Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm supposed to be on vacation, but the movie Mao's Last Dancer is about to hit theaters and I forgot to tell you before I left.
Did you know I wanted to be a ballet dancer until I was about 17 years old? Seriously I did, and I studied really, really hard... right up until I discovered boys and burgers. The two don't mix well with ballet rehearsals and skinny leotards, so that dream was dashed. But this movie makes me wish I'd tried a little harder. The performances are stunning.
Mao's Last Dancer is based on a true story about a young Chinese peasant boy who was plucked out of his village and "chosen" by government officials to study ballet. What unfolds is the story of his growth, determination, commitment to family and how he became a brilliant dancer. Fast forward and he's selected for an unprecedented American dance exchange program... then decides to defect to the US... and you have to see it to know the rest of the story.
I enjoyed this entertaining movie not only for the incredible ballet scenes, but also because it told a story, a real story-- minus explosions, special effects, body counts, T&A or an abundance of dumbed-down dialogue.
In other words, Mao's Last Dancer is a movie for grown-ups-- You know, people old enough to remember Mao Zedong and the Reagan years, who are interested in a unique, tug-at-your-heart story with rich characters that leave you feeling empowered-- all be it with a tear in your eye.
It opens in theaters August 20th. Let me know if you see it.
Now, I'm off for vacation.
PS I was not compensated in any way for this post.