Scott Hastings is a champion caliber ballroom dancer, but much to the chagrin of the Australian ballroom dance community, Scott believes in dancing "his own steps". Fran is a beginning dancer and a bit of an ugly duckly who has the audacity to ask to be Scott's partner after his unorthodox style causes his regular partner to dance out of his life. Together, these two misfits try to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championships and show the Ballroom Confederation that they are wrong when they say, "there are no new steps!"Written by
Starts off just weird, but then becomes a fearless fairy tale romance!
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
A campy, glossy, colorful, surprising fairy tale, total romance, lots of dancing, and inventive through and through. No, director Baz Luhmann has not pulled off another Moulin Rouge, which is a whole other order of invention and beauty, but this is his first movie, and it's filled with idealism. And some people to root for and to hiss against--you know, heroes and villains.
It could have been tightened up, no doubt--there are times when I was a little impatient even though they were dancing away. But mostly I was happy to watch and wait for the next step toward the big climax.
The two young leads, interestingly, came from nowhere (the perfectly named Paul Mercurio and the understated Tara Morice both in their first films). They've gone on to largely television careers, and in part you appreciate how much Luhmann gets from them. The highly stylized approach helps avoid a need for real acting, per se, but Mercurio in particular really rises to the occasion. The whole affair is Australian, and it feels bright and original the way some of fellow Aussie Peter Weir's films do, or in another sense, Peter Jackson.
If you can summon up any innocence and romance and go for what really clicks here, be swept up and love it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this