Travis McClain’s review published on Letterboxd:
I decided for this year's DVD Talk Criterion Challenge that I wanted to watch all of one of the celebrity Top 10 lists on their site. After careful consideration, I settled on Martin Scorsese's Top 10. Second on the list: The Red Shoes, which Scorsese loves so much that one of The Criterion Collection DVD supplements is a showcase of his personal collection of memorabilia.
I've been consciously working on flexing my critical writing muscle with film throughout the last several months (on the infrequent occasion I've actually watched anything during that time), but this is not going to be one of those instances.
For one thing, I've been too under the weather to think or write all that coherently - which, surprisingly, wasn't much of a barrier to watching and getting into The Red Shoes. Indeed, I would say that being in a state of near-exhaustion and medicated at 2:00 in the morning may even be an ideal state for one's first viewing of the film. By the time we got to the performance of the titular ballet in the middle of the story, I was entirely engrossed in the nightmarish surrealism. (That dancing newspaper tripped me out, man.)
It wasn't until December, 2012 that I actually attended a ballet (The Nutcracker), which had been preceded earlier that year by a stage performance of Billy Elliot: The Musical. Those two constitute my entire background in the world that The Red Shoes celebrates, and I'm acutely aware of my ignorance of it. My only other ballet-related experience was seeing Black Swan; parallels between this film and that have already been drawn and dissected by far more qualified writers than me.
I did not fall in love with The Red Shoes, but I do feel that it got under my skin and that I'll be processing this one for awhile to come.
How The Red Shoes Entered My Flickchart
The Red Shoes > The 'Burbs --> #825
The Red Shoes > Superman: Doomsday --> #413
The Red Shoes < Chicago --> #413
The Red Shoes < Starship Troopers --> #413
The Red Shoes > Trees Lounge --> #360
The Red Shoes < Matchstick Men --> #360
The Red Shoes < Never Say Never Again --> #360
The Red Shoes > Kill Bill Vol. 2 --> #353
The Red Shoes > James --> #350
The Red Shoes > Minority Report --> #349
The Red Shoes > Spaceballs --> #348
The Red Shoes entered my Flickchart at #348/1650