MoDo Jetés the Shark

So there’s not too much going on in the world right now. The Fort Hood shootings. The House health care bill. New jobs numbers. A multi-fronted war. Global warming. Yep, just your run-of-the-mill Slow News Week.

So, naturally, this weekend was a fitting time for a New York Times columnist, Solidifier of Our National Narrative, to write about…ballet.

Yes. Specifically, about The Red Shoes, the 1948 film based on the classical French dance and on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name.

The ‘why’ here is unclear. Because popular support for the wars is plié-ing? Because, when it came to the health care bill, House Republicans and Democrats have been dancing an elaborate pas-de-deux? Because the economy is in need of a relevé? Or because MoDo happened to see “the lovingly polished version of the British movie that debuted at Cannes and is now showing at Film Forum in New York,” and assumed that because she is Maureen Dowd, the American public would be interested in her assessment of the film?

Of Moira Shearer, the actress who played The Red Shoes’s heroine, Dowd notes in her column: “She resisted doing the movie, finding the script ‘silly and banal.’” If only Dowd had taken those concerns to heart.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.