In present circumstances, London seems an unlikely setting for fairy godmothers and last-minute miracles. Irina Pizania’s film Tutu and Pointes brings a touch of magic to the capital with the story of a little girl and a newfound passion.
This short updates standard fairy tales with a hardworking single mother instead of an evil stepmother, and microwave meals in place of poison apples. But the sense of mystery and delight still remains, as Mirela (remind you of any particular glass-shoed ball goer?) discovers the world of ballet and is granted one special wish.
Mirela and her mother are played wonderfully by Margot Dean and Clare Leahy. The portrayal of their mutually respectful relationship is perhaps the film’s main strength, and is a welcome change from pitting women against each other as so often happens both in and out of fairy tales.
While this short is appropriate for children, it may be a little too saccharine for adult audiences. No vast obstacle is overcome to make the ending truly meaningful, and it might have been a little more exciting to see Mirela engage in a different activity that is not so overtly ‘princessified’. That is not to say that ballet is not a tough sport, but in the fairy tale genre that is already overflowing with tiaras and masochistic shoes, it would have been more refreshing to choose an activity that deviates from established ideas of femininity.
Nonetheless, this is a sweet story with a happy ending. And sometimes that can be just what the fairy godmother ordered.
'Tutu and Pointes' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.