Rating: PG-13 for language, nudity, and sexual content
Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Robert Altman’s valentine to the art of ballet is a pleasing fever dream; a hypnotic docudrama that peers behind the scenes of the world’s most graceful and grueling sport.
a narrative thread involving a burgeoning love interest between Ry and brooding
sous-chef Josh (James Franco), The
Company focuses its sights on penetrating the relentless grind of a
ballet company. The Joffrey Ballet of
Performances are understated with one exception. McDowell is a powerful force; a whirling dervish of eccentricities who cracks the whip on his “babies” and eats up the opportunity to go straight over the top.
Altman utilizes his standard tricks of the trade – ambient sound, filtered light – to lend the film an air of wistful voyeurism. Dance numbers are beautifully realized, in particular a sizzling pas de deux performed on an outdoor stage during a striking lightning storm. The Company’s story, what little there is, dissolves into a seductive vortex of movement and color. In the hands of Altman it is eminently watchable.