Monday, October 8, 2012

211. The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Can a film be bad if it is centered around a crazy ballerina?  Of course not!

So with P and P you can always be sure of an absolutely beautiful movie.  Even that screen shot above is gorgeous; I always feel like I am seeing color for the first time when I watch one of their movies.  However, I have been pretty bored with their story lines so far.  This movie is the exception.

The film centers on Moira Shearer (one of the most underrated actresses by far) who becomes absolutely obsessed with ballet, neglecting her personal life along the way.  I have never actually been to the ballet, though it is on my bucket list.  Watching her dance was fascinating so if this movie is any indication, I will love it.

Anyway, much like in Black Swan, her life begins to follow the storyline of the ballet she is performing and everything goes to hell.

A movie about ballet that is over two hours sounds like a bore but it is actually probably one of the visually arresting, emotional movies you will ever see.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Moira Shearer said doing this movie was a horrible ordeal and that Powell was an ass (well, those are my words).

Ludovic Kennedy knew he wanted to marry Moira as soon as she arrived on set.

Went majorly over budget.


  1. I saw Moira's red shoes and took a photo of them! You can see it on my blog. Apparently this is one of the thousand movies Scorsese loves so they were part of the Scorsese exhibition in Melbourne.

    1. I just checked out your post! I am so jealous!

  2. Bravo! Encore, encore!

    I like Powell and Pressburger. And not just because one of them is called Emeric Pressburger, although that is a factor. Each of their entries on the list has been imaginative, lovingly crafted and unique. You can't see them pitching their next movie to a finance company by saying something formulaic like "We're going to get John Wayne to play a cowboy, and there's an Indian attack, and..."

    And yet, none of them quite hits the mark for me like it was intended. Maybe ambition exceeded capacity to deliver, maybe nebulous ideas are difficult to tie down to a single two-hour screenplay.

    But this one hit the bullseye. Wonderful and compelling. I like how, as with Busby Berkeley, the on-stage routines are by art design and practicality always made for an edited roll of film rather than a seated live audience, yet although we know this we don't question it because it's done so well.

    The ending felt a little bit clumsy, particularly the way she sailed off the balcony, but let's not split hairs.

    1. That is the way every ballet movie has to end apparently. Ah, to be Amanda Pressburger.