The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes ★★★★★

Is this the most obsessive film ever made? I taught and directed theatre, film, and dance for decades, and this film ties my stomach in knots of anxiety, both for the shame that I could never approach anything so magnificent, but also for every performance that nearly killed me over thirty years of doing it: I'm honestly in torment for Moira Shearer because I keep thinking--like in a nightmare--that I have to do her dancing: which would be an odd casting choice since I'm male, chubby, and 61.

But Powell and Pressburger's obsession with picturesque color and near-Disney idealistic staging for fairy tale beauty are pornographic. They're lucky here to have the absolute ideal Scottish redhead dancer for their ingenue--though she looks as though she hasn't digested food in a decade.