Wednesday, July 26th, 2017


This new French feature film co-directed by world-renowned choreographer Angelin Preljoçaj along with screenwriter Valérie Müller is an adaption of Bastien Vivès novel about a young girl pursuing her dreams and it very firmly makes the dancing far more important than the actual plot itself.  This is more of an observation than a criticism and it is  a move that will certainly make this film a firm favorite with both contemporary dance fiends and balletomanes alike.

Polina (Anastasia Shevtsova) is the only child of working-class Russian parents who will do anything, including some dangerous black-marketing in order that Polina can be able to train with the prestigious Bolshoi Theater Ballet.  It seems that this is very much their  dream and that their talented daughter just goes along with it to keep them happy, especially as she hates the fact that her teachers are universally tough to be point of being cruel to her.  However when she is a teenager and discovers boys and contemporary dance which she embraces both with real enthusiasm,  even it means leaving her past and ballet behind her.

When her French beau and fellow dancer Adrien (Niels Schneider) decides decides to go back home, she tags along too, and they both for audition for  a place in one of the top contemporary dance troupes in Aix-n-Provence run by Liria (Juliette Binoche).  Despite her initial enthusiasm about the prospect of working with such a prestigious choreographer/teacher like Liria, an unhappy Polina takes off again the moment the going gets  tough.

This time she ends up alone in Antwerp and unable to find a dancing job and completely broke,  works in a busy salubrious Bar pulling pints. However one day she comes across a choreographer teaching am improv class and she is hooked. Handsome Adrien (played by Paris Opera Ballet star Jérémie Bélingard) may not totally steal her heart, but he steals every scene he is in, especially when he is dancing and simply makes the screen radiate.

Shevtsova maybe no real match for the masterful Bélingard but she executes her part well, and as does Binoche who evidently done her fair share of dancing in the past.

The movie starts off a little laden with it’s  cliched plot but once it abandons that and then focuses on the dancing, it starts to become much more entertaining partly due to the very innovative way that those scenes in particular have been filmed.


Posted by queerguru  at  07:54


Genres:  drama, international

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