The summer is almost over, but the feeling is still very present, so I am in the mood for some dance films.
Top Hat (1935)
What a treat! Just a bliss watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers electric chemistry and wonderful dancing (hot take, I know). But the unsung heroes that gets overshadowed are Horace Hardwick and his butler whose chemistry and comedy timing is impeccable.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Dance Direction for “Piccolino” and “Top Hat”, Best Music-Original Song for “Cheek to Cheek” in 1936.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The complete opposite of the light and fluffy Top Hat. This is dark and gritty with severely flawed characters. A truly 70’s Hollywood film, and a great one at that.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (John Travolta) in 1978.
I probably enjoyed this one more than I should, but I just really got sucked into the atmosphere of this movie, and I think much of the blame is the great cinematography (that deservedly got nominated). Also, Jennifer Beals’ character is probably the coolest looking character ever. What a wardrobe!
Winner of Best Music-Original Song for “Flashdance…What a Feeling”. Nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Music-Original Song for “Maniac” in 1984.
Speaking of summer feel, this film has a bucket load. A bit too long, but it does a good job of making the audience get to know the town and its inhabitants well. Upset Kevin Bacon having a dance outbreak is just the best! Is the 2011 remake just that one scene over and over again for two hours? It should be.
Nominated for Best Music-Original Song for “Footloose” and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” in 1985.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
As with Footloose, this also captures the summer mood really well, but I just don’t seem to get this film and the following it has. I have tried several times before to watch this and given up around the half way point, but this time I soldiered on. I just find it incredibly tedious and boring. The iconic ending is great though, but it’s too little too late.
Winner of Best Music, Original Song for “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” in 1988.
Billy Elliot (2000)
A perfect finale to the dance films. It combines the best elements from all the previous films into a delicious package. I really enjoyed this, although it sometimes lags a bit. Jamie Bell is a wonder in this film, and the fact that this was his first film is nothing short of a miracle. He won the BAFTA for best performance, and he really should have got an oscar nomination.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Julie Walters), Best Director and Best Writing-Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 2001.