6.9/10
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76 user 91 critic

The Dancer Upstairs (2002)

Trailer
0:34 | Trailer
A police detective in a South American country is dedicated to hunting down a revolutionary guerilla leader.

Director:

John Malkovich

Writers:

Nicholas Shakespeare (novel), Nicholas Shakespeare (screenplay)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Javier Bardem ... Agustín Rejas
Juan Diego Botto ... Sucre
Laura Morante ... Yolanda
Elvira Mínguez ... Llosa
Alexandra Lencastre ... Sylvina Rejas
Oliver Cotton ... Merino
Luís Miguel Cintra Luís Miguel Cintra ... Calderón
Javier Manrique ... Clorindo
Abel Folk ... Ezequiel / Durán
Marie-Anne Berganza Marie-Anne Berganza ... Laura
Lucas Rodríguez Lucas Rodríguez ... Gómez
Xabier Elorriaga ... Pascual
Natalia Dicenta ... Marina
Wolframio Sinué ... Santiago
Ramiro Jiménez Ramiro Jiménez ... Sergeant Pisac
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Storyline

The story of Detective Agustin Rejas, a man clinging to the hope of an impossible love in an impossible world. Tracking Ezequiel, a delusional anarchist who incites the downtrodden masses to join in his brutal revolution against the fascist government in their unnamed Latin American country, Rejas finds solace in his sense of self-respect and the joy that his daughter and wife bring him. Then he meets Yolanda--his daughter's soulfully beautiful ballet teacher--a woman who sparks his long-forgotten passions and represents all that is good and all that is corrupt in their troubled country. But she, who appears to be a shelter from the storm, may in actuality be the storm's eye. Ultimately, as the revolution intensifies and the net closes around hunter and hunted alike, the dancer's truth will prove as elusive as the revolutionary's cause and the detective's peace. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An honest man caught in a world of intrigue, power and passion.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story is inspired by the Maoist insurgency in Peru known as the Shining Path. Its leader Abimael Guzmán, who was known by the nom de guerre President Gonzalo, was captured in an apartment above a ballet studio in the capital city of Lima in 1992. The ballet teacher Yolanda was based on Maritza Garrido Lecca, the woman in whose apartment Guzmán was found. Bardem's character was inspired by Benedicto Jimenez and Gen. Antonio Ketin Vidal, the leading figures responsible for Guzmán's capture. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, Ezequiel also denounces Chinese Premier Xiaoping Deng. Deng ruled China from 1976 to 1989. However, when Det. Lt. Agustín Rejas browses through several women's magazines such as Glamour, he encounters "recent" pictures of models such as Josie Maran and Gisele Bündchen. Maran didn't start her modeling career until 1990, a year after Deng left office. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Indian 1 in Pick-up: [calmly after hitting road-side cop, about person on radio] Why does she talk so much?
Ezequiel: [equally calm] She's preparing to sing.
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Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank ... the residents of Narcisos Street ... See more »

Connections

References Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Cygne
(1886)
from "Le Carnaval des Animaux"
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns (as Camile Saints-Saëns)
Performed by Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich (as Marta Argerich)
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon
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User Reviews

A promising debut
30 March 2003 | by R. J.See all my reviews

A curious but not entirely unexpected idiossyncratic choice from John Malkovich for his directing debut, this adaptation of Nicholas Shakespeare's novel fictionalising the capture of the leader of the Peruvian Shining Path revolutionary movement is a more pensive, less political throwback to the European "political thrillers" of the 1970s made popular by directors such as Costa-Gavras. Malkovich, however, dislocates the film's centre from politics into personal mores, following the story of Javier Bardem, as the police detective assigned to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious terrorist leader "Ezequiel". In a superbly controlled performance, Bardem emphasizes the vulnerability of this disenchanted, seen-it-all cop thrown against his will into the frying-pan and the way he attempts to maintain his dignity and uphold the law he no longer believes in. Malkovich proves an engaging director - despite its lengthy running time (and although it could use a slight trim), the film is neither predictable nor overstays its welcome, and the actors deliver consistently good performances. One wishes Malkovich had looked for a better story to tell, but as debuts go this is a promising one.


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Details

Country:

Spain | USA

Language:

English | Quechua | Spanish

Release Date:

23 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dancer Upstairs See more »

Filming Locations:

Ecuador See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$106,142, 4 May 2003

Gross USA:

$2,377,348

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,227,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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