Empire (Australasia) - - On Screen - JEREMY CASSAR

OUT NOW / RATED M / 112 MINS DIREC­TOR Stéphanie Di Giusto CAST Soko, Gas­pard Ul­liel, Mélanie Thierry

AS LOOSELY BASED on the life of trend­set­ting dancer Louie Fuller as is cin­e­mat­i­cally pos­si­ble, The Dancer is a gor­geous-look­ing 19th cen­tury epic that may as well have been cooked up by Roche as a more po­tent al­ter­na­tive to Val­ium. Af­ter Fuller’s (Soko) fa­ther kicks the bucket, she leaves the Wild West and bunks up in New York with her mother, then saves her­self from an in­el­e­gant stum­ble while dab­bling in stage act­ing and ac­ci­den­tally in­vents the now-classic ‘Ser­pen­tine Dance’. That’s the most cap­ti­vat­ing se­quence of events in this ex­cru­ci­at­ingly life­less biopic, af­ter which you’re forced to sit through 112 min­utes of al­legedly poignant shenani­gans over­com­pen­sated by an overblown or­ches­tral score. If you’re a fan of stilted act­ing, on-the-nose di­a­logue, por­ous mo­ti­va­tions, and a whole lot of spot-lit twirling, then don’t miss The Dancer.

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