The Dancer Upstairs
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jan
Actor John Malkovich makes his debut as a film director with
Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) writes, "The film manages the feat of being a methodical police procedural that is quietly riveting. Much of this can be credited to Bardem's perfectly pitched performance. What lifts the film above the typical thriller action-film genre is the nuanced narrative. Rejas' struggle with marital fidelity and determination to remain uncorruptable also give the drama a thoughtful and welcome moral sensibility.
But the critic at Movieguide objects, saying the film "settles for psychological ambiguity rather than moral clarity."
Film Forum featured some religious press responses to John Malkovich's debut film
But otherwise, he's impressed. "Javier Bardem's strong performance carries the film. The political intrigue is genuinely suspenseful. And though the movie was in production for six years, it feels particularly timely. Rural revolutionary movement starts terrorizing the country with bombs and assassinations, government reacts by squelching civil liberties and using the terror as a pretext to advance its own agenda. Not to compare our current American situation with Peru's nightmare years of the Shining Path, but there are some similarities. For those moviegoers not afraid of the political,