FILM: The Dancer Upstairs


Despite some weaknesses, this is an interesting and worth-watching film.  Javier Bardem plays a ex-lawyer who becomes a police detective in order to find a truer form of justice and a better way to serve the rule of law.  He’s the moral flower in a desert wasteland.  Set in Peru or Ecuador — the only countries where Quechua is still spoken — Bardem’s character is the honest and modest (he seriously underplays his part, too) soul in the midst of universal decadence and a crumbling political order.  The film was John Malkovich’s directorial debut, in 2001 — and, as far as I can tell, the only feature film he’s directed since.  Yet, The Dancer Upstairs suggests Malkovich possesses an entirely credible directorial hand.  The notion of a crime drama in the midst of a corrupt and crumbling society is interesting in its own right.  The film also reveals the highly disciplined side of Bardem’s skill as an actor.  He rendered a flawless performance, a universe apart from the psychopathic killer (with the bad, bad haircut) he played in No Country for Old Men.

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2 Responses to FILM: The Dancer Upstairs

  1. Paul says:

    I am adding this movie to my queue. I loved Bardem’s performance in No Country for Old Men, and am looking forward to seeing him play a polar opposite role in this film.

  2. ronroizen9 says:

    Yep, Paul, 180 degrees. Thanks!

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