Great Moments in Movies: The Ballroom Scene in The Dark Knight Rises

I consider The Dark Knight Rises disappointing by director Christopher Nolan’s standards, though it is better than what most other filmmakers churn out. That being said, I recently caught a few minutes of Rises on TV and I found that I am still as impressed by the charity ballroom interaction between Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) as I was when I saw the film last summer. (The video edits down the scene, cutting out a part with Marion Cotillard.) These characters’ alter egos, Batman and Catwoman respectively, bubble beneath the surface as they slide along the floor to Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (also known as “Pavane for a Dead Princess”). Although the moment between them lasts less than three minutes, the chemistry is palpable. The scene is more effectively seductive than the similar part in Batman Returns, though now that I see the Batman Returns bit again, it’s slightly less cheesy than I remember it. (Tim Burton’s first Batman film certainly suffers from a bad case of late-80s-ness.) Even if you are not a Batman fan or a Christopher Nolan fan, you can appreciate the alluring style apparent in this particular Dark Knight Rises scene.

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