Juliette Binoche

Dance drama 'Polina' transcends its flat story through the magic of movement

Dance drama 'Polina' transcends its flat story through the magic of movement

“Polina,” a dance movie based on a graphic novel, reaches a gorgeous crescendo in its final sequence: The title character (screen newcomer Anastasia Shevtsova), having taken a few detours from her presumed career path in classical ballet, steps into the spotlight as a choreographer. The work she has created fuses imagery from her Russian childhood with electronic music, and like several of the film’s dance scenes, it’s far more compelling than the surrounding drama.

Directed by Valérie Müller (who also scripted) and renowned choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, this portrait of the artist as a young ballerina is stubbornly uninvolving for long stretches, but it can also be...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
68°