The Leading Man
|The Leading Man|
|Directed by||John Duigan|
|Produced by||Paul Raphael
|Written by||Virginia Duigan|
|Distributed by||Northern Arts Entertainment|
|6 September 1996 (Canada)
22 May 1997 (Australia)
12 September 1997 (U.K.)
6 March 1998 (U.S.)
The Leading Man is a 1996 British romantic drama film directed by John Duigan. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1996 but was not released in the United States until March 1998. The film is set in London in the winter.
A brash American actor, Robin Grange, goes to London to feature in a major new play. The playwright of the production, Felix Webb, is having an intense affair with the leading lady, Hilary Rule. His wife of fourteen years, Eleanor, suspects that her husband is cheating and cannot suppress her rage. Robin comes up with an intriguing plan; to seduce Felix's elegant wife to end hassling her husband. In desperation, Felix agrees, but soon faces a dilemma in that he feels increasingly jealous of Robin's attempts to seduce his willing wife, especially when he charms (and attempts to seduce) Hilary and the other members of the production and becomes too popular at Felix's expense. Felix is caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, prompting him to seek revenge on the opening night of his new production.
- Jon Bon Jovi as Robin Grange
- Anna Galiena as Elena Webb
- Lambert Wilson as Felix Webb
- Thandie Newton as Hilary Rule
- Barry Humphries as Humphrey Beal
- Patricia Hodge as Delvene
- Diana Quick as Susan
- Harriet Walter as Liz Flett
- David Warner as Tod
The film currently holds a 63% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Whilst sighting enjoying performances by most of the cast, critics have given the film mixed reviews, Film4 arguing whether it is considered to be a comedy, drama or both, with neither making a large impression. The New York Times reviewed the film as "watchable without being gripping".
- "The Leading Man". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Leading Man, The". Film4. Channel 4. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Van Gelder, Lawrence (20 March 1998). "'The Leading Man,': Watchable but Not Gripping". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 4 October 2014.