The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

2011

Music

1
IMDb Rating 8.4 10 9

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December 19, 2021 at 04:01 PM

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
775.69 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
NR
29.97 fps
1 hr 24 min
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1.4 GB
1920*1072
English 2.0
NR
29.97 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 9 / 10

'The Nutcracker' re-worked, but the charm and magic is not lost in translation

'The Nutcracker' is one of my all-time favourite ballets (love all three Tchaikovsky ballets, the others being 'Swan Lake' and 'Sleeping Beauty'), with its enchanting story and some of Tchaikovsky's most magnificent music.

Re-worked or non-traditional productions of 'The Nutcracker' have often raised alarm bells, due to that too many of them are not done particularly well. This production is not perfect by all means, and there are better productions available. However, for a 'Nutcracker' that's different and re-worked, it is one of the better ones. Much better than the self-indulgent and overblown Maurice Bejart, ugly and incoherent early 2008 Marrinsky and from memory the 2001 Berlin (which from memory was disgustingly weird) performances.

As said, the story is re-worked, but still remains coherent and, while this reviewer prefers the more traditional way of storytelling and choreography and such, still retains the ballet's and its story's charm and magic with a touch of darkness (like the original story by Hoffmann). Only one plot strand does not gel, and that is what was done with the Mouse King (who is still very menacingly performed), here in context of the ballet and even in the re-worked version the duel just feel irrational and out of place within the plot and letting the Nutcracker get away just doesn't make sense.

Visually, the production does look good. The austerity for the opening act with Clara's home is suitable, and contrasts very well (and there should be a contrast) with the stately opulence of the opening party scene and the enchanting colour of Act 2 which should be almost like a dream, which it did manage to be. The costumes are just fine, no weirdness or unintentional goofiness here, nothing looks over-sized and they suit the characters. The video directing is not intrusive, superfluous or too busy but never static and too focused on one thing, you can see enough of the action and it's expansive but it serves the more intimate moments well. The picture quality is focused and clear and not blurred or too dark.

Choreographically, again not the traditional choreography as such, but it still has wit, energy, elegance and intricacy while not being out of sorts with Tchaikovsky's musical style or the story, it's complex but made to look easy by the dancers. The standouts are the incredibly charming "Waltz of the Flowers" and the utterly exquisite "Pas De Deux", which does take one to another world. The only missteps really are some of the party scene, which could have done with a little more joy and a little more stateliness, and especially the pretty distasteful and somewhat too pantomimic "Arabian Dance" which is supposed to be quite seductive.

Musically, the production is quite superb and further advantaged by that it is one of the best recorded productions of 'The Nutcracker' out there. The orchestra bring energy, power, urgency, emotion and poetic nuances to every scene. Ermanno Florio conducts with an accommodating but also dramatically alert air, as well as a lightness and delicacy of touch.

Nothing to complain about in the dancing either, with Anna Tsygankova absolutely enchanting as Clara both in the dancing and in the acting which is never remote and Amalja Yuno displays every bit the same amount of charm, grace and grace with her dancing quite beyond her years. James Stout is quite excellent as Nutcracker, performing with heroism, and Matthew Golding shows a lot of powerful technique, gracefulness, tenderness and a regal quality.

In conclusion, even when re-worked the charm and magic is not lost, the dancers do expert jobs and Tchaikovsky's music still shines. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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