The Tango Lesson

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The Tango Lesson ★★½ 1997 (PG)

Semiautobiographical tale of director/ star/writer and former dancer Potter (“Orlando” director), as Sally, who finds love and the meaning of life in the tango while living in Paris. While penning a noncommercial script called “Rage” about a paraplegic designer who stalks leggy models, Sally meets a tango instructor (Pablo) without a partner, and soon the two are doing more than just the tango. Sally grooms Pablo to star in her upcoming pic as long as he allows the headstrong director to take the lead while they dance. Occasionally departs from the story to the “Rage” script, played out in color. While light on their toes, performances by the real-life director and real-life tango instructor are as heavy and stilted as some of the dialogue. Using dance as the metaphor for control and power in relationships, Potter falls flat in a pretentious “Lesson.” 101m/B VHS . GB Sally Potter, Pablo Veron, Gustavo Naveira, Fabian Salas, David Toole, Carolina Iotti, Carlos Copello, Peter Eyre, Heathcote Williams; D: Sally Potter; W: Sally Potter; C: Robby Muller; M: Fred Frith, Sally Potter.