30 January 2006 | ytbufflo-1
Shall We Dance?
A movie that carves its own niche in film history in the most delicate, ephemeral way imaginable. The cast is among the finest ensemble gatherings I have ever seen, and the combined efforts of all concerned seems to add up to far more than seems possible for what is basically a silent film. It reminds me a bit of the magical transformation Altman managed to create on the set of McCabe and Mrs. Miller, as if all the actors were put under the same spell, and responded to the challenge with a uniform brilliance.
The camera work in Le Bal is just as nuanced and evolved as the work of the actors, but it never feels forced or artificial. All of the actors I have seen in many other films, and they seem so much more self-aware than many of the actors you see in the states. There is a feeling from this film as if the actors themselves created it, for which the director deserves my highest praise. And the subtle way the film morphs from black and white to a hand tinted look to modern color throughout is also so masterful that you almost don't notice it.
This is NOT A FILM FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE DANCING!!! It is a film for people who like to watch an exquisite evolutionary process. I liken it to an orchid, in that you learn a special kind of patience from waiting for it to bloom, but the blooms are always worth the wait, and last in the mind forever. I pray that a behind the scenes DVD will be released soon, as do many others, and recommend this highly.