A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.
The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun leads to more difficult choices as the Nazis begin ... See full summary »
Robert Sean Leonard,
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
The education of three young students, Jodie, Eva and Maureen, as they study at the American Ballet Academy. Life isn't what they expected at the esteemed ABA, and all three face problems along the road. Jodie doesn't have the "ideal" body for dancing, Eva doesn't have the right attitude, and Maureen doesn't have the heart. Along the way, they learn that love can be found in unlikely places, and dancing should be a passion, not a duty. Written by
Wouldn't it be nice if someone produced a film about ballet with an interesting story? Unfortunately, `Center Stage' is not it. While charming at times with a very upbeat ending, the story is ultimately just another jejune and unoriginal teen flick. Instead of teens in jeans, we have teens in tights. Otherwise, the storylines are indistinguishable, lacking anything that approaches novelty, depth or substance.
That having been said, this likeable film was easy to watch and the dancing was exquisite. If only there had been more of it. The fact that the cast was filled with real dancers instead of actors pretending to be dancers improved its realism and delivered fantastic dancing scenes without the need for stunt dancers. Unfortunately, the flip side of this decision was the fact that the acting was generally mediocre.
Two standouts were Amanda Schull (Jody Sawyer) and Zoe Saldana (Eva Rodriguez). Schull was affable yet determined and was most credible in her portrayal of a struggling dancer. Saldana played the irreverent bad girl who was brilliantly talented but had trouble with authority. She emerged as the most complete of any of the cast members, being both a good dancer and an excellent actor.
On the terrible side, we have Susan May Pratt (Maureen), who has done a string of teen flicks (`Drive Me Crazy', `Ten Things I Hate About You'). As always, she was consistently puerile and abrasive. Peter Gallagher is not known for lighting up the screen, but he was flat even for him (if that is possible).
I rated this film a 7/10 because I love ballet and all kinds of dance. Subtract at least two points if you don't share that passion, unless you love teen flicks.
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