First Position Three-quarters of the success of any documentary about any competition, whether in spelling, cooking, or (as in this case) dance, depends on the filmmaker's luck… First Position Three-quarters of the success of any documentary about any competition, whether in spelling, cooking, or (as in this case) dance, depends on the filmmaker's luck… 2012-05-04 Documentary Sundance Selects
Movie Review

First Position (2012)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: May 04, 2012; Genre: Documentary; Distributor: Sundance Selects

Three-quarters of the success of any documentary about any competition, whether in spelling, cooking, or (as in this case) dance, depends on the filmmaker's luck in finding individual competitors with personal charisma matched by a great backstory. In this, director Bess Kargman was blessed in her first film, compensating for the movie's very standard structure. Each of her six young subjects vying for the Youth America Grand Prix (and the priceless award of a full scholarship to a top ballet school) is a wonder of self-imposed discipline in service to art. (Also available on VOD) B+

Originally posted May 02, 2012 Published in issue #1206 May 11, 2012 Order article reprints