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The Red Shoes (Criterion Collection) back to product details

Now THAT'S a ballet!
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written by talltale November 24, 2004 - 4:36 PM PST
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Because Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger are among my favorite directors (certainly my favorite duo, since the "American Splendor" team has only made a couple of films) and I hadn't seen THE RED SHOES in decades, I wanted to learn how this 56-year-old film holds up. In many ways--the opening scene with the students, the movie's amazing "look," much of the acting and particularly the theme of woman's place vis--vis love of her art and love of her man--this remains prime cinema and far ahead of its time. In other ways, the melodrama (let's call a spade a spade) is pretty heavy handed. And as fabulous as the "film-visualized ballet" is to view, it's so impossible in terms of what could be achieved, even today, on the stage, that one wonders what critics and audiences had to say about this unusual movie when it was released in 1948. I can see why so many young women wanted to pursue ballet after seeing it, and why it still holds audiences entranced, especially during the "Red Shoes" ballet sequence (which, oddly, comes smack in the middle, and from which the movie never regains its peak power or artistry). If you've never seen this one and appreciate older movies, do queue. Even if you have seen it, you might very well consider a revisit.

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(Average 8.05)
133 Votes
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