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The Company (2003)

  Directed by: Robert Altman
Written by: Neve Campbell, Barbara Turner
Starring: Neve Campbell, James Franco, Malcolm McDowell
Links: The Company on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Not just for fans of the ballet" - a review by pearly

Until seeing The Company, when I thought of Neve Campbell, I pictured that skinny little thing from Party of Five. However, there's more to her than this: she joined the National Ballet School of Canada at the age of 9, and, picturing a film about what it's like to be a part of a ballet school, she co-wrote The Company with Barbara Turner.

Campbell also stars as one of the up-and-coming dancers of the fictional company. The film has only a loose storyline, and is focused around the performances of the company, and then takes a bit of a backstage look into their rehearsals and their private lives. The film begins with the curtains opening on a beautiful ballet performance with ribbons, and then goes backstage, where we're introduced to Alberto Antonelli (Malcolm McDowell), the tough and slightly insane creative director of the company. And although I don't know much about ballet, these scenes of rehearsals sat really well with me: it all rung true.

And so the film meanders on, from one performance to another, showing that ideas that the audience laughs about during the rehearsal period could turn into spectacular end products. Exploring the incredible strain that this art-form places on the body with illustration of a couple of injuries. Taking a look at the pressure of being a ballerina; how much of a person's life is taken up with it, and how much of a cut-throat business it is. But mostly, marvelling at the dance itself, and the way that the performers grow and shape their art.

Frankly, even writing about it now, it seems boring as can be to someone like me, someone who doesn't have any real interest in the ballet. But the thing is that The Company manages to provide a truly fascinating couple of hour's worth of entertainment. Much longer and it would have become too much, but what's great about The Company is that, being filmed, the performances are able to be captured from many angles, which provides an interest that could not be gained from sitting in the audience at a live concert, and the behind-the-scenes look was actually really great, especially because of McDowell's character, who was spot-on.

Great to watch for a couple of hours, but I'm glad I'm not a ballerina!

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 1 Jul 2004

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