An uneven film; at times exhilarating, at other times exasperating. Reading comments and reviews about it, generally reactions are similarly opposed. The film has two sides: one presents the performances of the on-tour troupe of New Burlesque artistes; the second side follows the attempts of their manager/producer (Mathieu Amalric) to put his professional and personal life in some sort of order. The first side is presented in an almost documentary, non-directed, lively way while the second side is tightly organized, controlled, subdued. Generally, the Burlesque performances draw most of the admiring comments and they are really exquisite, amazing, awesome; especially for the uninitiated (like myself) to New Burlesque. The parts of the film that follow their manager are not very exciting, at times they can be annoying. I can see a point in the contrasting way they were filmed, suggested by Amalric's own comments that New Burlesque is about imperfection: the definitely not-perfect bodies of his troupe engaging in routines "traditionally" reserved for the most perfect (but not really human) ones. If these performances celebrate imperfection, the manager's tale is another side of imperfection: imperfection as tragedy.
The film is really very well crafted, photographed and directed (not surprisingly it received the 2010 Cannes award for best direction). The craft that went into the making of the film can be assessed by checking readily available (on the internet) videos of the performers' shows; it is astounding how much better they appear under Amalric's direction. The film is definitely worthwhile to check it out, even if only for the New Burlesque performances; but if you get into the story of the manager's plight as well, you will be engrossed.
The region 2 DVD that I checked out had excellent transfer quality. You can appreciate that if you see some suitable excerpts available on the internet. I didn't bother checking even if there were any extras, so I cannot comment on the overall value of the package.