Monday, July 7, 2014

Center Stage (2000)

IMDb plot summary: A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner. Starring Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Ethan Stiefel, and Susan May Pratt.

This is like... a legit ballet movie. I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting more of a High School Musical/Glee thing where everybody's pretty amateur and it's fun but not great. But the dance sequences in this are REALLY good. (IMDb confirms that most of the main dancers were indeed either professional ballet dancers or had had ballet training. Including Zoe Saldana, which I didn't know.)

While the many many things going on are a bit overwhelming -- I really only managed to remember maybe a third of the characters -- I HAVE to respect a movie that spends almost 30 of its final 40 minutes doing actual ballet. Even if some of that ballet dancing is done to the music of Michael Jackson. (Actually, I LOVED that dance. So awesome.) The final 40 minutes totally made up for any awkwardness of the first hour. This is well worth the watch for people who like dance movies.

4 stars.

Flickchart: #432 out of 2173, below Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and above Hoodwinked.

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