June 11, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Audition

auditioneihishiinaTo stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

 

 

Movie #14: Audition

Director: Takashi Miike

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Shield of Straw

When I went to the fest in 2011, Takashi Miike had some other forgettable movie playing during the midnight screenings. In order to prepare for it, I decided to watch one of his movies. However, I was given a difficult choice. I took the coward’s way out and I selected 13 Assassins which is a good deal of fun, but nothing to write home about. Now 2 years later, I had to face my fears. I sucked it up and I watched one of the most famously scary and horrific movies of all time.

I love scary movies, but I’m a bit of a chicken, so at 11:30 AM on a Saturday, I fired up Netflix and went to work.

I already knew a little bit about the plot, so I will spoil only as much as I knew before hand here. I feel like everyone knows that it’s about a man who is auditioning women, but when he falls in love with one of the girls, it turns out that she is totally fucked up and likes to kidnap and torture people. What I didn’t expect was how fun it was in the beginning. It starts with a super light tone as Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) and his buddy Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) are pretty much in a rom com. They laugh, happy music plays, they make funny comments about all of the women they are auditioning. Everything’s a laugh a minute!

Then enters Asami, wickedly played by Eihi Shiina. She is quiet, beautiful, and demure – the model of Japanese perfection. The audience is shown a seen of her alone in her apartment that reveals to us that she is bat-guano evil maybe about… halfway through. Then for the next 45 minutes, Miike delivers some of the most excruciating tension I’ve ever had the horrible experience of going through. It’s never ending tension with only the tiniest releases. It’s truly masterful, but boy did it leave me shaken. My go-to “I’m too scared” move is to just keep pausing a lot. The longest I ever had to pause was a solid 2 minutes to regain my composure. Stop judging me!

For the last 20 minutes, the spit hits the fan and it turns into what the movie is known for – some good ol’ fashioned torture porn (and before torture porn was really a thing even!). While this is the famous part, it’s not nearly the most effective for me. I can watch the gore, just show it plainly and move on. For me, Aoyama’s search for love, truth, and sanity is what manages to succeed emotionally, yet it can all still scare your pants off.

In the end, Audition is a love story. It’s about two lonely lost souls who are just looking for love in a different way. No, I wouldn’t call it romantic. But the cruel balance between levity and gut-wrenching tension is unparalleled. Just make sure you’re up for the challenge. I’m still recovering.

June 8, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: And Everything is Going Fine

Film-EverythingFine-570To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #13: And Everything is Going Fine

Director: Steven Soderbergh

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Behind the Candelabra

As one of the most prolific directors of this generation, Steven Soderbergh’s “retirement” has caused everyone to take a moment and look back on his career. In the spirit of Cannes, I try to watch a movie from that director that I have never seen before. This was a bit of a challenge with Soderbergh. I’ve seen all of his famous stuff. I’ve even seen a few of the second tier schlock (The Informant, anyone?). So to find something new (that was also available on Netflix) I needed to find something obscure – and a Spalding Gray documentary seemed to be just the thing.

To compare it to another Soderbergh, And Everything is Going Fine plays a lot like sex, lies, and videotape… except just the videotape. The documentary weaves together some 20 odd interviews, performances, and recordings of Spalding Gray just talking about his life. There are a couple talking heads throughout, but maybe 98% is just grainy footage of one man talking. While I could listen to Spalding Gray tell a story for hours, the movie making of this project got in the way of any enjoyment.

If what makes a film special is the combination of moving pictures and sounds, Soderbergh certainly had a challenge. The sounds were just one man’s voice and the moving pictures were one man on a stage. Soderbergh, unfortunately, never injects anything new or exciting into the presentation. He just lets it sit there, like play dough left out of its jar. To be quite honest, about half way through, I opened a new tab on my computer and started looking for recipes and playing flash games while I just listened to Spalding Gray talk. This was equally effective in consuming the movie, if not more so. I was able to come in and out and enjoy the dry humor and the profound melancholy pumped throughout Gray’s life.

If Soderbergh’s goal was to pique my interest in Spalding Gray, he certainly achieved. But it certainly would seem that his idea was better served when he tried it the first time in Gray’s Anatomy (I haven’t seen it, but Wikipedia tells me it’s the dramatized version, which is a lot different than this aggressively un-dramatized version). Now I guess I have to track that down.

June 4, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Valhalla Rising

Mads-Mikkelsen-one-eye-400-2

To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #12: Valhalla Rising

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Only God Forgives

Put on your galoshes because it’s about to get messy. And fuck elegant intros. Valhalla Rising doesn’t deserve a personal intro. This is easily one of the worst pieces of garbage I’ve ever seen. It’s loaded with so much overblown pomposity and religious hoo-hah, that I’m sure Refn thinks he constructed a masterpiece. Instead, a film that is bloated at 93 minutes just hopes that you like images of Mads Mikkelsen in mist while titling chapters “The Holy Land.”

