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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Strictly Ballroom (1992)



Reviews and Comments

Before Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, Baz Luhrmann made this small gem in the rough, a curious oddball comedy about competitive ballroom dancing. The title is apt. These characters are obsessed with ballroom dancing. It defines themselves and their lives. And, somehow, it works, perhaps because dance is, here, the means by which the characters express themselves in more encompassing ways. The underlying themes are nothing less than the neverending war between control and creativity, tradition and innovation, and the efforts of an idealistic dreamer to succeed in a world that demands conformity. And somehow all this comes back to ballroom dancing.

I enjoyed Strictly Ballroom, finding its offbeat humor a refreshing change of pace from comedies that feel constructed out of an assembly line. And the dancing isn't bad either.