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
The film received a 15-minute standing ovation when it played at the Cannes Film Festival, where an agent of Rank Films promptly snapped up the UK release rights for a million pounds in cash. See more »
Fran's hair changes during her conversation with Scott outside her shop. See more »
Baz Lurhman's first film is a piece of film that is worthy of more that it is given. It is absolutely cheesy in every way shape and form, however you love it more because of this. The attention to detail in the direction is fantastic, each scene is done with glistening sense of bewilderment and beauty. The acting is very plausible and energetic, the dance is done with with verve and style. The music fits in well within the story. From the beginning it's all very heart warming, but the end scene gave me tingles up and down my arm. It's an enjoyable film, but at times you wonder whether your feeling bewildered, entertained or thrilled.
What ever you feel for this film, you cannot put it down for the stylised direction, and the extravagant behaviour of the characters.
See if you like Moulin Rouge, Dirty dancing or Romeo and Juliet.
*original review written by me at 15, re-written at 22*
Of all the reviews I wrote in my teens this has to be my favourite, namely because I still whole-heartedly love this film. I called it cheesy, but I'm retracting this its not cheesy, its flamboyant and its flamboyant in the best possible way. Strictly Ballroom will alienate some with how over-the-top the whole thing is, but there is no denying that this makes it all the more engaging.
Like a fantasy film, it manages to take you to a new world. It takes you to a place only film and(to lesser extent)stage can take you. Strictly Ballroom gives you a window to look through, a world of dance and instead of tentatively peering through it, forces you right up against it, where a sea of multicoloured dresses and sequins lie.
Strictly Ballroom is a all hands on deck movie that will either leave you wide-eyed and bewildered or alienated and scared. But whatever it ends up leaving you, I would highly recommend watching if you have not already seen it. And this is coming from me 7 years later, as an adult, a film-making student and someone who isn't usually a fan of this kind of film.
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