Tuesday’s Overlooked: Strictly Ballroom (1992)

I do not know which is crazier – that I have not picked this film sooner or that it is twenty years old! My gosh – time surely does fly.

My pick for this week’s installment of Todd Mason’s ongoing series is 1992’s Strictly Ballroom, directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann and starring Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice. This ballroom dancing romantic comedy/drama was the first in Luhrmann’s “theater” trilogy – the other two films being Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge.


Scott Hastings (Mercurio) 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 (Morice) is a beginning dancer and a bit of an ugly duckling 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!”

The film’s visual style is quite bold and brash, even if on a small budget. Fast forward 20 years later and looking ahead to Luhrmann’s latest project, an imagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (which has been pushed back to the summer of 2013), gives you a proper glimpse as to what we can expect with this upcoming film.

Oh yeah, as with many Australian films, I really like the music!


  1. Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Love this film. Great spotlight, Iba.
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  2. Let me second that Wow – it can’t be twenty years, it just can’t … I’m not necessarily Luhrmann’s biggest fan (though I am sorry to have to wait longer for Gatsby) but this film is great fun (just love the little girl who says, “well, that was unexpected!”) – great choice Iba.
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  3. Oooh, I still need to see this!! It’s Baz Luhdmann and ballroom dancing, should be a great combo. Great pick for an Overlooked movie, Iba.
    ruth recently posted..Total Recall – Double ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks Ruth. It is a “small” film by Luhrmann’s standards but it has that boldness and brashness that we are accustomed to. That is why in many ways, Gatsby should be a good fit for him.

  4. Jack Deth says:

    Hi, iluv and company:

    Great fluid cinematography, lush colors and lots of electricity. Exactly what a Tango is supposed to be!

    Excellent choice and clip!

  5. This enjoyable film has UK associations for me; must have been there when I saw it. It’s filed away in memory with PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT.

  6. Such a glorious film. Can’t believe it’s 20 years old!!

  7. I love this movie, Iba! I only saw it within the last couple of years on dvd, but I’ll bet it was even more fun on the big screen. Great dancing and a nice love story. ‘There are no new steps.’ Imagine. 🙂
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  1. […] Luv Cinema is getting the word out on the fantastic debut from Baz Luhrmann, Strictly Ballroom. Like what you see here? Well there are other fantastic blogs part of the LAMB network! If […]

  2. […] Credit for this one goes to my blogging colleague, Iba over at I Luv Cinema, who pointed out in a post from last year that a couple of decades have passed on a particular romantic comedy. An Australian film with some […]

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