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Film Strictly Ballroom
Country Australia
Director Baz Luhrmann
Year 1992
Cast Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter
Details Colour 94 mins
A film set in the tinselled tawdriness of ballroom dancing in Oz. Scott has been raised to be a champion by his dance mad mother, but he has this slight flaw. He wants to dance his own steps not follow the rules. Can he succeed against the establishment, particularly when saddled with a beginner for a parner?

The plot may be a run-of-the-mill underdogs to heroes plot. In a common motif Scott learns how to put his heart into his dancing boots from an unexpected quarter. A bit like martial arts films. What makes this film is firstly the richness of the characters, Scott's mother is one of the cameo performances that make this film come alive. Solid actors breathe conviction into otherwise limp unconvincing dialogue. Even the leads are not as wooden as normal but have depth, have personality. The second strength is the way the director presents the film - he moves from a quasi-documentary feel to a surreal series of events (at point in a character's daydreams a rival has had an accident, and then it happens in reality.)

Tremendous stuff.