The plot is nearly irrelevant. Mads Mikkelsen plays a mute demon nicknamed One Eye by his moppet child friend. They travel together while forcing everyone around them to die, through either ceremonial mud wrestling or archery. This happens slowly and with so much pomp and circumstance that there is virtually nothing else in the movie. Except for the 20 minutes where they all sit on a boat and bitch about how long they’ve been sitting on a boat.

I have no kind words to say about this movie or anyone involved with it. Well, Mads Mikkelsen is perfectly adequate in this movie. There! A COMPLIMENT!

The use of imagery is also so heavy-handed I felt like he made it for an audience of octogenarians with cataracts to see. There will be violent flashes of red images to symbolize evil and hell. Beyond the fact that it’s cliché and dumb, it also happens approximately 50 times in the movie. To encapsulate some of the worst 93 minutes of my life, I made this pie chart on Excel to show exactly what this movie is to me. Enjoy.

Valhalla Rising Pie Chart

June 3, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Nobody Knows

nobodyknows1To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

 

 

Movie #11: Nobody Knows

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Like Father, Like Son

One of my favorite parts of actually attending the Cannes film festival is not knowing literally anything about a movie before you go in. Sometimes you get a log line, but usually not. You don’t have an IMDb score to level your expectations, you don’t even have a poster. Just a title and a director. And maybe – “Oh the one with child abuse AND lesbian sex?” Regardless, it’s an experience I truly miss. With Nobody Knows, I was pretty much able to replicate this experience for better or for worse. However, it makes me sharing my thoughts on a movie almost hypocritical if you haven’t seen it, so ignore me.

As the film opens in a light-hearted plucky way, we meet Keiko (played by someone credited as “You”) and her 12 year old son Akira (Yûya Yagira). They are new tenants to the building and introduce themselves to the landlord. They haul their suitcases up to the apartment and begin to unpack.

Now here is where I tie in my intro and spoil a major plot point of the first 3 minutes. Well, I didn’t even read the plot synopsis on IMDb, so when two other children popped out of those suitcases, my jaw was on the ground. It turns out that what “nobody knows” about is the fact that Keiko doesn’t have one child, but four. And she keeps three of those children indoors all the time. Her motives are never completely explained, but it surely has something to do with money. They aren’t prisoners or anything. In fact everyone is quite content. But they can’t be seen.

As Keiko’s mothering abilities start to fade, Akira picks up the slack. Fortunately, this gives us a lot of time to just watch Yûya Yagira find his way through the world. He brings to life the mind of Akira, always thinking, calculating, and counting. He is constantly aware of his surroundings in a way his brother or sisters will never be able to experience.

I would also be ashamed of myself if I didn’t mention how different this movie looks from any of the others. Kore-eda gives it the intimacy of a home movie with the wild exploration of Terrence Malick. He catches all of the little moments and loves looking at the kids’ feet and shoes. As we watch them walk and pace, we learn that they are forever trapped in this life style, repeating the same steps.

The catch is that there is so much great stuff to talk about this movie because it is about 30 minutes too long. It’s use of melancholy isn’t used to show something meaningful, say, the ennui of the kids who don’t leave the apartment. It’s instead used to mark the passage of time and the durability of the kids, which is a little more tedious than anything.

Fortunately, there is a relentless sweetness and tenderness throughout the movie that will leave you smiling. And these directors don’t make enough movies worth smiling about.

June 2, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch

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To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #10: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (2008)

Director: Jérôme Salle

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Zulu

For what might possibly be the first time, I went into this franchise movie without having any idea what the conceit of the franchise was. Imagine going to see a James Bond movie without even knowing that James Bond was a spy, let alone the fact that he likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. It’s a bizarre experience and one I’m afraid didn’t hold up too well.

Based on a series of comic books, this series focuses on the titular character trying to prove that he is truly the adopted son of his father and the heir to a brilliant fortune. There’s a lot of action, some of it compelling, some of it not. They go to exotic lands. And there’s a big final showdown and a couple of reveals by the villains. And obviously, everything turns out fine. If I seem blasé, it’s because even though the characters kept telling me that the stakes were high, I never felt it.

It’s certainly not because of Tomer Sisley’s lead performance. He manages to do as much as possible with very little script. His suave and slinky manner helps him coast through most tough acting, and he nails all of the action. Perhaps the biggest let down was Kristin Scott Thomas who was given almost nothing to do. Her role as businesswoman Ann Ferguson has a couple of important dialogue scenes, but that’s about it. Instead, we are forced to rely on the visuals, which never really go out of their way to distinguish themselves from any other movie. The Croatian island monastery is pretty cool and I actually quite enjoyed some things (although I am failing to come up with any examples… maybe… seeing Hong Kong?), but everything about this movie is utterly forgettable.
 

