9 user 29 critic

Polina, danser sa vie (2016)

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A young girl studies classical ballet. As a young woman she turns to modern dance and choreography.


Valérie Müller (screenplay), Bastien Vives (book) (as Bastien Vivès)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Anastasia Shevtsova Anastasia Shevtsova ... Polina
Veronika Zhovnytska Veronika Zhovnytska ... Polina (8 ans)
Juliette Binoche ... Liria Elsaj
Aleksey Guskov ... Bojinski
Niels Schneider ... Adrien
Jérémie Belingard Jérémie Belingard ... Karl
Miglen Mirtchev ... Anton
Kseniya Kutepova ... Natalia
Sergio Díaz Sergio Díaz ... Sergio
Oriana Jimenez Oriana Jimenez ... Svetlana
Ambroise Divaret Ambroise Divaret ... Alex
Yana Maizel Yana Maizel ... Assistante Bojinski
Irina Vavilova ... Anna Alexandrovna
Léna Gousseva Léna Gousseva ... Employée Bojinski
Gennadiy Fomin ... Eldar


SPOILER: A young girl from a modest Russian family studies classical ballet. After many difficulties, she succeeds as a young woman to enter the prestigious Bolchoi. However she turns to modern dance, then improvisation, then choreography. The movie includes beautiful dances from acclaimed choreographer Angelin Preljocaj. Written by Teyss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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French | Russian

Release Date:

16 November 2016 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Polina See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$165,203, 26 October 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie is loosely based on the comic strip by Bastien Vivès ("Polina", 2011). See more »


Concerto for violin and orchestra
Music by Philip Glass
Violin by Adele Anthony
Ulster Orchestra
Conducted by T. Yuada
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting look into ballet, otherwise rather boring
4 March 2018 | by dallas_viewerSee all my reviews

I found the scenes where we're watching ballet practice (the Bolshoi, or in Aix) to be very interesting. As an American, I found the European settings and atmosphere pretty compelling. But otherwise, this movie was unsatisfying and even boring at times for me. I honestly felt after watching that this was a niche film that would appeal primarily to students or aficionados of ballet, or folks employed in the field of dance.

In between the scenes of Polina rehearsing and taking dance classes, we see her becoming disillusioned, disappointed, lost. She spends the film wandering from one unsatisfying dance experience to the next. Ultimately she does seem to find a dance style that she enjoys, but by then I did not really care. I was just happy this tedious and unfulfilling journey was over.

If you read the IMDB user review by Teyss, that review does a good job of describing the movie. Some of the things Teyss admires, though, I found to be weaknesses in the film.

As far as the more unexplained or baffling incidents and scenes, well, I felt that I was supposed to understand something important about Polina from those moments, but I guess the importance eluded me.

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