This is great entertainment for children, with theater, dance, music, competition, and fierce family devotion. The drama, based on Noel Streatfeild's novel, the costumes, the characters, and the sets are wonderful. For Emma Watson fans, this is her first film outside of the Harry Potter series of films.
"Ballet Shoes" was originally published in 1937. This movie is a 2007 BBC Northern Ireland production starring Eileen Atkins, Peter Bowles, Richard Griffiths, Gemma Jones, and Harriet Walter. The Fossils are 3 orphans "collected" by Great Uncle Matthew (referred to as Gum by the girls). They grow up as an unconventional family living in 1930's London. Sylvia, Gum's niece is left in Gum's house to raise the girls with her Nana.
Gum roams the world, and his absences become longer and longer. The household runs out of money, and Sylvia takes in boarders. She enrolls the girls in the Academy of Dance and Stage Training to furthering their education and prepare them to earn a comfortable living. The three ambitious girls discover their own personal calling and work hard to achieve their dreams.
Posy, the youngest girl, was collected by Gum along with a pair of pink satin pointe shoes, from a poor young mother who could not care for a baby while dancing ballet for a living. Despite the title, more of the story deals with Pauline and her developing acting career. "Ballet Shoes" centers on the girls' devotion to their family. They periodically renew a vow to be loyal and help one another.
The boarders at Gum's house are colorful human beings who become part of the family spirit. The film is inspiring and energetic. Scenes of London theater in the 30's are beautifully portrayed. Pauline rises to the demands of becoming a young wage earner, with an intense sense of responsibility to her sisters, Aunt Sylvia, and Nana. All the "good guys" win, and hopes and dreams are fulfilled for all.
"Ballet Shoes" is one of a series of "shoes" books by Noel Streatfeild, but has remained in the most popular position since 1937. It is an entertaining family film for all ages.