Opening

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First Position Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Rebecca Barry
Flicks.co.nz

The joy of watching lies in the purity of the dancer's passion.

Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz | Original Score: 4/5

April 25, 2013
Philip French
Observer [UK]

A superior example of the genre, it concentrates on six young dancers from around the world ...

Full Review Source: Observer [UK]

April 14, 2013
Rich Cline
Contactmusic.com

Like the engaging hit documentary Spellbound, this dance competition film gets under the skin and holds us in its grip like a well-crafted thriller.

Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com | Original Score: 4/5

April 12, 2013
Derek Malcolm
This is London

Anyone with an interest in dance should enjoy this documentary ...

Full Review Source: This is London | Original Score: 3/5

April 12, 2013
David Jenkins
Little White Lies

Settles for heartwarming "follow your dreams" platitudes rather than following the cold realities of being a dancer.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 2/5

April 11, 2013
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]

It's humane, involving and inspirational.

Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Original Score: 4/5

April 11, 2013
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian

A blandly feelgood documentary about aspiring young ballet dancers.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 1/5

April 11, 2013
Antonia Quirke
Financial Times

A griping documentary following several ballet hopefuls as they prepare for an international competition.

Full Review Source: Financial Times | Original Score: 3/5

April 11, 2013
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon

Impressively directed and superbly edited, this is an emotionally engaging documentary with likeable subjects, stunning dance sequences and a suspenseful climax.

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 4/5

April 11, 2013
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Undeniably effective as drama, as we ponder the varying degrees of ambition and talent driving these young people to push their bodies beyond the limit in the hope of grasping a future in the spotlight.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

April 10, 2013
Emma Dibdin
Total Film

If you thought Black Swan made ballet look grim, this festival-fave documentary offers an earthier but no less griping portrait of the profession's crippling realities.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

April 9, 2013
Patrick Peters
Empire Magazine

A touching look at ballet's battle-hardened youngsters.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

April 8, 2013
Matthew Toomey
ABC Radio Brisbane

If this film doesn't put a smile on your face, you are too hard to please.

Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane | Original Score: A

April 7, 2013
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile

Hopes are shared and dreams expressed during this uplifting journey in which we become involved in each of the dancers' lives. As a consequence, we have a stake in what happens and are often moved as a result of the drama and tension

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

April 6, 2013
Paul Gallagher
The List

Debut director Bess Kargman establishes herself as a skilled documentarian, drawing out humour and tension from the contestants' experiences without manipulating their stories for melodramatic effect.

Full Review Source: The List | Original Score: 4/5

January 29, 2013
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

First time director Bess Kargman has done a great job with this film in letting the personalities of these dancers and their families shine through.

Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Original Score: A

January 7, 2013
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's enjoyable watching the motivated youngsters pirouetting their way to success.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B+

November 27, 2012

An arresting documentary about the dedication and sacrifice it takes to be able to spin around like a whirling dervish on the tip of your toes without getting sickeningly dizzy.

Full Review Source: NECN | Original Score: A-

August 24, 2012
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It does a great job developing its characters through its visuals - these are superphysical kids - and honing in on family dynamics.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

July 19, 2012
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you have a yearning to feel awkward, inadequate and lazy, watching the whirling teenage (and preteen) talents in director Bess Kargman's First Position will do the trick.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

July 19, 2012
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