movie film review | chris tookey

Mad Hot Ballroom

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  Mad Hot Ballroom Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
7.50 /10
Allison Sheniak, Alex Tchassov, Yomaira Reynoso
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Directed by: Marilyn Agrelo
Written by: Amy Sewell

Released: 2005
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 105

This tells the story of a ballroom-dancing competition between inner-city New York state schools, and itís a revelation. Despite the fact that this is a film about deprived, inner-city 11 year-olds, many of them from broken homes, it contains no sex, violence or bad language, and offers such a wonderfully encouraging view of young people that it might reasonably be described as not cosy, but challenging.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The filmís weaknesses are, first, that the team from one school is so far ahead of the others in quality that the result is never in doubt. As a consequence, it lacks the narrative tension of such documentary masterpieces as Hoop Dreams or Spellbound.

Secondly, it covers so many children that we donít get sufficient sense of the extent to which dancing has liberated particular individuals from their disadvantaged upbringing. We are told about this, belatedly, but we donít see quite enough of it happening.

However, I defy any of you to sit through this movie without emerging with a smile on your face, a spring in your step and a renewed faith in the young. Itís a gorgeous little film, and I wouldnít have missed it for the world.

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