Birds of Paradise centres around a ballet dance-off contest against professional dancers, where the prize is join the Opéra national de Paris, the two leads – Kate (Diana Silvers) and Marine (Kristine Froseth) – having to share a room, despite initially getting off on the wrong foot, when Kate refers to a male dancer, Oli, as having jumped from a bridge and taking his own life, not realising that he was Marine’s brother…
And if that doesn’t already sound like something from a bad soap opera, their room is suprisingly opulent, yet only contains one double bed! Huh?
An early odd scene sees Kate having to swallow an actual worm to get into a nightclub. While I’m sure that no worms were harmed in the making of this film, jeez! I’m glad that’s not a policy in the UK! Then again, it basically drugs her a la the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, so maybe it’s not so bad?
Birds of Paradise is mostly in English, but since it’s set in Paris, there’s a fair chunk of French dialogue with English subtitles. Even for the English, the dialogue isn’t always the most clear, and sometimes the acting from the leads and tertiary characters – such as when Marine meets and chats to a drummer at a family function – is like a student production.
The characters aren’t particularly likeable, either. They’re either at each other’s throats, taking drugs or sleeping around without a care in the world.
However, can Kate and Marine ultimately become true friends, when they’re both competing for the same prize? Will you be bothered? At other times, they simp around each other as if they’re gagging to have a lesbian relationship, in a film which ends up feeling like a two-hour Calvin Klein perfume advert.
It is possible to make a reasonably interesting ballet-related movie, as 2019’s The White Crow showed, but Birds Of Paradise isn’t it; and with fancy dance routines in place of a plot, Black Swan, this is not.
On the plus side, Paris looks nice.
Thanks to our friends at Amazon Prime Video for the screener prior to release.
Birds of Paradise is on Amazon Prime Video from Friday September 24th. but the film isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 91 minutes
Release date: July 23rd 2021
Studio: Amazon Prime Video
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Producers: Trevor Adley, Jonako Donley, Dara Gordon, Sarah Adina Smith
Screenplay: Sarah Adina Smith
Novel: “Bright Burning Stars” by AK Small
Music: Ellen Reid
Kate Sanders: Diana Silvers
Marine Elise Durand: Kristine Froseth
Madame Brunelle: Jacqueline Bisset
Scott Sanders: Vincent D’Onofrio
Celine Durand: Caroline Goodall
Parisian Ballet Teacher (voice): Hélène Cardona
Jamal: Nassim Lyes
Lucien Durand: Roger Barclay
Sasha: Daniel Camargo
Luc: Solomon Golding
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.