Strictly Ballroom

"Good"

Strictly Ballroom Review


There is weird cinema, and there is Australian cinema. There are weird movies about dancing, and there is Strictly Ballroom. Part Rocky with a touch of Blue Velvet, Simply Ballroom is the decidedly odd story of a boy (Paul Mercurio) and his tap shoes... a professional ballroom dancer who doesn't buy in to the rigidity the "sport" requires, instead busting out his own "crowd pleasing moves" and being frequently disqualified. His partner abandons him and he takes up with a plain Jane girl (Tara Morice), whom he teaches to be his new partner. Together, they manage to please the crowd even more, with or without music. What the film lacks in story, it makes up for with lots and lots of pompadours.

Now released on DVD (which includes a commentary from Luhrmann and his crew), it's easier to track Luhrmann's transition from Ballroom to Romeo + Juliet to the masterful Moulin Rouge -- and his road to greatness is an impressive one. Ballroom belies Luhrmann's love for the stage (beginning, Rouge-style, with a red curtain opening) and for gaudiness, but the tale is beyond his budget and sadly lacking in grandeur. Rouge took the ideas here -- from music to costuming to the idealistic hero -- and kicked it up about 20 notches. And in the process, Luhrmann learned how to make dialogue more thrilling and how to better develop his characters.

Romeo + Juliet, which also hits DVD this week, gave Luhrmann a prefab, stellar narrative and the chance to focus on his storytelling (and the opportunity to work with bigger-name actors). The end of the road was Moulin Rouge, and I know I'm dying to see where Luhrmann goes from here.

Let's hope he continues heading up.



Strictly Ballroom

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th February 1993

Box Office Worldwide: $33.9M

Budget: $3M

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Scott Hastings, as Fran, as Barry Fife, Pat Thomson as Shirley Hastings, as Liz Holt, as Les Kendall, as Doug Hastings, as Ken Railings, Kerry Shrimpton as Pam Short, as Charm Leachman, as Tina Sparkle, Todd McKenney as Nathan Starkey, Pip Mushin as Wayne Burns, Steve Grace as Kylie's Dance Partner

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.