Fate brings together two women who loved a tormented artist in Claude Miller’s ludicrous “See How They Dance.” The prolific helmer seems to have lost control of his material here; relationships go fatally undeveloped, and an attempt to inject a modicum of humor falls particularly flat. Oddly enough, Maya Sansa speaking Mohawk is the most believable element of the pic, which bombed in France following an early August release. Apart from Rome, it’s unlikely other fests will add “Dance” to their cards.Among the problems is the editing in the first half, which chops up timeframes and stymies any connection to the characters. Vic (circus great James Thierree) is a performance artist with a hit show and major personality issues. Lise (Marina Hands) is a documaker who becomes Vic’s wife; Alex (Sansa) is a Mohawk doctor in remote Canada who’s his final companion. The two women meet after Vic’s death, when Lise’s train just happens to get stuck in Alex’s town. Thierree’s physicality impresses, but he’s insufferably antic, and Hands is colorless. Stilted dialogue and poorly chosen music don’t help.
A Wild Bunch (in France) release of an Aliceleo, Filmarto, France 2 Cinema, les Production Jean-Marc Henchez production, in association with La Banque Postale, Image 3, Sofica Valor 7, Sofica Valor 8, with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinecinema, France 2. (International sales: TF1, Paris). Produced by Patrick Godeau. Co-producers, Suzanne Girard, Matthieu Henchoz. Directed by Claude Miller. Screenplay, Miller, Natalie Carter, inspired by the novella "Menno's Granddaughter" by Roy Parvin.
Camera (color, widescreen), Gerard de Battista; editor, Veronique Lange; music, Vincent Segal; production designer, Jean-Francois Campeau; costume designers, Michele Hamel, Jacqueline Bouchard. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (competing), Nov. 3, 2011. Running time: 98 MIN.
Marina Hands, James Thierree, Maya Sansa, Yves Jacques, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Aubert Pallascio, Stuart Myiow Jr. (French, English, Mohawk dialogue)