The Nutcracker

This version of an American stage production will do little to thrill most movie buffs. Though handsomely filmed and drenched with colours as saturated as wet paint, it has just three indoor locales and no exteriors. It's true market is as a festive TV event or a video where connoisseurs can play favourite bits over and over (the stupendously confident Kyra Nichols leading 'The Waltz of the Flowers') while fast forwarding through much of the rest. One reason George Balanchine's original choreography of the ballet is so special for Americans is that over the past 40 years it has become an annual New York tradition. Many of the participants, including director Ardolino, are graduates of the long-running TV series 'Dance in America'. They opted for as little gimmickry as possible, though they did add a voice-over (by Kevin Kline). The use of Macaulay Culkin isn't actually a gimmick - he was in the stage version in 1989 and '90, and his father did the same in the '50s, when he was paired with Bonnie Bedelia.

Release details

Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Emile Ardolino
Cast: Damian Woetzel
Macaulay Culkin
Jessica Lynn Cohen
Darci Kistler
Kyra Nichols
Bart Robinson Cook
the Company of the New York City Ballet
Wendy Whelan
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