunes turn. The friendships of the characters and the love they have for one another makes The Grand Role both a charming pleasure to watch and a moving cinematic experience.
Foreign Title Le grand role
Director Steve Suissa
Countries of Production France
Year of Presentation 2004
Language(s) French and Yiddish with English subtitles
Premiere Status
Runtime 89 minutes
Principal Cast Stéphane Freiss, Bérénice Bejo, Peter Coyote
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