Ben Oliver

Now
The
film

The Red Shoes

The music is all that matters. Nothing but the music.
28 March 2020

Just astounding on every front. The impressionistic ballet centrepiece is a staggering work of art that chokes me up every time. Like a ballet partner the rest of the film lifts you up to it, and brings you down from it.

I always forget how supportive and genial Lermontov is. He seems standoffish and aggressive, but this veneer melts away when he sees Vicky’s talent at work (and to a lesser extent, Craster’s). He tolerates imperfection when he can see that the road ahead leads to great things, carefully avoiding all the cliches of a character like his. Of course things turn sour when it turns out he only has eyes for his art.

The endless struggle of art versus life, brought to screen in a spellbinding masterwork. Never ever gets old.