What an uplifting, energetic and utterly exuberant delight this cheery little British film is. I adore dance and took too many classes for too many years. I still do an occasional jazz dance class, just because I can. “StreetDance” captures that surge of energy and pure joy that dance and music give you when they are done well.
And boy are they well done here. I will be buying the soundtrack and bouncing around to it for some time to come. It is perfectly understandable how this happy movie has knocked “Robin Hood” off its number one box office perch, in England.
The plot has sufficient bits of struggle, ego and clash of the snobbery of ballet and the grittiness of street dancing to keep your attention. I get to see quite a lot of street dancing near when I live and I find it totally life-affirming, even when it’s not that brilliant. One coup here is having Diversity and Flawless perform while right at the top of their game.
Our heroine, northerner Carly is beautifully played by the charismatic Nichola Burley. Nichola’s been in “Spooks” and “Inspector Gently”. Richard Winsor brings great warmth and stylish dance to his role as Tomas. Ukweli Roach moves well as Jay, our Carly’s caddish ex-boyfriend. There is quite a lot of stuff about a dance competition and that is all done with great charm, capturing the thrill and pain of performance.
The ballet plot lifts this too and works very nicely. Charlotte Rampling is her usual glorious self as Helena and Eleanor Bron and Patrick Baladi are terrific. Funnily and even though he is everywhere, every time I see Patrick Baladi on a TV or movie screen, I think “oh, that’s…” but I can never remember his name, at the time.
There are lots of young British actors and dancers that we will see much more of in the future. Jane English’s script is really very good and kept its target teen audience entertained, at the Stratford Picture House, while offering enough to keep the adults off their mobile phones, for once.
Vertigo is catching the feel of London and even though the studio has compromised for an American audience – who here has an apartment, really – this is a really upbeat London movie. Yes, there are the usual geographical nonsenses and you zap from Battersea to Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf faster than you can say “Sherlock Holmes”, but you have to suspend disbelief when the whole is so lovely. The views are pretty special, too.
Directed by Max Giwa and Daria Pasquini, the real diversity and the exciting mix of different cultures here satisfies this London resident. The dance scenes are among the best I have seen in a movie ever.
If you can’t bear hip hop and don’t like dance, skip it. Otherwise, see it while you can. It’s just about the best use of 3D imaginable and all the layers work well together. The silly glasses make sense, here. When the hat is thrown, the audience ducks.
As I came out of the cinema, a young girl was dancing around and – when her mother tried to control her because she was on her phone – the kid said “You have to dance after seeing that, mummy”. I said “you certainly do” and shimmied off home.