On Tour (2010)
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The dialogue which includes English spoken around the 5 American performers and French for the rest of the characters is realistic and witty. The screenplay is very loose and allows for lots of digressing interludes which are endearing. There are many burlesque acts shown in full in the movie and they are very entertaining.
The movie is bawdy with the dancers often behaving in a loud crass way and of course there's plenty of nudity, on stage and off stage, but the entire film and its performances are just so genial and ingratiating that you can't help but have a good time at the cinemas.
ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Joachim (Amalric) invites a group of burlesque dancers are over from the States to tour with him around his homeland, whereby they are promised an almighty, star-spangled crescendo in Paris. These women are all shapes and sizes: 'real women' we're often told to imagine in the media backlash against stick-thin-supermodels. The performances within certainly feel real. Amalric's camera seems to be a claustrophobic one, that never shys away from the lines and creases of these performers (perhaps an idea carried over from his Diving Bell... role). And yet he knows when to back off and let the audience take their place amongst the paying spectators in his fictional theatre. At best, the viewer is awestruck at the harmonisation of vulgarity of spectacle and beauty (epitomised in Julie Atlas Muz's 'moonhead' dance).
Fellini comparisons are understandable: the film is rife with references to La Strada (1954), La Dolce Vita (1960), and most notably 8 ½ (1963). We meander from one place to another, meeting past and future conquests, and picking up plot lines along the way. They're never just dropped though, and the intensity and style Amalric offers strikingly well in acting is carried through into his filmmaking. What at first seem like transparent, garish, has-been beauties, do in fact transform into characters worthy of understanding, to the extent that Mimi le Meaux (Miranda Colclasure) becomes as much the protagonist as Amalric by half-way. This owes much to the documentary style of the film, whereby the viewer is omniscient throughout. We're there for the warm-up, the laziness, the meals, the performance, the disappointing cubicle sex. The omniscient spectator is granted access to everything. Make of it what we will. Amalric directs and stars, and his acting is thoroughly melodramatic too, as he battles to be part of the limelight we find out he's recently lost due to his tearaway instincts – in this way he very much resembles the Mastroianni of Fellini. But these women who want the limelight ("this is our show" he's constantly reminded) disrupt the chances of him ever running the show. Amalric, in a very roundabout way – like Boyle in 127 Hours (2010) - seems to be highlighting the impossibility of going it alone.
The film is a mess. But an entertaining mess. In context, it wouldn't make sense any other way.
I love french movies, the subject - burlesque performers - is very interesting, but this one was very disappointing.
(sorry for my English, is not my mother language)