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EN CORPS (2022, FRANCE) – 7.5/10

The experienced Frenchman Cedric Klapisch distinguished himself as an author with a subtle sense of humor in the nineties and comedies such as “Riens du tout”, “Un air de familie” or “Chacun cherche son chat” built a name on the French film scene. For the romantic comedy “Spanish Apartment” in 2002 is nominated for European director of the year, and now he has made another appealing film. A drama about a young ballerina who finds herself in a situation where she has to rethink what she wants to do with her life, and “En corps” or “Rise” is one of those positivist, optimistic films, even though it doesn’t really start out overly positive. Klapisch hired the famous French ballerina and champion of the Paris Opera, Marion Barbeau, for the main role of the young ballerina Elise Gautier, who will break a bone in her foot during a performance at the Paris Opera.

Even though it was her first film role, Barbeau seems so natural and did a great job in the role of a girl who will not only suffer a career-ending injury that same night, but will also find out that a fellow ballet dancer is cheating on her with another ballerina. Although she is only 26 years old and her best years are in front of her professionally, Elisa was told that she would probably not be able to do ballet again. What about life is the question now, because ballet has been her whole life since childhood, when her late mother drove her to rehearsals every day. Thinking about what to do with her life, she will go to Brittany with her friend Sabrina, also a former ballerina, and her chef boyfriend Loica (Pio Marmai).

Loic got a job there in an art colony, and he took Sabrina and Elise with him as assistants, but it turns out that a modern dance troupe led by the famous Israeli dancer and choreographer Hofesh Shechter is staying there. A bit shy at first, Elise will observe these modern dancers, especially Mehdi whom she noticed during a street performance in Pairz, and at the urging of Shechter, she will start joining them in training. And he will begin to slowly find a new meaning in life, but it will not be easy at all. All the more so because her father, the famous lawyer Henri (Denis Polydares), was never satisfied with her choice of profession, and Elisa’s physiotherapist Yann (Francois Civil) will make sure that it is partly a typical French comedy of confusion.

Although I can’t really say that movies with singing or dancing are high on my list of favorite genres, “En corps” turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Humorous – it’s a romantic drama that exudes a positive spirit and energy, optimism, and it’s a film in which Klapisch returns to solid form and a film that’s quite different from everything he’s shot before. “En corps” is at the same time an equally fluffy and energetic film, but also a complex story that has depth, and we understand how much dance means to Elisa and what kind of problem she found herself in from a completely ordered life ending in complete chaos. But despite the misfortunes, she refuses to give up and wants to explore something new.