Polina (Polina, danser sa vie) (2017)

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Critic Consensus: Gorgeous cinematography captures dazzling choreography in an engaging portrait of a dancer's life, even if Polina can't quite twirl itself away from clichés.

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Rigorously trained from an early age by a perfectionist instructor, Polina (played by Anastasia Shevtsova, a professional dancer who has performed with Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre) is a promising classical ballet dancer. She is just about to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet when she discovers contemporary dance, a revelation that throws everything into question on a profound level. Diverting from her plan, she leaves all her exacting preparation behind and moves to France to work with famous choreographer Liria Elsaj (played by Academy Award (R)-winner Juliette Binoche who has danced with London-based dancer/choreographer Akram Khan). But once there she is quickly forced to grapple with the realization that determination and hard work don't always lead to success.

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Critic Reviews for Polina (Polina, danser sa vie)

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (12)

Polina is mesmerizing.

Sep 22, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Along comes "Polina" to show how a feature film can depict a dancer's - a human's - journey toward authenticity with sophistication, artistry and love for the art form ...

Sep 15, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

[Polina] is a fine example of visual storytelling.

Sep 7, 2017 | Full Review…

[Polina] often seems on the verge of being interesting but repeatedly retreats into a formless vapidity.

Sep 1, 2017 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Stubbornly uninvolving for long stretches, but it can also be stirringly cinematic.

Aug 31, 2017 | Full Review…

As Polina, Shevstova delivers a performance that feels wonderfully unforced, if that's the right word, in a role that can only be called "driven."

Aug 31, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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