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Strictly Ballroom
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Strictly Ballroom More at IMDbPro »

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52 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Bravo! A classic! Makes you feel great!

9/10
Author: nz man from New Zealand
19 May 2000

Yes, yes, I agree with all of the wonderful comments below, but here are a few things nobody has mentioned:

1. The EDITING is superb. All too often we focus on the actors, music, or cinematography. This is natural, and in this film all of these are superb. But keep a close watch of the editing - wow, it is perfect and ties the whole film together flawlessly. There are so many cuts that make the perspective magical.(And no, I am not a film editor.)

2. Look at WHO is dancing together as couples, right at the end. This, like so many other fine details, carries lots of significance.

3. When Scott and Fran are practising on the deck at her house, under the instruction of her family, her Spanish father dances with her and says "Muy bien, muy bien, Fran. Very good!" Notice that he uses her Anglo name "Fran" rather than her Spanish name, and converts over to English. The look he gives her tells us that he is probably seeing his (deceased) wife, via his daughter whom he loves, and that he finally ACCEPTS her and her Anglo boyfriend. This is but one of many small scenes that have more depth than may be first apparent.

My wife and I grabbed this video to 'fill in time' during a quiet weekend. We were astounded at how it captivated us since we had already seen it when it first came out. Like other comments below, we have watched the end repeatedly, and it always 'revs us up' into the clouds. Bravo!

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50 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

An All-Time Favorite

10/10
Author: stevenfain from Seattle WA USA
11 September 2004

This movie is one of those rare pieces of cinema where it all comes together.

The style is consistent - campy. The acting is wonderful. The editing and rhythm are superb. The music engaging.

It is about ballroom dancing. It is a love story. It is about the love and pathos of life.

If you've not seen this movie and are in need of a smile, see this one. It is about a dance studio whose main dancer, a male, is in need of a partner for regional championships. He and his former partner have split, leaving an opening that is a challenge to fill. The do fill it, but not until the last moment, and when it comes together, it creates a finale that is among the best ever shot.

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33 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

What A Way To DANCE!!

Author: (timmauk@hotmail.com) from st. pete, fl usa
25 July 2002

It's a love story. It's a story about being yourself. It's story of following your dreams and not giving up. It's a story with DANCING!!

A boy who loves to dance HIS WAY loses at the major dancing competition. Why or why can't he dance like the others. This is killing his mother. No one wants to be his partner now. He is TOO MUCH!

He works as an instructor at his parents dance studio. His mom wants him to dance again, but the right way. His dad doesn't say much. He is too busy reliving his old dancing days when he was happier. There is a girl who dances at the studio who wants to be his partner. She is too plain and clumsy to be taken seriously. Will she ever get the chance?? Will the boy ever make the world see his way?? Will his mom ever chill out?? Will his Dad end up in the Nuthouse??? For the answers to these questions, please get this film.

Seriously, you will love this film. Though it follows closely to the "DIRTY DANCING" story, it is much more than that. The characters are just so off the wall you will laugh your arse off. The love story is kind of sweet, but the DANCING is great!

8 out of 10

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32 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Funny, inspiring, offbeat, creative

Author: noleander from Spokane, WA
28 May 2003

An outstanding movie in nearly every regard. Filmed in Australia on a tight budget, this movie succeeds in the one area that counts most: it _entertains_ the viewer.

A parody of "underdog makes good" movies, Strictly Ballroom is set in the competitive world of ballroom dancing. The movie educates (about ballroom dancing), amuses (especially with the bumbling bad guys), and uplifts (with the take-home message about following your dreams).

The show is stolen by Paul Mercurio, starring as the protagonist male dancer. His acting and dancing are superb.

A bit corny, a bit burlesque, but lots of fun! What more could you want?

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Best Dance movie ever, Greatest choreography and costumes; also a good Romance with its moments

7/10
Author: Cihan Sean Victorydawn Vercan (CihanVercan) from Ottawa, Canada
13 October 2008

Waltz, Rumba, Samba, Tango, Cha Cha, Step Salsa... Never seen a movie with that much rich choreography before. That's Baz Luhrmann, who is an expert at swinging a visual feast; and Strictly Ballroom is his red curtain trio opening(together with Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge!).

