L to R: Diana Silvers and Kristine Froseth in BIRDS OF PARADISE.

Film Review – Birds Of Paradise (2021)

Not quite Black Swan (2010) or The Red Shoes (1948) two of the greatest ballet themed movies ever produced; but still captivating largely due to the exquisite young ensemble with decent peek behind the scenes of high stakes, En Pointe battle of class, experience and fervent sex with the goal of becoming prima ballerina.

Birds of Paradise, focuses on the melodramatic dance off between duelling students, scholarship recipient Kate (Diana Silvers) and daughter of the US Ambassador Marine (Kristine Froseth) at a prestige studio in France led to the hilt by legendary Madame Brunelle (Jacqueline Bisset) who has a penchant for body shaming.

Diana Silvers and Kristine Froseth in BIRDS OF PARADISE

Marine has suffered a family loss and continues to deal with the trauma inflicted by her awful parents who need to look good to others despite what drama is unfolding. Kate is discarded at first as a pretender although soon gains the trust and friendship of colleagues, including Marine. They become the best of frenemies.

Based on popular YA novel ‘Bright Burning Stars‘ by A.K. Small

Dancing and performances are poetic. Silvers (enduring in, Booksmart) is a revelation here whom needs to be in more movies, her voice, sway and graceful aura is chilling.

Fresh Froseth from underrated series Looking for Alaska, compliments all actors who appear alongside her of either dramatic or lighter sequences.

Surprises throughout help make this a much better viewing experience than it might sound. Iconic Bisset and fellow thespian Caroline Goodall (Schindler’s List) convey mature brilliance.

Thrilling and an enjoyable frenzy with an unexpected ending.

★★★★


Drama | USA, 2021 | 15 | Out Now | Amazon Prime Video | Dir.Sarah Adina Smith | Diana Silvers, Jacqueline Bisset, Toby Huss, Kristine Froseth, Caroline Goodall

Follow Shane A. Bassett @Movie_Analyst