The Dancer and the Thief

"El baile de la Victoria" is a 2010 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Spain (with English captions), although the story takes place in South America. It offers two of my favorites: 1) Ballet 2) Humor.

We meet two fellows recently discharged from prison. One, played by Argentinean Ricardo Darín ("The Secret in Their Eyes"), is a famous thief, a local legend who has sworn he will go straight after serving five years in prison for his crimes. His notoriety is obvious, people recognize his face and are eager to help him. The other, played by Argentinean Abel Ayala, is a young man who has just served a grueling two year prison term. This energetic guy is creative, funny, and resourceful. He provides the warmth and humor which cause us to care about the outcome. Either one of these men could be the eponymous thief.

The dancer is portrayed by Miranda Bodenhöfer, who performs just enough that we buy the concept. Her character was traumatized as a child by her parents' kidnapping and murder during the political turmoil in Argentina during the late 70s and early 80s. As a result, she is mute and her best means to communicate is through dance.

Our young hero falls for her instantly and immediately devises a way for her to audition for the premier ballet company. At the same time, he is concocting a fool-proof heist for his role model/idol, the legendary thief.

What they do, how they do it, and what results, is why we watch movies like this. And we ARE invested in the outcome!