Just saw this film at the BFI film festival opening last Friday and I never took my eyes from the screen. Great female protagonist, easy to empathize with, and eminently watchable. The cinematography & costuming, the focus on close-in shots make the film compelling: I keep revisualising Darling with her fuzzy sweater, her paper thin shirts. The film draws you into her world, her drives, her hopes, but Franz and Polly are also sympathetic characters. And you definitely don't have to be interested in ballet to love this movie!
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Darling is a world-famous Danish ballerina. After a long absence, she and her husband Frans return to the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen to perform the classic ballet "Giselle". She will dance the title role with Frans as choreographer. During a rehearsal, Darling collapses in pain. Try as she might to deny it, the prognosis is clear: her hip is irreparably damaged. She will never dance again. Her professional life, her world, is in ruins. But Darling refuses to let go. She decides to train her replacement, a young ballerina named Polly, to make her the Giselle she can no longer be. But as Polly becomes the center of attention, especially Frans', Darling's emotional stability unravels.
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A fantastically watchable "ballet within a ballet" with a great female protagonist!
The main idea of this film
Don't read that people who haven't seen it yet. For me, this is a very sensible film about: 1. A very serious problem - child molestation. Darling was a victim since she was 8 years old. She was abused by her choreographer and she was not the only one. 2. Darling was a victim all her life and in the end, she became a violator herself. She abused Polly physically and momentarily. 3. Film shows us what is alternative - Frans is a professional hard worker without anger.
I am surprised that this film has only 6.1. ? probably Darling's dream looks like the main picture of the film, her hurts, her feeling, her misunderstanding with her husband, and her idealistic character who wants Giselle to be perfect, people see this subjects in this film, also Darlings and Kristian's first meeting does not show their real relationship, Frans know the truth but there is not shown this in the start of the movie. I think if people deeply think of this film it could have a higher score.
Why is this great film not gaining a full-scale international release?
Like reviewer Marilyn, I saw this film at the 2017 London Film Festival. I saw a lot of films there and some were excellent, but DARLING was the one that impressed me the most. I was very curious to discover whether other audience members were similarly 'knocked out' and those I spoke to definitely were. The story and the performances make it gripping viewing and the setting within the home of the renowned Danish Royal Ballet should make it a must for anyone interested in ballet. I won't include any spoilers but one thing I really liked is the way that it keeps you guessing whether it will stay within the boundaries of drama, or whether the fragile mental state of the central character will propel it it into very dark psychological thriller territory. Certain scenes make uncomfortable viewing, but it also manages to be subtle and understated. I'm bewildered that I've so far seen no evidence of it getting a major international release, so in the unlikely situation that any distributor beyond Denmark that's looking for out of the ordinary foreign films reads this, please consider picking up the rights to DARLING!