Strictly Ballroom (1992)


Baz Luhrmann directs Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice and Barry Otto in the stylised look at a dancehall romance.

Sweet, but with a bit too much icing to get through from the top… You could say that of all of Luhrmann’s confections really. The now standard screeching, overacted,  48 frames a second, trippy  opening act always hamstrings his films for me (others love it) and that painful birth into whichever world he eventually settles us in jarred with me when I was younger. Now I know, once he gets all the throb and garishness out of his system, the bulk of his narratives are much calmer, more inviting prospects I can revisit his debut knowing not to outright hate it from the start. The well told ugly duckling / be true to yourself ballroom dancing romance has real heart and passion once it smooths out. Excellent use of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time too.


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