Footnotes (Sur quel pied danser) 2.0 stars

Footnotes (Sur quel pied danser) movie poster

Gently jazzy French musical about a girl (Pauline Etienne) who lands a job (or at least a one-month trial period) at a fancy ladies’ shoe factory, just in time to hear the rumor of an impending upgrade (read: downsizing). The songs work better when the subtitles don’t struggle to make them rhyme: “Women in every city/ You make them feel so pretty” hardly seems worthy of a couturier, but when the Big Boss turns on the charm and starts rhyming words with “Merci,” it’s enough just to have the English meaning to help us swoon on cue. That sort of restraint is one of the film’s great strengths. It is neither overlong nor overproduced — 80 minutes is plenty of time to tell its slight tale, and there is charm in seeing factory workers who, when they break into a dance routine, actually look like factory workers dancing. Yes, the whole thing is fantastical, a daydream of people triumphing over profits via brilliant PR, and love making a case for itself in the face of everything. But it’s just believable enough to make at least some of us play along. Written and directed by Paul Calori and Kostia Testut. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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