Movie Review: The Company: A Film By Robert Altman
The Company: A film by Robert Altman. PG 112 min. Rating A-.
This is a story of creative development by a ballet company based in Chicago. It has the Altman trademark ensemble cast but its main theme is how a collaborative group functions and creates a work of art. Mr. Altman forsakes high drama to focus on the quotidian march of daily life in a ballet company in the process of creating a new and beautiful work. Malcolm McDowell is the artistic director who is in overall command raising the money, making personnel decisions, encouraging the artists and shepherding the production of a new ballet. The choreographers shape and direct the production and the dancers and support people lend their talents, hopes, dreams and make sacrifices in a joint enterprise towards a common goal, a new ballet.
Watching this picture is like seeing a beautiful flower unfold. I can’t help thinking that the creative process depicted so elegantly must be much like Mr. Altman’s own experience in creating his films with the aid of his producers, assistants and actors. This is not a picture about love and death; there are no chase scenes or giant artistic egos artistically battling out their perceptions. It is the story of the collaborative effort by a ballet company bringing to fruition an artistic creation. I am not a ballet enthusiast but I was impressed by this fine film and Mr. Altman’s courage not to ham it up with high or low drama.