Take the Lead
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Dante Basco, Lauren Collins, Jenna Dewan, Elija Kelley
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Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, Antonio Banderas stars as internationally acclaimed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane. The film revolves around a professional dancer who volunteers to teach in the New York City public school system. But when his classic methods clash with his students' hip hop instincts, he teams up with them to create a new style of dance and becomes their mentor in the process. "Take the Lead" co-stars Alfre Woodard and marks the feature directing debut of veteran music video helmer Liz Friedlander.
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Review: Antonio Banderas has the moves. So it's a kick to watch him play Pierre Dulaine, the dance teacher who took his skills into New York's public-school system and turned troubled teens into ballroom smoothies. Inspired by a true story (translation: a lot of it is made up), the movie shucks its corn straight from the cob. But it's no less engaging for that, thanks to the enthusiasm of the young cast and the fusion of classic dance with hip-hop moves courtesy of Rich and Tone Talauega. First-time director Liz Friedlander, who did videos for U2 and Blink-182, wisely lets Banderas tango with Katya Virshilas, who'd make anyone sign up for lessons. They're mad hot.
*Review by PETER TRAVERS, Rolling Stone
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