The Red Shoes (Powell, Pressburger, 1948)

This review contains spoilers.

The Red Shoes (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1948)

Melodrama to the max. Truthfully, I was looking past the theatrics, the overacting, and the intrusive score for much of the film until the final few scenes where there is a whole new level of begging, whining, and big dramatic faces. And, the most ridiculous being when Victoria Page jumps off a ledge and is run over by a train, only to survive with what looked like minor makeup smears! Give me a break. And because of the way the film ends, it sort of retroactively made me mad about the rest of the film.

Luckily, the film features some absolutely amazing sets. I’m not sure how great the cinematography was per se, but the colors, set pieces, and costumes were all fantastic. The film peaks with a performance of the ballet based on the film’s title where the combination of imagery, surrealism, imagination, and beautiful dancing easily highlight the entire film. This scene alone made the film worth watching. Though the relationship stuff going on is way too overdone, the rise of a star and the way she interprets her craft is worth seeing.  6.5/10


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