Alive and Kicking

It’s not just the two-year gap between the 1995 dateline of this heartfelt British AIDS drama and the quality-of-life advances made possible by the advent of protease inhibitors that gives Alive and Kicking — so well performed, made with such fervor — its feeling of enervation. It’s also the rarefied, lovey backstage world of a dance company in which the story — directed by Nancy Meckler from a screenplay by Martin Sherman — is set. Jason Flemyng (Hollow Reed) stars as Tonio, a lithe and beautiful company star with AIDS who falls into a turbulent love relationship with Jack (Mrs. Brown‘s Antony Sher), a hard-drinking HIV-negative psychotherapist. Tonio’s lover has died, and so (at the beginning of the film) has his best friend, the company’s creative director. But Tonio doesn’t want to take any medication that may slow him down; he wants to dahhhhhnce. And between the arch banter, flirtation, moments of solitary despair, and passionate arguments with Jack — the strongest moments in the film — he does, darling, he does. B-

Alive and Kicking
  • Movie