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Gabrielle Short Film Review

★★★★ Stars

Directed by: #NicolaRose

Written by: #NicolaRose


A woman sits holding a bouquet of red and orange flowers, looking off into the distance just past the left side of the frame. Her expression is calm and appears comfortable in the setting.

“When a 13-year-old takes her first ballet class, she encounters both bullying and unexpected friendship.”

Gabrielle is an award winning short film that definitely deserves every piece of the praise it has received. This story of admiration, struggle and friendship has been handled with upmost care, showing audiences that ‘passion’ makes perfect.

Gabrielle (Adèle Marie-Alix) is a young artist who finds joy in observing and drawing ballet dancers. She eventually decides that she would like to begin ballet classes herself, only to find that the environment becomes more cruel as the days pass. The bullying she suffers from both her fellow dancers and her teacher highlights an unfortunately widely know issue within the world of ballet. Many controlling behaviours in relation to weight and eating have been implemented into studio practices for decades, ultimately turning individuals away from what their heart has led them to or causing declines in health and overall well-being for those who choose to push through. Gabrielle showcases these issues in a very centred format, depicting how harsh the unnecessary standards can be without sugarcoating the events. Nicola Rose has written and directed this short brilliantly; her work shines a much needed spotlight on these occurrences as well as doing so in a way that anyone can connect to and fully understand. The plot is straightforward and precise, allowing all audience members to easily let the film’s content sink into their bloodstream. In this way, it becomes an instantly memorable film.

Personally, I began to feel a slight bit of worry set in towards the middle of the short since I was starting to wonder if the storyline was going to fall into the category of poor representation – meaning that the story would eventually lead to the main character completely giving up ballet due to being pushed away to then focus on another interest and solely excel in that instead. I am beyond ecstatic that Gabrielle didn’t take this path and concluded rather perfectly, coming full circle to the main character reminiscing over the days she dreamed of becoming a dancer with a fond smile. In this film, a passion isn’t given up to pursue something else, nor does Gabrielle let it destroy her passion for all things she has taken interest in thanks to a newly found friendship; she combines the things that bring her joy while being uplifted by friends and finds great success through them together instead, indirectly fighting back against the negativity she was first faced with. I think we can all learn a lesson from Gabrielle’s strength to guide us in the right direction of discovering our own self worth.

Gabrielle is such a beautiful watch – it’s a short film that brings a sense of hope for good back into your life, especially since we are forever surrounded by a collective that drains us of the craved emotion. With stunning shots (cinematography by Jon Reino) and equally as mesmerising wardrobe choices (Melissa Cruz,) this film is not only a great way to warm your heart but also one that will make your eyes sparkle in response to the visuals.



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