and one of my favorite films to this day, is the sweet little 1992 Australian film Strictly Ballroom. The first five minutes of Baz Luhrmann’s first feature draws you into an amazing world of competitive ballroom dancing with the costumes and characters and tone and set design. Perfection.

The plot of “Strictly Ballroom” is as old as the hills, but the characters in the movie seem to come from another planet. Surely nobody in Australia dresses like this, talks like this, takes ballroom dancing as seriously as this? They do? The true weirdness of the movie comes when we begin to realize the director didn’t make everything up; only real life could possibly have inspired a world this bizarre..

Currently streaming on Netflix in the US. Not sure about Australia.