Some good shapes don’t save this dance

FILM
STREETDANCE 2 Cert: PG
**

Streetdance was, if not a masterpiece, at least a refreshingly British take on the many schmaltzy dance movies churned out in the last decade (Honey, Step Up and Save The Last Dance anyone?). So it’s odd that in the sequel the hero is American (Falk Hentschel) and furthermore, that after being humiliated at the hands of dance crew Invincible, sets about drumming up every nationality possible for a rematch in Paris.

There’s scope for some impressive dance moves, but they quickly lose their novelty after being dragged down by incessant slo-mo and an even slower, duller narrator. Co-directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini are best known for pop promos, which is potentially why their decisions aren’t exactly ground-breaking or even particularly creative.

Playing out like a generic teenybop music video, the dancers are obviously brilliant but the attempts to vary the different numbers is less so, with the 3D adding absolutely nothing to proceedings.

Oh, and while the fresh faced cast may be sure-footed, they’re shakier when it comes to, well, acting, meaning this is one to avoid unless, of course, you happen to be a 13-year-old girl. Or you just really like generic music videos.

FILM
CORPO CELESTE Cert: 15
****

A young Italian girl begins to doubt the Roman Catholic doctrine as she grows up in southern Italy, making the transition from girl to teenager. Director Alice Rohrwacher balances puberty with religious questioning, stretching it out as a study of Italy and Catholicism as a whole. The themes are constantly, if sometimes unsubtly, vying for attention. For example, when little Marta starts her period (the growing up theme), it is noticed by a Roman Catholic priest who unwittingly scolds her for getting dirty (Catholicism theme). Ignorance within the church? Tick. Coming of age? Tick. European arthouse warts-and-all ethos? Tick. Throw in a shady priest involved in political corruption, albeit on a low level, and you can’t help but get the message: yes, Roman Catholicism is both outdated, the film says, and entangled in Italian politics.

Yle Vianello gives a wonderfully underplayed performance as Marta, and watching her youthful disillusionment is compelling viewing as she attends uninspired confirmation classes taught by aforementioned morally questionable religious role models. It’s not as subtle as it thinks it is, but Corpo Celeste remains a thought provoking, interesting accomplishment from a first-time director.