The Dancer Upstairs

Synopsis: The story of Detective Agustin Rejas, a man clinging to the hope of an impossible love in an impossible world. Tracking Ezequiel, a delusional anarchist who incites the downtrodden masses to join in his brutal revolution against the fascist government in their unnamed Latin American country, Rejas finds solace in his sense of self-respect and the joy that his daughter and wife bring him. Then he meets Yolanda--his daughter's soulfully beautiful ballet teacher--a woman who sparks his long-forgotten passions and represents all that is good and all that is corrupt in their troubled country. But she, who appears to be a shelter from the storm, may in actuality be the storm's eye. Ultimately, as the revolution intensifies and the net closes around hunter and hunted alike, the dancer's truth will prove as elusive as the revolutionary's cause and the detective's peace.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s): John Malkovich
Production: Fox Searchlight Pictures
  1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min

We are recording tonight...

... and because we are recording,

we're trying to do some things...

... actually, that, I'm too tired to do.

But we'll...

But as Faye Dunaway, I think it was...

...she said she tried to give people

what they wanted.

You can't do it, but only after...

You use up everything you got

trying to give everybody what they want.

But I will learn my lesson soon...

...and then you will buy more records,

right, because you'll want to see me.

Let's see what we can do

with this lovely, lovely thing...

... that goes past all racial conflict...

...and all kinds of conflicts.

It is a reflective tune.

At some time in your life...

... you will have occasion to say,

"What is this thing called time?"

You know, "What is that?"

The clock. You go to work

by the clock...

... you get your martini

in the afternoon by the clock...

...and your coffee by the clock...

...and you have to get on a plane

and arrive at a certain time...

...and it goes on and on and on.

Why does she talk?

And time is a dictator, as we know it.

She's preparing to sing.

Where does it go? What does it do?

Most of all, is it alive?

Iatin america

Is it a thing that

we cannot touch and is alive?

the recent past

And then one day you look

in the mirror. "How old. "

And you say, "Where did the time go?"

We'll leave you with that one.

General Latche,

leaving to cast his vote...

...asked people to judge

the past 12 years fairly.

He spoke with supporters

gathered on the lawn...

...and then departed.

Polls show that Latche's lead has

eroded sharply in the last few months...

...particularly in the capital.


Sergeant Rejas.


What about her?

She drove all night.

What is that?

It's his dog. We ran it over.

We're giving him a lift to Huanta.

What was your dog's name?


Where have you come from?

The capital.

That's 1700 miles.

What brings you here?

Her father.

He's being buried this afternoon.


Why do you have temporary papers?

Mine were stolen.

Even temporary papers need a photo.

Technically, I should detain you.

Pisac, stay with the truck.

Would you mind getting out please?

How was the road?

Government assures us it will

be finished any day now.

I'm sure you have faith in all

government pronouncements.

Yes, of course.

I was hoping to take

that route tomorrow.

- Why?

- I've been promoted.

So your name is Melquiades Duran?

And you're a laborer?

- You were born in Galiteo de Maranon?

- That's right.

Has your colleague always been corrupt?

I don't know about always,

but certainly while I've known him.

Does that bother you?

I was a lawyer once, so regrettably

I have some familiarity with corruption.

Distinguishing marks?

What's wrong with your neck?

The country gives me a rash

from time to time.

The countryside.

That too.

I have to take you outside.

Will you take off your glasses?

That's it.

One second, I'll be right with you.

Sergeant Rejas. Hi, Sylvina.

Listen, I have everything here ready--

Hey, Pisac?

Pisac? What are you doing?

five years later

the capital

What the f*** is that?



The point of the next century...

...will be for man to rediscover his gods.

Long live El Presidente Ezequiel. "

Who the f***'s Ezequiel?

- There's something in his throat.

- Yes, there is.


Yes, Sergeant Gomez?

Sergeant Gomez?

It's Lieutenant Rejas.

Will you check in our library

any reference to a person...

...or perhaps an organization

called Ezequiel?

Like the prophet.

No, Gomez, in the Bible.

And also what a dead dog

might symbolize?

Yes, thank you.

Have you any ideas, sir?

In my village, when you died...

- ...your family buried your dog with you.

- Why?

Dogs were good at swimming

across rivers in the underworld.

People believe that?

Sucre, where I grew up...

...we were taught foreigners were

demons who came to rob body grease...

...and that the government used

this human fat to lubricate its machines.


Should I ask him

if he wants to borrow my penis?

Should l?

- Lieutenant Rejas?

- Yes.

Sergeant Sucre?

I'm Major Kwan.

Thank you for helping us out.

At the other side of the building

there's a door in the wall.

In the next few minutes,

a man will walk up.

At his request, then you open

the door, wait by the car...

...and make sure no one engages him

in conversation or takes his photograph.

And for your information,

do be discreet in what you say.

There are microphones everywhere.

May I ask you

to pull your car over there?

- Thank you.

- Yeah.

And who is this person?

A private citizen.


What's in the briefcase?

My laundry.

His laundry.


I'll spell it out for you.




Excuse me. Weren't you a junior partner

at Belaunde & Vargas?

Yes, I was.

Welcome, Mr. President.

Congratulations on your election.

Good luck, Mr. President.

Congratulations, Senor Presidente.

Let me hang this up first.

Death to Deng Xiao Ping

Long live President Ezequiel

Yeah, rice wine

has that effect on me too.

So, who was that

shadowy motherf***er?

Tristan Calderon. He's a lawyer.

He represented the drug cartels.

He represented that British soldier

who made all the students disappear.

He also represented the president elect

in a statutory rape case.

How do you know?

I worked at the law firm

which acted as counsel for the girl.

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Nicholas Shakespeare

Nicholas William Richmond Shakespeare FRSL (born 3 March 1957) is a British novelist and biographer, described by the Wall Street Journal as "one of the best English novelists of our time". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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