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Company, The (2003)

Original Title : Company, The
Director : Robert Altman
Writer : Neve Campbell
Barbara Turner
Barbara Turner
Genre : Drama
Music
Country : Germany
Language : English
Music : Van Dyke Parks
Photography : Andrew Dunn
MPAA Rating : Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, some nudity and sexual content.
IMDB ID : 0335013
Official site : http://www.metrofilms.com/company/home.html
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poster for "Company, The" by Robert Altman (2003)
Company, The (2003) - Robert Altman
 

Starring

Neve Campbell Ry
Malcolm McDowell Alberto Antonelli
James Franco Josh
Barbara E. Robertson Harriet (as Barbara Robertson
William Dick Edouard
Susie Cusack Susie
Marilyn Dodds Frank Ry's Mother
John Lordan Ry's Father
Mariann Mayberry Stepmother
Rick Peeples Stepfather (as Roderick Peeples
Yasen Peyankov Justin's Mentor
Deborah Dawn Deborah
John Gluckman John
David Gombert Justin
Suzanne L. Prisco Suzanne
Domingo Rubio Domingo
Emily Patterson Noel
Maia Wilkins Maia
Sam Franke Frankie
Trinity Hamilton Trinity
Julianne Kepley Julianne
Valerie Robin Veronica
Deanne Brown Dana
Michael Smith Michael
Matthew Roy Prescott Colton
Lar Lubovitch The Choreographer
Robert Desrosiers The Choreographer
Charthel Arthur The Ballet Mistress
Cameron Basden The Ballet Mistress
Mark Goldweber The Ballet Master
Pierre Lockett The Ballet Master
Davis C. Robertson Alec (as Davis Robertson
Adam Sklute The Ballet Master
Heather Aagard The Company
Michael Anderson The Company
Erica Lynette Edwards The Company
Jennifer Goodman The Company
Stacy Joy Keller The Company
Calvin Kitten The Company
Peter Kozak The Company
Britta Lazenga The Company
Michael Levine The Company
Brian McSween The Company
Elizabeth Mertz The Company
Masayoshi Onuki The Company
Samuel Pergande The Company
Willy Shives The Company
Erin Smith The Company
Kathleen Thielhelm The Company
Mauro Villanueva The Company
Yukari Yasui The Company
Tristan Alberda The Apprentice
Bobby Briscoe The Apprentice
Orlando Julius Canova The Apprentice
Angelina Sansone The Apprentice
Jacqueline Sherwood The Apprentice
Jessica Wyatt The Apprentice
Michael Andrew Currey Stage Manager
Katherine Selig Stage Manager
Paul Lewis Company Pianist
Julie O'Connell Physical Therapist
George Darveris Production Manager
Marc Grapey Toast Master
Keith Prisco Bridegroom
Emma Harrison Neo Waitress
Dwayne Whitmore Neo Bouncer
Danny McCarthy Bartender
Robert Breuler Barfly
Larry Glazer Grant Park Cellist
Mark Hummel Grant Park Pianist
Kevin Scott Greer Ballet Fan (uncredited
 

Plot

An inside look at the world of ballet. With the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Altman follows the stories of the dancers, whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close, as they cope with the demands of a life in the ballet. Campbell plays a gifted but conflicted company member on the verge of becoming a principal dancer at a fictional Chicago troupe, with McDowell the company's co-founder and artistic director, considered one of America's most exciting choreographers. Franco plays Campbell's boyfriend and one of the few characters not involved in the world of dance.
 

Comments

The director should stick with the mumbling, overlapping dialogue of his great films. `Do you wanna dance?'Do you want a documentary or a drama?I can't figure out if Roberts Altman in `The Company' wanted to do a documentary about Chicago's famed Joffrey Ballet Company, use Joffrey to show generic ballet business, or film a drama about love and injury in the highly romantic and sensual setting of a ballet company.I know he excelled at showing country music in `Nashville' and failed at depicting the fashion business in `Ready to Wear,' so I can't rely on a perfect score to weigh the answers about making `The Company.' To be sure, the individual ballet performances are impressive but unsatisfactory if Altman has a purpose other than documenting.Does anyone believe that a popped Achilles' heel or losing a spot in the company because of a lack of talent are so exceptional in ballet as to be a pivotally dramatic? Does Alberto Antonelli (Malcolm McDowell), the company's artistic director, seem familiar as the stereotypical tyrant genius? However, the moments of Altman's genius are still here: qConsider Neve Campbell as talented ballerina `Ry' (believable considering she trained in real life for a Canadian company) performing a duet outdoors while a storm threatens to shut down the show. She is calm, and Altman moves his camera from her to storm to audience to technicians to Antonelli in a collaborative montage that puts Orson Welles' `Citizen Kane' opera sequence to shame.Unfortunately, Campbell does not create the enthusiastic response Moira Shearer did in `Red Shoes' (or even the Oscar-nominated Leslie Browne of `Turning Point'). qConsider also Ry playing solitary pool while future lover Josh (James Franco) longingly watches her from behind the glass of a telephone booth. This is sexy without sex. qConsider finally Josh the chef making an omelet for Ry with close ups of him cutting the veggies rather than taking her clothes off.Altman cuts to dancers in red for a nice symbolic suggestion of connection. These are scenes by the understating, allegorical Altman, where real people like McCabe and Mrs. Miller talk or don't talk in real language redolent with subtext.The director should stick with the mumbling, overlapping dialogue of his great films (recently, for example, the upstairs/downstairs banter of `Gosford Park') and forget the sweeping overview of abstractions like dancing and fashion. Havelock Ellis described the marriage of dance and drama:`Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life, it is life itself.' Altman missed the `life' point. I gained little insight into the art of dancing but gleaned a few moments of humanity off stage.That's where the director belongs.
 
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