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Ballet Shoes (2007)

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The story of three orphan girls (Pauline, Petrova, and Posy), adopted by an eccentric explorer, Great Uncle Matthew, and his niece Sylvia, in 1930s London.


Sandra Goldbacher


Noel Streatfeild (novel), Heidi Thomas (screenplay)
4,138 ( 190)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Emilia Fox ... Sylvia Brown
Victoria Wood ... Nana
Emma Watson ... Pauline Fossil
Yasmin Paige ... Petrova Fossil
Lucy Boynton ... Posy Fossil
Richard Griffiths ... Great Uncle Matthew
Marc Warren ... Mr. Simpson
Lucy Cohu ... Theo Dane
Gemma Jones ... Dr. Jakes
Harriet Walter ... Dr. Smith
Eileen Atkins ... Madame Fidolia
Heather Nicol Heather Nicol ... Winifred Bagnall
Mary Stockley ... Miss Jay
Teresa Churcher ... Clara
Skye Bennett ... Young Sylvia


Pauline, Petrova, and Posy Fossil live with Sylvia Brown, their guardian. Money is tight and as the story opens, three boarders - a garage owner, a retired English professor, and a dance teacher - come to stay. Theo Dane, the dance teacher, has the girls accepted at her school by the formidable Madame, and the three go on the stage to help raise money. Each discovers her talents - Pauline as an actress, Petrova in fixing engines, and Posy as a dancer. Written by Hilary Caws-Elwitt

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dreams do come true...


Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

26 December 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Baletni copatki See more »

Filming Locations:

Bloomsbury, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based on the book by Noel Streatfeild See more »


The "ballet shoes" the girls wear throughout the film are far too modern for the era depicted. See more »


[Miss Jay meets Pauline and Winifred after their Alice auditions]
Miss Jay: Well done, you two. Right, Pauline is to play Alice
[pauses as girls gasp]
Miss Jay: and Winifred is to be engaged as understudy.
Pauline Fossil: [starts to say] What?
Winifred: [interrupts] When I finished my dance, people clapped! Nobody clapped her, there was just silence!
Miss Jay: Dance is important, but Pauline looks right for Alice.
Winifred: She looks right for everything, she always will!
[looks at Pauline and murmurs]
Winifred: Pretty face... blonde hair...
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Featured in Ballet Shoes: Interview with Emma Watson (2007) See more »


Begin the Beguine
By Cole Porter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Charming and delightful fantasy
16 February 2008 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

Noel Streatfeild's book 'Ballet Shoes' was read by nearly every English girl who is now a woman over fifty. It was filmed in 1975 and here it is again. If you don't mind the fact that the plot will not stand a close examination (one character disappears for twelve years without explanation, before returning, but no one finds that odd), and if you are willing to watch a film for its fairtytale qualities and sparkle, then you will find this most enjoyable and well done. Most viewers will be female, either women delightfully reminiscing, or young girls still innocent enough to dream (if there are any left who are not already binge-drinking and having sex at the age of ten). Heidi Thomas's script doesn't even try to make sense of the implausible plot, but just gets on with the fun. The film has been very well directed by Sandra Goldbacher, now we hope rescued from the world of television advertising. The story concerns three orphan girls living in a big house whose owner is absent. They are played with tremendous youthful energy and verve by Emma Watson, Yasmin Paige, and Lucy Boynton. They are 'running out of money' and cannot afford dresses, despite the fact that they live in a huge mansion (see page 94), but let's not worry about that inconsistency. One wants to act, one wants to be a ballet dancer, and one wants to be an airplane pilot. Well, why not? They struggle and have vicissitudes, as one must do to succeed, and manage to earn enough money to keep the bailiffs from the door. They are looked after by Emilia Fox, who coughs and becomes increasingly frail and wan but never quite gets the TB that is hinted at, and she falls in love, and is broken-hearted and desolate, but ... well, I ain't sayin' what happens there. Comedienne Victoria Wood is a kind of super-nanny to all, showing her warm heart straight off the AGA, Richard Griffiths is as jolly as ever when he is around, and that is very jolly indeed. Everybody has a great time, and so do we.

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