Friday, January 3, 2014

Take the lead - 2006

The is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I enjoy watching Antonio Banderas, he has an incredible range of roles he can play intently. Kathy and I have seen this movie before. In this movie he is an accomplished dance instructor and the calmest most patient person I can imagine. Kathy was a teacher in an inner-city school teacher, so we empathized with the plot.

I am not going to make any attempt at the names of the students in detention. In the opening scene where we had the angry high school student with the ticket to the dance and they would not let him in, I felt for him and the social injustice, but then he took matters in his own hands. I served with Kairos, a prison ministry group for a number of years and can't tell you how many times I was speaking with an inmate that said, "I just made a mistake". Throughout the movie he has several opportunities to "make a mistake", but largely avoids serious legal problems.

He is patient through the gaining trust phase with inner city high school students and I would begin to wonder if he was ever going to get through to the students. Since I have seen the movie multiple times, this was a bit boring for me and I read my email waiting for the scene where he does the tango with the gorgeous, but somewhat bitchy blond pro dancer. Even though I have seen the movie before, it is still an emotional roller coaster, you are impressed with her skill and performance and then in one verbal comment, I no longer empathize with her. But it was surely enough for a state change with the students.

Pierre Dulaine, (Antonio Banderas), is now getting through to his dance students, ( also known as detention, because that is why they are there). I loved the way they move to the conclusion, little subplots add dynamic tension right up to the end when Rock arrives after the competition waltz has already begun to dance with LaRhette.

NOTE: In real life Pierre's program "Dancing Classrooms" continues to expand. We just closed on the sale of our house in Richmond VA and they were trying a kickstarter campaign to get the program started in the local area:

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