An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to...
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An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to become a dancer for the Kirov Academy of Ballet again, but he wishes to escape, but can he trust the American? Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
While the interior of the Kirov Theater was filmed in a theater in Portugal, the exterior seen in the film is the actual Kirov theater in Leningrad in the then USSR. The filming location (Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg, Russia) differs, because the present name of the theater, the city and the country are used. See more »
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Fine interesting movie, wonderfully acted (and of course danced)
I just saw this on television - having resisted my sister-in-law's entreaties years ago to see it. It's awfully good.
The movie is imaginative - having Gregory Hines in a theater in Siberia, a defector to Russia when disillusioned and unable to find use for his talents as an adult tap dancer in America after the Vietnam War, married to the translator initially assigned him (an astonishing peformance by Isabella Rosellini), and performing Porgy & Bess to audiences including Russian troops - well, it's a character and situation you don't find in movies every day!
I was amazed at the close-knit work of actors who were not then first name movie stars - and at how well-drawn these characters are -
Helen Mirren is superb as Baryshnikov's former lover, partner, and now director of the Kirov Ballet - angry and constantly deluding herself that things are getting more artistically free in Russia -
Baryshnikov is excellent, reliving the pain of defection in his old theater, seeing a tape of himself when at 17 he was care-free and full of illusory ambition, the discovery of the erasure of his name among children in Russia, the anger of his former partner for his abandonment of her and denunciation of his "selfishness" in defecting -
Hines as a man living with an atrocious mistake and trying always to justify itself to himself - in Siberia, he seems like a man on Mars -
an almost unrecognizable Rosellini as a Russian woman in pained love with Hines (just the looks on her face of love and sympathy and pity and helplessness for Hines are so powerful and moving - I'll never forget them)-
the four are so very very fine together. Each TRULY seems the person they're portraying. If one were to see news photographs or a documentary about such characters - they would look this way, sound this way, move and speak and dress this way.
The dancing is very enjoyable to watch - and you really needn't be a fan of dance (I'm not) to marvel at it.
The only downside of the movie is that it takes these four fascinating and pained characters, and stuffs them into a somewhat formulaic action plot. I also found the music too heavy throughout - let there be silences as they contemplate their messy situations.
This is very well worth seeing.
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