Strictly Ballroom (1992)

“Surprising, heartfelt, and triumphant.” 

Regan Humphrey

The first film in Baz Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy follows Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio), an Australian ballroom champion, whose desire to break the mold brings him ridicule and shame from his dance community. After an improvisation during competition costs him his long time partner, he finds a new one — Francisca (Tara Morice), a passionate ballroom novice at his family’s dancing school, who dreams of dancing Scott’s way at the Pan Pacific Latin Ballroom Championship.


Soundtrack: 100%
Story: 100%
Writing: 80%
Diversity: 80%
Daring: 100%
Racism: ABSENT0%
Gender Bias: COMBATTED – 100%
Homophobia: PRESENT – 40%

While the story of Strictly Ballroom begs a comparison to Dirty Dancing (1987), the particular cocktail of a ballroom dancer fighting the rigidity of the ballroom world is uniquely daring, Featuring “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” by Doris Day and a lovely cover of “Time After Time” by Mark Williams and Tara Morice, the main point of critique for this film is the use of a homophobic slur to insult Scott’s ballroom coach, Leslie.

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