Ballet Boys

"Very Good"

Ballet Boys Review


Only in Norway could filmmakers make such an honest documentary about 14-year-old boys who dream of becoming top ballet dancers. Without ever poking fun at them, the movie explores their deepest hopes and fears, as well as the fact that they are a rarity in their own field, simply because they're male. And since the approach is so open and personal, using dry humour and earthy emotion, it quickly gets under the audience's skin.

The three boys at the centre of the film are in training at the Oslo Opera House, where each has his own personal issues. The fiercely talentedLukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod has the support of his parents but worries about growing too tall to dance, and he's always tired after long days of practice. His buddy Torgeir Lund is blond and athletic, with a natural gift even if he has to work harder than Lukas. He understands that being a male dancer sets him apart from normal kids. As an Asian, their pal Syvert Lorenz Garcia feels like an outsider, always second-guessing whether he should continue as a dancer. But his parents encourage him, and he can't imagine doing anything else. As all three prepare to audition for Oslo's top dance academy, Lukas gets an invitation to try out for the prestigious Royal Ballet in London, which would completely change life for his family and friends as well.

Filmmaker Kenneth Elvebakk has astonishing access to these three boys over several months, following them through their paces at the Opera House, including rehearsals and performances and, most tellingly, their time together in the male changing room, the only place they feel like they can be themselves. In here, they drop their guards and talk honestly about their feelings, as well as joking around about dance, trying on tutus and laughing about how uncomfortable a dance-belt is ("It's more invasive than a jockstrap!"). The filmmaker also follows them home to meet their families, and includes a few competitions as well as the audition process for their next step as dancers.

Through all of this, each boy goes through a series of highs and lows, coping with the huge stress to succeed in this field. They know they should have some sort of plan B, but none wants to do anything else. They are remarkably focussed on their goals to dance with the world's top dancers, work with the great choreographers and perform the best roles. And they understand that being a dancer involves sacrificing parties and girls while enduring a lot of physical pain ("You totally ruin your body!"). So even if there's nothing particularly new about this film, the upfront Scandinavian approach sets it apart, as does the lively, often very silly camaraderie between these three teens.



Ballet Boys

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 75 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 13th July 2014

Production compaines: Indie Film as

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kenneth Elvebakk

Producer: Carsten Aanonsen

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.