Melina Matsoukas directs Amazon’s spirited Christmas ad, The Show Must Go On

Sparkling amid a sudden flurry of festive campaigns, the film stars ballet dancer Taïs Vinolo in a story reflective of 2020 – depicting disappointment, determination and community.

Date
3 November 2020
Reading Time
2 minutes

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The Christmas advert rush began, as usual, minutes after Halloween, but of course this year’s crop is expected to be very different to the norm. Ranging from Argos’ charming at-home magic show to TK Maxx’s sassy goat whose “had a tough year,” most are addressing the pandemic context while trying to maintain some festive joy. Amazon’s offering sparkles amid those, an earnest and beautiful film directed by none other than Melina Matsoukas – of Beyoncé’s Formation and Queen & Slim fame.

The Show Must Go On stars French ballet dancer Taïs Vinolo, whose character in the advert is given the lead role in the winter show. She continues to practice ardently as lockdown descends, only for her hopes to be dashed by the cancellation of the performance – a relatable metaphor for so many disappointments this year. But her family and community rallies and sees her put on the show in an unexpected yet spectacular way, a crescendo that sees Vinolo dancing in the snow in the courtyard of her estate.

Vinolo commented that her involvement with the film has had an impact on her own self-belief. “When I was growing up in the French countryside, there were no young black girls studying ballet with hair like mine, or even on TV, meaning I had no one to identify myself with. Being on this shoot helped so much with this, enabling me to own who I really am, who I want to be and what I represent. I am so proud to have been part of this project since the message of it means a lot to me and even more so in this very difficult time that the world is going through.”

The ad was created by agency Lucky Generals with producers PrettyBird, and is soundtracked by filmic cover of the eponymous song by Queen, bolstering the film’s emotive and spirited message. Simon Morris, VP global creative at Amazon, said in a statement: “Our TV ad is inspired by, and pays tribute to, the unbeatable human spirit and the power of community that we have witnessed so often this year.”

GalleryMelina Matsoukas, Lucky Generals and PrettyBird: The Show Must Go On for Amazon

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Melina Matsoukas, Lucky Generals and PrettyBird: The Show Must Go On for Amazon

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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