With his own style of cinematography and overdrive speed of camera work, it's impossible to watch a 94 minutes film in exact 94 minutes. Otherwise you'd be falling into anxiety saying to yourself: "Ooops! Did i just miss a scene?" I still rewind on many scenes each time I watch Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge!

Here are some unforgettable and timelessly cult scenes and moments I most like:

1- Scott&Francesca dancing in front of the Coca Cola broad sheet at the roof 2- Scott&Francesca dancing with Doris Day's "Perhaps,Perhaps, Perhaps(1954 version)" behind the red curtain 3- Francesca and Scott's meeting scene and the way she introducing herself to Scott 4- Scott practicing his style of dance and watching himself by the mirror 5- Scott's father starting clapping in unison when Scott&Francesca turned back to the stage where they are banned 6- Francesca persuading Scott upon the choices they look forward to make beside the wire fences they walk through in the night

Strictly Ballroom is one of the best choices to watch and enjoy it with your beloved. It will keep you locked in a close embrace. It is also the best choice to start learning couples' dancing.

But, if you're looking for some silver screen accomplishment, which I mostly do for every movie I watched, there is only the noteworthy achievement of costume design. Directing-editing-screenplay are collaboratively proper since it is Baz Luhrmann's own project. I only disliked the sound editing.

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A fun movie with a great message

8/10
Author: dubuque57 from United States
10 June 2005

This is a very stylized film, a lot of fun, a lot of great dancing. Some of the costumes and performances, within the scope of the plot, are almost painful, yet appropriate. And the upshot of the whole thing is a message we wish we could all live by, every day. I relate to the ugly duckling storyline, and also enjoy the attractive male star! There are characters you love to hate and those who step up when you didn't think they would. The flashbacks are very quirky/funny. I'm sure in Australia this ballroom dancing stuff is taken deadly seriously, so Luhrman probably took a hit for lampooning it the way he does. But the whole thing is a good time that ends up having unexpectedly warm, deep meaning, and not many movies these days can say that.

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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful, emotional, quirky, uplifting movie!

Author: EdKoh
26 February 1999

The first time I saw Strictly Ballroom I tuned in accidentally to the grand climax while flipping through my cable channels: I was transfixed, and when the ten minutes was over I felt emotionally spent and stimulated at the same time, as if some door had been opened in my psyche. I knew I had to find the movie and watch it in its entirety. Now, fifteen viewings, a VHS tape, audio tape, and music CD of SB later, I happened upon it again tonight (interspliced with Sister Act by Emile Ardolino...), and I again watched the grand climax, with a bit of lead-in, with my wife and young sons. It was just as emotional and powerful as the first time, and I cried yet again. This is a very very special film. Baz Luhrman takes risks that most directors would not dare to, and his movies work because he gets to the heart of the matter, gets to the truth. In this case, the truth is "To thine own self be true", a familiar message told in a fresh and wonderful way. Bravo.

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20 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Dance!

9/10
Author: R_O_U_S from United Kingdom
28 January 2004

This was nothing like I expected at first. It's got the frenetic sense of humour that most Australian films of the period exuded, for one thing. And it's not a simple boy-meets-girl-and-they-dance story...that's the heart of it, but there's a lot of weirdness along the way. Basically, it's in-fighting backstage at Come Dancing. It begins Baz Luhrmann's ascent to greatness. And it features a truly odd performance from Barry Otto as Scott's father.

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21 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

An extravagant, original piece of film.

10/10
Author: Jay Johnson from United Kingdom
22 September 2005

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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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Never has a movie been so completely engaging

10/10
Author: lionesss from New York City
27 December 1999

From beginning to end. Wow. This is the best Baz Luhrmann film, without a doubt. I've seen it maybe half a dozen times. The characters are hilarious, but even the most obvious parodies are real. They're all so absorbed in their crazy, strange, fantastic world of dancing, you can't help but get absolutely involved in what transpires onscreen. Fran's (Morice) 'transformation' is done very well, and she is possibly the only sane person in a world of over-the-top loons. Scott (Mercurio) is astoundingly handsome and believably self-involved. Go see it!

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