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Have you ever wondered why some critics review films? They don't even seem to like movies that much from what they write. I LOVE movies, and think about them long after the last credits roll across the screen. My reviews are meant to inform, entertain and never have a spoiler.
Enjoy my reviews and please comment and come back frequently! Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Enchantment reigns at each performance of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker. With music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, it is a holiday classic and the fuel that allows most every ballet company to exist throughout the rest of the year.

Disney has jumped to the challenge of making a film about the characters brought to life in this classic ballet. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, currently in theaters, is an adventure fantasy that takes liberties with the story even while using familiar themes and characters throughout the revised tale. The film is rated PG for some mild peril.

With heavy use of special effects, Clara (Mackenzie Foy), the heroine of our story, ventures into the Four Realms (Land of Snowflakes, Flowers, Sweets and the scary fourth realm of Mother Ginger). She discovers that her now deceased mother visited these realms herself many years ago.

The story works well, and will bring a tear to anyone who is not hard hearted as we follow Clara as she grieves the loss of her mother. Herr Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) is an inventor extraordinaire, and knew her mother well. He is the catalyst for Clara’s journey.

Once through the Land of Snowflakes, where Clara surprisingly walks in frigid weather in a world blanketed by snow in just a flimsy looking gown, she meets Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley). I would love to have Sugar Plum’s coiffure of cotton candy like hair! The costuming throughout this tale is equally exquisite.

Helen Mirren plays Mother Ginger. Good and evil are not at all what they first appear to be, and Clara learns about herself and her mother during her adventure. The beautiful and talented Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre dances both during the film and through the final credits.

I would recommend this film to old and young alike, if you appreciate ballet and the story of The Nutcracker. Do you personally enjoy The Nutcracker each year, and do you know of any other films that celebrate this classic ballet?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


I am a ballet fan. I love everything about this form of dance, so when I saw available on Netflix Leap, an animated feature film about a girl who wants to be a dancer, I was intrigued. The film is rated PG for some impolite humor, and action.

Not a great story, but an interesting one, Felicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) are two older children in an orphanage in Brittany, France. They want to escape, and go to Paris to fulfill their dreams. Here is my first complaint. Why would anyone care if a few children escaped from an orphanage? It’s not like they were toddlers after all, but the Mother Superior sends Luteau (Mel Brooks) to pursue them and bring them back.

Eventually, the two friends do make a successful escape and arrive in Paris, a city where dreams come true. Felicie ends up at the Grand Opera House in pursuit of her dream to become a dancer, and Victor finds a job as an assistant in the workshop of the architect of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, both currently under construction.

I found the city of Paris during these famous changes to the skyline to be enchanting. Felicie encounters Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), (named after the ballerina in Swan Lake), a woman with a limp who is housemaid to a “dance mom” and her daughter Camille (Maddie Ziegler). Camille trains incessantly so she will win a role in the upcoming Nutcracker performance. Felicie steals the acceptance letter for Camille and enters the school of ballet under false pretences. At first awkward and a complete beginner, she prevails and begins to learn, especially when Odette begins instructing her.

The music of the film was taken from famous ballets, and that part was fun. Let me be clear: if you are a young girl who loves dance and especially ballet, you will like this film. If you are someone like me who is an adult and loves ballet, this little film may amuse you. Anyone else, please don’t bother.

The ending message is to not give up, and to follow your dreams, noble thoughts, but the stealing of the letter to get into ballet school is clearly not the way to go.