Director Robert Altman’s valentine to the onstage and backstage worlds of ballet prances in place rather than dives deep into its subjects and subject matter. The script by Barbara Turner (Pollack
) either had no real story or was completely gutted as Altman focused on the full or abbreviated 10 ballets that monopolize the film. Neve Campbell stars as Loretta “Ry” Ryan, a blossoming ballerina who works nights as a goth-bar waitress, impresses the troupe’s artistic director (Malcolm McDowell as an autocratic arts gatekeeper) and dates a young chef (Spider-Man
’s James Franco with no memorable imprint as either cook or lover). Campbell holds her own against the Joffrey Ballet dancers but finds nothing in her offstage minutes in Altman’s documentary-like approach on which to hang her hat.