Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Red Shoes: A Movie Review

I just watched a movie worthy of its very own blog post, The Red Shoes, a British film made in 1948 directed and produced by "The Archers" is a wonderfully artistic film. It certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea, and at a little over two hours, it may seem tedious to some; but for me, it was like watching moving art.
It's about a woman (Moira Shearer) who goes from extra to prima ballerina in her company and stars in a ballet commissioned for her by the company's director called "The Red Shoes," based on Hans Christian Andersen's story in which a pair of red shoes cause its wearer to dance without stopping.

Some don't realize, but Hans Christian Andersen's stories are unique; they are often macabre usually without even delivering a moral lesson.
Anyway, Moira's character lives to dance and falls in love with the composer of "The Red Shoes," and it seems all's well that ends well until she's forced to choose between the role she was born to perform or the love of her life. I won't tell you how it ends (obviously), but overall I thought it was a wonderful piece. It's a relatively simple story, and depends equally on the actors' abilities to pull of a character-based yet plot-driven performance. Moira is certainly not the most beautiful actress to grace the screen especially in this era of bombshells and buxom leading ladies in movie history, but I couldn't take my eyes off her especially given her talent for acting besides her effortless movements as a dancer; a rare combination in hollywood portrayals of ballet.

Note: if you happen to be in the mood for a ballet movie that isn't so dated, try The Company for worthy acting and admirable dancing.

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