May 25, 2022

the teacher who could have been a rockstar


As his mother often points out to him, Josh Corman is not to be pitied. A teacher at a school in the San Fernando Valley, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, he lives in the relative comfort of a roommate with his high school friend, Victor. His salary falls every month, he benefits from an honest health insurance and finds some satisfaction in the exercise of his profession.

But, in the gap between what is and what could have been, there is ample room for cultivating doubt and anxiety, flirting with depression, and even, Joseph Gordon-Levitt said to himself, creating a series. The actor (Third planet after the sun, Inception, Looper…) and director (Don Jon) plunged head-first into the psyche of an alter ego, the man he would have become had he not passed his first auditions which paved the way for a brilliant Hollywood career.

From the third episode, the series becomes a balancing act between dream and reality

In ten episodes, Mr. Corman patiently, painstakingly builds the architecture of an almost ordinary life. This spirit of seriousness called for an antidote. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who conceived the series, directed three quarters of it and plays the title role, took the side of a dreamlike nature that is expressed as well by graphic flights as by an expressionist soundtrack (because he is also a musician). It takes a little time for these ingredients to emulsify, but from the third episode, the series becomes a balancing act between dream and reality, and you find yourself, in front of your screen, in the position of the spectator. a circus that projects all its fears and all its hopes onto the tightrope walker.

Almost forty years old, Josh Corman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) carries around with him the memory of his abortive career. Musician, he touched the glory in the company of Megan (Juno Temple), his collaborator and companion, before losing faith and choosing, to the great satisfaction of his mother (Debra Winger), teaching.

Maternal gaze

Against the rules that want each episode to be overflowing with twists and turns, Mr. Corman take his time. Not only to study – through the performance of the lead role – what separates acceptance from resignation, but also to look at this protagonist through the eyes of the other characters. Victor (Arturo Castro) delivers home parcels for a firm with brown trucks. His life (which we will discover in the fourth episode, which is entirely devoted to him) is occupied by a teenage daughter and the after-effects of a divorce, which make Josh’s existential doubts a little derisory.

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