<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysRight from the glorious opening, it's obvious that Baz Luhrmann knows exactly what he's doing. The story recounts the struggles of talented dancer Scott (Mercurio) to make it to the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix, despite setbacks resulting from his refusal to stick to the steps approved by his team: his dance-tutor mum (Thomson) has screaming fits, the Dance Federation director (Hunter) threatens disbarment, and the only club member prepared to partner him is shy, clumsy novice Fran (Morice). Partly a hilarious satire of the bizarre rituals of the ballroom world, partly a contemporary fairytale romance, Luhrmann's exhilarating debut transcends its shamelessly familiar plot through endlessly inventive details, through an expertly balanced blend of stylish cinematic technique and camp theatricality, and through the care and affection it devotes to the characters, dancing and music. Crucially, the film's enormous charm is never rammed down the throat, but acknowledged for the calculating ploy it is, with a winning, ironic wink.