Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The tango is a celebration of courtship display. No dance has been devised that is sexier. Carlos Saura, the Spanish director of such musical classics as "Blood Wedding", has written a film within a film that succeeds through his instinctive feel for innovation. Visually exhilarating, the story follows traditional lines... up to a point. Fortysomething theatre director (Miguel Angel Sola) suffers a crisis of confidence after his wife (Cecilia Narova), a famous dancer, leaves him for another man.

He throws himself into an ambitious new film about the history of tango in Buenos Aires and becomes involved with a 24-year-old dancer (delectable newcomer, Mia Maestro), who is the mistress of the project's chief backer, an alleged Mafia boss.

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The plot is less vital than the music, dance and cinematography. Saura has an artist's eye and a romantic's heart. The logical and theatrical do not exactly cohabit. They touch fins. Dance is an expression of the sensual, as film is an illusion of real life.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A dancer becomes involved with the mistress of a mafia boss.
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