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George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, starring Kevin Kline, Macaulay Culkin, Jessica Lynn Cohen, Bart Robinson Cook, Darci Kistler

Synopsis of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Angels and sugarplums. Candy canes and ice. A magic prince, a dreamy young girl, a mysterious old man and a Christmas tree that grows sky high. Enter the world of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, featuring the New York City Ballet, and let this all-new movie version of a timeless Yuletide fantasy, narrated ny Academy Award(R) winner Kevin Kline, draw you under its spell. Starring Macaulay Culkin, Darci Kistler, and Bart Robinson Cook. Year: 1993 Director: Emile Ardolino Starring: Bart Robinson Cook, Macaulay Caulkin, Darci Kistler, Damian Woetzel

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, starring Kevin Kline, Macauley Culkin, Jessica Lynn Cohen, Bart Robinson Cook, Darci KistlerEditorial review of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, courtesy of Amazon.com

 Tchaikovsky’s timeless Yuletide ballet is presented in an all-new movie version with as much eloquence as one would find in a live stage production. Replete with gorgeous costumes and scenery, George Balanchine’s production, adapted by Peter Martins, features the New York City Ballet with narration by Kevin Kline. From the moment the Nutcracker prince winds toymaker Drosselmeier’s life-sized dolls, viewers are ushered into the captivating story of a little girl’s Christmas Eve fantasy of beauty, magic, and sugarplums. While several versions of this beloved tale are available in video, this one is distinguished for the magnificent performances of a large cast of young ballet dancers from the School of American Ballet.

While Culkin lends his star-studded name, that is all he lends in what is mostly a wooden performance (he often appears on the sidelines looking quite blasé and detached). More deserving accolades go to Jessica Lynn Cohen as Marie, whose genuineness never wanes and dance steps never falter. Bart Robinson Cook is wonderful as the playful Herr Drosselmeier, and Darci Kistler is the graceful Sugarplum Fairy. Mostly this film belongs to children–both on the stage and in the audience. What is lacking in spontaneous energy of live theater is made up for in a perfectly polished performance. The only thing missing is the well-earned applause. –Lynn Gibson