Film: Strictly Ballroom

Cover image
Film:

Strictly Ballroom

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Miramax

While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar (The Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing), the whimsical tone and superb dance sequences will make you forget the movie’s predictability. Scott (Paul Mercurio) is a champion ballroom dancer who wants to dance “his own steps.” Fran is the homely, beginning dancer who convinces Scott that he should dance his own steps…with her. Complicating matters are Scott’s domineering mother (Pat Thompson), a former dancer herself, who wants her son to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championship (the…

Reviews

Amazon.com

While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar (The Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing), the whimsical tone and superb dance sequences will make you forget the movie’s predictability. Scott (Paul Mercurio) is a champion ballroom dancer who wants to dance “his own steps.” Fran is the homely, beginning dancer who convinces Scott that he should dance his own steps…with her. Complicating matters are Scott’s domineering mother (Pat Thompson), a former dancer herself, who wants her son to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championship (the same contest she lost years ago), and a conniving dance committee that is determined that “there are no new steps!” The dancing is enjoyable, yet not overwhelming, and the movie strives hard not to take itself too seriously (the beginning of the film is even styled as a pseudo-documentary). Strictly Ballroom, while not so subtly imparting its moral (“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived”), is a laughable romp that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. —Jenny Brown

Barnes and Noble

In this delightful 1992 musical comedy, innovative director Baz Luhrmann exhibits the same visual flair and iconoclastic spirit that made his more celebrated later hit, Moulin Rouge (2001), such a genre-bending treat. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at a contest for ballroom dancers at which the highly competitive Scott (Gus Mercurio) plans on breaking with tradition, much to the consternation of his conservative partner (Gia Carides), his overbearing mother (Pat Thompson), and the ballroom-dancing “establishment.” He chooses a new partner, a bespectacled “ugly duckling” named Fran (Tara Morice) and stakes his reputation on her untested ability by choosing a complicated flamenco routine guaranteed to raise eyebrows. To an extent, Strictly Ballroom caricatures movie musicals, but the kidding is good-natured and the lead players are enormously likable. The film is also something of a Cinderella story, a little less credible than some might like, but no less entertaining for that. Luhrmann supplies a commentary for the DVD, whose other special features include deleted scenes (hidden “Easter egg” style), a featurette on dancing entitled “From Samba to Slow Fox,”and a gallery of images from the film presented in 3D. Ed Hulse

Views: 538 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.025 sec