Plot: Robert Altman follows up the stunning success of the Academy Award-winning GOSFORD PARK with THE COMPANY, a look at the world of ballet as only Altman could envision it.
Throughout his extraordinary career, Altman has surprised, entertained and challenged audiences with vibrant, freewheeling films that stretch the boundaries of the medium. With THE COMPANY, this iconic director brings his fluid, masterful camera-work to the world of dance. Altman’s vision for the film is an extremely intimate one: we will see the difficult daily work, the intense pressures of performance, the richly textured behaviors of the dancers -- whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close -- and of course the sheer beauty of dance: exhilarating, kinetic, and thrillingly observed.
The authenticity and richness of THE COMPANY is rooted in the unprecedented way in which Altman will shoot the film: with the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Screenwriter Barbara Turner (POLLACK, GEORGIA) spent over two years on and off with the Joffrey, observing and writing. Joffrey dancers will constitute the core of Altman’s ensemble.
The only actor who will be working as part of the Joffrey corps is Neve Campbell (the popular SCREAM movies and the television show “Party of Five?.
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Altman's view of this world is affectionate, bordering on worshipful. In the beginning of the movie, an outdoor performance continues despite a monsoon-like downpour. The dancers never flag and neither does the audience, which sits respectfully under a sea of umbrellas.
--Jami Bernard (New York Daily News)
Although it offers hardly any story to speak of, Robert Altman's The Company still presents a gorgeous, birds-eye view of day-to-day life in Chicago's Joffrey Ballet. ...Its narrative may be less than compelling, but The Company is nonetheless a brilliant and vivid study of the world of ballet.
--Kit Bowen (Hollywood.com)
|What it really comes down to is the fact that Altman has done the impossible: He's made ballet seem interesting. Though the movie never quite becomes anything more than a better-than-average time-waster, that alone is a major achievement. |
--David Nusair (Reel Film Reviews)