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   THE COMPANY (2003) 

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CAST
Neve Campbell
Malcolm McDowell
James Franco
Barbara E. Robertson
William Dick
Susie Cusack
Marilyn Dodds Frank
John Lordan
Mariann Mayberry
Roderick Peeples

DIRECTED BY
Robert Altman

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 112 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama/Musical


SYNOPSIS: Ensemble drama centered around a group of ballet dancers, with a focus on one young dancer (Campbell) who's poised to become a principal performer.

BOTTOM LINE: If it weren't for the amazingly beautiful and innovative ballet sequences this wouldn't be much of a movie since it doesn't have much of a plot. THE COMPANY focuses on the trials and tribulations of a troupe of dancers as they struggle with fame and lack of fortune while preparing for one production after another. Neve Campbell may be the biggest name in the cast – and proves she's quite a dancer – but she's hardly the star of this piece.

The ballet numbers are the film's main focus leaving the dancers interchangable and their personalities fairly flat, however their dance talent truly shines though. McDowell is the only character that makes an impression, though that's mostly because he's playing a flamboyant tyrant who cares only about the success of his troupe. His dancers are his children, yet he refuses to play favorites. His choices are what's best for the Company, not the individual, which gives you a real feel for the group dynamic.

What draws you along is the anticipation of the next production number. The music and visuals are hypnotic and striking, leaving you with a sense of wonder at the physical yet ethereal quality of the movement. This film will most likely appeal to a limited audience, but it truly makes you appreciate the hard work, talent and vision needed to bring a ballet to life. Every dancer dreams of being the star and this film brings you into the process of creation and performance in a magical way.

THE COMPANY left me wanting more which is a big complement to Campbell, et al. It certainly gave me a greater appreciation of ballet, which has evolved, at least according to this film, into an energtic, vibrant and modern art form. One I will definitely be paying more attention to.




"Thinking about the motion isn't being the motion."

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