No Hard Feelings, Asteroid City, Past Lives, Rise, The Last Rider, The Stroll

Rise ***The original French title of Cédric Klapisch’s drama—En Corps—offers layers of meaning that Rise doesn’t really suggest, providing more subtext for its character study of artists at work. It starts with Paris-based professional ballet dancer Elise Gautier (Marion Barbeau) suffering a potentially career-ending foot injury during a performance, and suddenly finding herself adrift and searching for purpose. While helping a friend with his catering business at a seaside artist retreat in Brittany, Elise connects with a company of modern dancers, and finds a potential new avenue for expression. As is typical for Klapisch’s films, there’s a bit of sprawling messiness to the narrative, including tensions between Elise and her pragmatic lawyer father (Denis Podalyès), and romantic entanglements/complications that don’t really connect (though there is an amusing recurring “if this truck’s a-rockin’” motif). The story is much more successful at capturing artistic creation as an almost physical need that manifests itself in many ways. Klapisch spends a lot of time on rehearsals and performances themselves, and on the way that Elise is in some ways healed by continuing to do the thing she loves. It’s a tale of a “corps” as both an individual frail human body and a body of artists working together, and the “encore” of needing to know that the end of one creative work isn’t really the end. Available June 23 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (NR)

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