Story:Now, this is definitely a new breed of movie. It's almost a documentary style. There's no solid story, just an overarching theme. In many ways, the movie itself is like a representation of the modern ballets it performs. The ballets have a vague story, but what is more important is the talent and the emotion that their dancing evokes in the audience.
The story also had its funny moments. I love when a dancer starts talking back to the ballet director (master? I'm not quite sure what he preferred to be called) and the Christmas skits were also really funny. The funny bits added a nice change of pace in juxtaposition to the more serious ballet rehearsals and company concerns.
I liked this movie. I liked hearing the ballet rehearsals since they reminded me of the old days I danced in high school. I read that the screenwriter didn't know anything about ballet, but after spending time with the Chicago ballet, wrote the script. I have to say, she did a pretty good job, and I felt it made a really good representation of the stresses and fun times a ballet company goes through.
This is mostly for older audiences, since there's nudity and sex references. Older kids in their teens would be fine, but if you're looking for a great family film, this is definitely not a good choice since it probably won't hold their attention.
Characters:I won't separate main characters from supporting characters since everyone is equally important in this story, but I will look at the ballerina the movie follows most. She's the budding star of the company, and she goes by her last name, Ryan, or Ry for short. Neve Campbell plays her character and she definitely looks like she knows what she's doing. She dances her own parts, which I love. (I hate "clever" editing to hide an actress' inability to perform the moves because you can always tell they aren't really performing.) But she performed her own part, and quite well, too. She trained for four months to get back into shape and she looks great.
Sets/Costumes:I can't say much about costumes since they wore your everyday outfits. The ballet costumes were either minimal or bizarre, so I can't comment too much on these. The sets, however, are great. I loved seeing Chicago as the back drop. In fact, one of the outdoor performances takes place at a Lollapalooza stage. Lady Gaga actually performed on the very same stage they danced on. The movie did a great job of capturing some of the major Chicago landmarks, such as the el-train, which drives past Ry's apartment several times in the movie.
Music:Was there music? I don't know. There was music during the ballet performances, but I wasn't to blown away by anything I heard. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad.
Camera:The camera was odd at times. Most of the time it was great! But sometimes we would get an odd zoom, like the ones I do on my digital camera. There were definitely odd moments, but for the most part, it was fine. The scenes were set up real nice, like the picture of the stage above.
Ballet Presence:Ballet is everywhere. Can't avoid it, so if you don't like it, stay away. Why are you at this blog anyway? The film features mostly modern ballets. I don't recognize any personally, but I don't know much about modern ballet, so these could have been created for the movie.