Eye For Film >> Movies >> Love Tomorrow (2012) Film Review
Reviewed by: Paul Griffiths
Black Swan’s artistic sacrifices and meltdowns have left lesser ballet films waiting in the wings for a while. While it may well have precipitated Love Tomorrow, maybe there’s now room for likes of Christopher Payne’s slight but eventually affecting drama.
A young woman (Cindy Jourdain) is wandering the London underground looking emotionally shellshocked when she exchanges a chance glance with Oriel (Arionel Vargas). Chasing after her, his charismatic Cuban classical dancer tries to persuade her to go for a drink. She finally agrees, reluctant and reticent, but revealing that she is half-French and that her name is Mia (although it clearly isn’t).
‘Mia’ ends up accompanying Oriel to parties, dance classes and auditions over the next day or so. It slowly becomes clear that both are dealing with the consequences of past choices, disappointments and the ruthless vagaries of both personal and professional relationships. Inevitably distances narrow, understandings widen and a shared closeness develops.
Kicking off a film with a fortuitous passing on escalators asks a lot of everyone, especially if you’re selling a drama and not a Sliding Doors rom-com. Payne’s script puts immense pressure on his leads as a result and with an at first near-mute Jourdain, this falls mostly on Vargas. He just about carries the start forward, proving an amiable screen presence even though he has to do all the running with initially stunted dialogue that almost stalls everything.
Jourdain was a former Royal Ballet soloist and Vargas was an English National Ballet principal at the time the (2010) production began. Perhaps unsurprisingly they are best when in motion to some degree, rather than handling static scenes together. Of course, it is dance that best expresses the mutual respect and affection that develops between Mia and Oriel. When this happens, choreographed by The Ballet Boyz, it is only ever as a realistic part of the story, be it on stage or in an audition, and not a glib super-expression of the characters. It is most poignant when the leads are finally freewheeling for fun in a park.
There’s decent support from Max Brown (Spooks) in a cameo and Samuel Barnett (Bright Star) as a caustic dance company manager. The latter provides the sharp face of the cutthroat world of professional dance. Payne’s direction frames locations unobtrusively and London again looks wonderfully cinematic as his two foreigners together traverse the city, rather unrealistically, by boat, bike and train.
Plot jolts, character reveals and an awkward flashback or two make for a bumpy journey, though. This can make the narrative necessary to bring these two broken hopes together feel at odds, more mechanical than the relationship that it eventually helps to portray. Still, after the hard to swallow entrée and adagio, these variations do lead us to a satisfying coda. Even if the ending is self-evident, it’s warmly done.
Ultimately, Love Tomorrow might play well in some festivals and special interest arenas, but will most likely find its final audience on TV.Reviewed on: 03 Oct 2012