LEAP! – A Review by John Strange
In rural Brittany, Felicie lives in an orphanage with her best friend Victor(Nat Wolf). Their primary goal is to escape the orphanage. Their secondary goals? Well those goals are lofty indeed! Victor wants to be an inventor! But our little Felicie? She dreams of becoming a ballerina!
Their escape plans are elaborate as only an inventor with dreams of flying can create! Their biggest (and I mean biggest) obstacle is Luteau (Mel Brooks). He has a great look with eyes that don't track together but are good enough to foil most of the kids' escape attempts!
The kids finally succeed when Victor unleashes his masterpiece that he calls "chicken wings"! Luteau gives chase on his motorcycle but they succeed in reaching the train to Paris. They enter Paris of 1884 with Eiffel's new amazing tower highlighting the skyline!
Felicie's first view of the Paris Opera House takes her breath away. But her chances of getting into the company of students are slim until she steals the identity of a rich brat named Camille (Maddie Ziegler). Camille herself, is only getting in because her mother used her influence.
Felicie's road to fame is a hard one as she has no idea how to do the steps of the ballet. She has an amazing talent for dance but you can tell that the classes are the first time she has actually seen the steps being performed.
What she also has is an iron will. She does not give up! The luck that got her out of the orphanage brings her to meet someone who can save her by giving her the extra training she needs to succeed. Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) is now just a cleaning woman but once she was a rising star in the ballet world. She even moves in with Odette while training.
Felicie/Camille is slowly coming along in her training but it was only a matter of time before her impersonation is discovered. Lucky for her that her attitude and raw talent affect the company's director, Louis Mérante (Terrence Scammell), who gives her a second chance despite the demands of Camille's mother, Régine Le Haut (Kate McKinnon).
The dancing in the film will entrance your young daughters and you, too. The boys will enjoy the scenes with Victor, now working for Mr. Eiffel, and his friend, Mathurin (Tamir Kapelian). They will love seeing the Statue of Liberty being prepared to send to the United States. They will love Victor's new wings.
We get to watch Felicie blossom into a true ballerina. It is a wonderful story of a young girl reaching for and finding her dream! The story is full of great characters and warmth. Leap! should definitely be on your list of Must See Films for the fall!
Directed by: Eric Warin and Eric Summer
Cast: Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Maddie Ziegler, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mel Brooks, and Kate McKinnon
MPAA Rating: PG (for some impolite humor, and action)
Selig Rating: A+
Runtime: 89 Min.
Movie Site: www.facebook.com/LeapMovieOfficial/
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.