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The Company (Sous-titres français)

Neve Campbell , James Franco , Robert Altman    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 55.87
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The Company (Sous-titres français) + Center Stage (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force Of A FIlm! July 19 2004
I love ballet! I love good dance in general. So watching Robert Altman's "The Company" was 112 minutes of pure bliss. Altman takes us onstage, and off-stage, for a look at the world of dance, dancers, choreographers, set and costume designers and a ballet director, Alberto Antonelli, played wonderfully well by Malcolm McDowell. Actress Neve Campbell, best known for her roles in horror flicks, was trained for years in classical ballet. She is absolutely beautiful, and an extraordinarily lithe, exciting dancer. (No more scary movies Neve!!). It is obvious that she has put a lot of herself into this film. Not only does she play a major role, but she co-wrote and co-produced the movie. She did all of her own dancing, and seems to fit right in with the professional dancers from the Joffrey Ballet Troupe of Chicago, which is featured here.
The film is loosely structured and documentary-like. The viewer gets a a fly on the wall look at a dancer's life as Altman takes us behind the scenes, up close and personal. We watch both the professional and personal - from the grueling physical toll of constant practice to brilliant performances. The dancers' effort to perfect their mastery of dance is totally honest, and this artistic honesty really makes the film as special as a live performance. There are some spectacular dance performances throughout, with splendid colors, electric energy, creative costumes, and wonderful footwork which showcase the Joffrey Ballet Company. There's an opening modern piece where dancers leap across the stage with streamers, that is just fabulous. In another sequence a ballerina dances on and around a swing. Altman's camera emphasizes her grace and elegance, and this is one of the movie's high points for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Altman Slice of Life July 6 2004
First of all, this is not a plotted movie about the life of a dancer, although it pivots around a central character named Ry (Neve Campbell), a rising dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Rather, what Altman attempts to do is to convey a dancer's milieu--the physical pressures, the competitiveness, and the sheer joy of dancing. The dancing sequences are spectacular--Altman appreciates and savors each of them, without doing any heavily MTV-esque editing.
If you like Robert Altman, odds are good you will enjoy this film, although it is lighter on character development than much of his other work. If you are a serious fan of dance, you will enjoy this film for the attention it pays to the beauty of the art form. If you want a plot, particularly a standard love affair between Ry and her chef beau (James Franco), look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First of all, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not a big fan of dance in general and ballet particularly. Next, there is essentially no story in this movie--it's more of a documentary style look at how dance productions are put together. With all that, I loved this movie. I was totally swept up with the dance numbers which are extremely creative and haunting and fun to watch. In addition, Malcolm MacDowell is wonderful as that crusty genius who runs the show. He is absolutely convincing. I was fascinated watching the performances rehearsed and how they went from choosing the dancers to the final spectacle on the stage. If you appreciate art at all and are fascinated at what it takes to expose yourself as an artist on the stage, I highly, highly recommend this film. Robert Altman continues to amaze. Bravo!
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4.0 out of 5 stars a new approach July 3 2004
By A Customer
The key to understanding this movie is that it is completely based on unspoken dialogue. Thus, it crosses boundaries in cinema genres and defies categorization.
Through Altman's brilliant artistic direction, the audience is left to put the puzzle together, and piece the story together. Those who had watched 'Center Stage', and eagerly anticipated 'The Company' would have to watch this recent film with an entirely different frame of mind.
In 'Center Stage', the plot was convulated and sickeningly predictable topped with a script that is filled with deliberate dialogue that points out every plot twist and turn. The audience is TOLD what is happening and why through the characters' script. Conversely, 'The Company' makes a convincing attempt to create a realistic story, which is following a company's (yes, clichéd as it may be) trials and tribulations throughout a year. Realistic script and subtle details in exquisite camerawork result with the audience filling in the blanks and filling out the plot.
The fullness and richness of the plot is left to the audience to decipher from the details in 'The Company', unlike most dance movies that cater to a lazy mind. It helps to realise that the point of 'The Company' is to create an accurate portayal of the dance world, not a chick flick drama juxtaposed over the dance world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Understated but very effective June 19 2004
By Tom Shi
At first glance this movie is a strange beast. Not quite drama, not documentary, not even docudrama. Maybe it can best be described as a series of slightly fictionalized vignettes that follows a few months in a real-world ballet company. Despite the lack of plot, high drama, character development, or other things we usually expect from movies, The Company never fails to be fascinating in its portrayal of the lives of the dancers and the inner-workings of their profession.
The filmmaker's restrained approach gave the movie a sense of realness absent in conventional dramas, yet doesn't dilute it's power. After all, the events depicted really happened, and the dancers on screen are dancers in real life. The movie makes its points with small, finely-observed moments that says much. For example, when a star dancer snap her Achilles Tendon, she was quickly replaced. As she was carried off stage it seemed that's the last we will see of her since that injury effectively ends her career. But later at a public performance we see her limping to the side of the stage to watch her replacement dancing in her role.
The reasons for these people's tremendous dedication were never explicitly articulated in the movie. Some find this as a lack of depth. But I feel words are not necessary, nor adequate, to illustrate it. Simply take a look at the power and the grace the dancers display on stage, one would understand their passion and sacrifice.
As a bonus, the DVD has a worthwhile commentary track, in which Altman and Campell discuss the the actual Joffrey company and its dancers in relation to the movie. Interesting and informative.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow and beautiful
This is more like a literary short story with video, as nothing is resolved and no one changes. But it's beautiful and a great look inside the backstage of a ballet / modern dance... Read more
Published 6 months ago by C. Cameron
I really couldn't come to care for any of the characters in this movie. The ballet is beautiful, especially the group performances. However, the actors failed to draw me in. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by mamayokay
2.0 out of 5 stars TUTU'S COMPANY
Well, it had to happen eventually. A Robert Altman film I truly dislike. I get the impression this ballet company film was way scaled down from a bloated romantic script and... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Guy De Federicis
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay.
This movie is about a ballet dancer, played by Neve Campbell, who wants to be noticed for her talent by her school. Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by Heather M
1.0 out of 5 stars intellectually uncreative
All right, there's no story, no plot. Not even really any characters. Fine. I can accept intellectually creative attempts of high art. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by D.K.V.
3.0 out of 5 stars Different, beautiful, cold
The opening sequence is stunning. I have never seen a better record of the effort required by dancers - some shots are so vivid, that your own body responds to the movement shown... Read more
Published on June 26 2004 by Anne Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars Dance fans everywhere will LOVE this. I certainly did!
Directed by Robert Altman, this film is about a year in the life of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, which is the true star of the film. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Linda Linguvic
3.0 out of 5 stars Lesser Altman, But Never Boring
No, despite the fact that "The Company" is even more lacking in narrative structure than the usual Altman film, I was never bored. Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by brewster22
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