Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Red Shoes (1948)
After Lermontov releases Craster from his contract, if he gives Victoria an ultimatum- Craster or the ballet. Victoria marries Craster but finds that as his career takes off, she is stifled. Though she continues to dance, nothing compares to the attention, demands, and talent of Lermontov’s lavish productions.
Almost a year later, Lermontov intentionally runs into Victoria in Monte Carlo and begs her back into his company. Secretly, he loves her but mostly he loves her talent and dedication. Victoria agrees to dance again for The Ballet of the Red Shoes which Lermontov has not mounted since she left. Her opening night coincides with Craster’s premiere of his opera at Covent Garden but Craster forgoes his big moment, faking illness in order to go to Monte Carlo and get Victoria out of Lermontov’s clutches. Victoria is torn between love for Craster and love of her art, leading to drastic consequences.
A visually stunning film (I mean, take a gander at those photos!) and one of the few examples where Technicolor works (in most scenes) The Red Shoes is more a masterpiece for the music and dancing than the acting, which comes in a close second. I say this considering the weight and potential of the plotline. However, Shearer (in her first film role) and Walbrook do stand out for their intensity and chemistry onscreen. The ballet sequences are pure beauty in rythym and coated in beautiful costumery. Often cited as Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell’s best work, The Red Shoes is a definite must see!
Tonight on TCM!
You wanna see some good movies? Good! Some Merchant Ivory films are being featured tonight!