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April 06, 2006

Take The Lead

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Since the success of last year’s dance documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" Hollywood has thrown together a formulaic narrative riff on the idea of New York public school students learning ballroom dance as a way of socializing poor kids out of their lower class traps. Antonio Banderas saunters through his performance in a glorified rendition of real-life ballroom dance teacher Pierre Dulaine, who brings classical dance training to bear on a group of tin-eared hip hop-crazed high school misfits. Forget that the real life Dulaine taught much younger elementary school kids because this is by no means a biopic. Director of Photography Alex Nepomniaschy ("Narc") fumbles with where to put the camera to capture JoAnn Jansen’s ill-conceived choreography. Every sub-plot wilts on the vine in a redundant movie lacking narrative focus.

Rated PG. 108 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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