Polina follows the journey of Russian dancer of the same name (Anastasia Shevtsova) from promising childhood to failure, to ultimate success.
The movie opens with a scene from Polina’s childhood – her first day at the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet school of dance. For years, she undergoes intensive training under a famous ballet teacher, Bojinski (Aleksey Guskov). She is on the path to greatnes.
But when she heads to France to audition for a lead ballerina position in choreographer Liria’s (Juliette Binoche) company, she pushes herself too hard and is injured.
Polina decides to leave her home and loved ones behind for Antwerp, Belgium. After failing to land any sort of work as a dancer, she gets a job as a waitress. Her dancing days are not over, though – she meets the charismatic street dancer Karl (Jeremie Belingard) and despite their different styles, they start to work together.
Shevtsova may be new to the movie industry, but she is an experienced ballerina, and these genuine skills enhance the visual experience and make you forgive any shortcomings in the acting.
Polina is a story of encouragement, and will resonate with anyone who struggles with criticism while growing up. While a little clichéd, the tale of perseverance is captivating. And who doesn’t love a bit of ballet?