June 1, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Los Bastardos

bastardos2To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #9: Los Bastardos (2008)

Director: Amat Escalante

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Heli

In the last decade or so, Mexico has really begun to make its case as a foreign powerhouse in cinema. Cuarón, Iñárritu, and del Toro have all  made cases for themselves as legendary directors. But the world of Mexican cinema goes so much deeper. Last year for this same project, I watched Silent Light, a film from the groundbreaking director Carlos Reygadas. I didn’t care for it much, so when this year Reygadas’ protégé Amat Escalante was given a competition berth, I knew I would have to suck it up and see what he had to offer.

In Los Bastardos, we figure out pretty early on who the bastards are (spoiler alert: It’s everyone). We spend a whole day with Fausto and Jesus, two illegal immigrants in Southern California just trying to get by and send money home to their families. We see them waiting outside of Home Depot for labor jobs, we see them putting up with racial slurs, but we don’t understand that today is going to be different until one of them reveals the shotgun he has been carrying. While there are exciting plot points, I wouldn’t get your hopes up for a thriller. At best, the pacing is deliberate; at worst, I would call it stagnating. Even the first scene of the movie is about 2 minutes of them walking from very far away up to the camera. This is one of those things that just isn’t my cup of tea.

I usually avoid talking about politics in movies. It’s not that I don’t think that it is something important – I do! I just think that if your movie is successful, it can be 100% enjoyable without ever bringing that into the picture. But here, I have to make an exception.

I spent many of the long, slow, extended takes wondering who exactly is the audience for this film. Since Box Office Mojo doesn’t have any information on it, I can only make guesses. It was probably made exclusively for an arthouse audience. And mostly, that arthouse audience is international in flavor. This played somewhere at Cannes and probably had a week or two in the United States. So I think it is safe to say to make movies for just one audience is foolhardy, especially when it isn’t just for that audience.

As soon as the movie starts out, the illegal Mexican immigrants are established as “other.” They speak Spanish and the men they work for are English-speaking Americans. We see one extended encounter with a white guy who goes to pick them up for their services. He offers them 8 bucks an hour when the Mexicans think they should be offered 10. The American reneges on his promise to drive them back to Home Depot, but ultimately complies when the Mexicans threaten him. We are obviously supposed to sympathize with our Mexican protagonists, but to be quite honest I found it a little difficult. 8 dollars an hour is above minimum wage. Sure he can afford more, but he could also just go find different laborers if he didn’t want to pay that much. And yes he’s a bit of dick, but I don’t think he’s an outrageous dick bag as the movie wants you to think he is.

As the story continues, we meet a couple of other American characters and all of them are almost unilaterally horrible. They use racial slurs and do an impressive amount of illegal drugs. If this is meant to be a biased view, then congratulations on succeeding. But as an American, I felt that we were given a bad rap.

As Fausto and Jesus start to build a relationship with one of the American women, we think that this whole concept will be turned on its head, but alas. No one is so lucky. All politics aside, I can’t say that I enjoyed this movie, but I think it opens a discussion. I haven’t mentioned the violence in this movie since it is fleeting, but powerful. The drug use also raises several questions about our values and how we relate to others. So if you are at all interested, see it. Engage in the discussion. All I ask is that a movie let you talk about it. And I will.

May 28, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Abel (Voyeur)

abelTo stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #8: Abel (Voeyur) (1982)

Director: Alex Van Warmerdam

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Borgman

When I went to look up Abel on Netflix, it was described as emotional and scary. Oh boy! I ended up watching about 2 minutes of the Spanish language Abel directed by Diego Luna until his title card came up and I realized it was the wrong one. Whoops!

Alex Van Warmerdam’s Abel (pronounced AH-ble for the pretentious out there) is anything but emotional or scary. In this bizarre dark esoteric comedy, the eponymous Abel, played by the director is a thirty-something living at home with his parents, Dove (Olga Zuiderhoek) and Victor (Henri Garcin). The catch is that he has literally never left his house. Ever. It’s unclear if it’s because his parents keep him there or if it’s by his own choice, but it’s most likely some combo of the two. Either way, all hell breaks loose when Abel asks for a TV.

This is one of those rare films where the plot was wholly unimportant to my enjoyment of the movie, but I am hesitant to reveal anything else about the story. I can say that I it is purely unique in tone. I don’t really have words except to say imagine Dogtooth but as an 80s comedy in Dutch. Everything looks like it cost about $80 to make and all of the “city” shots are shamelessly just cardboard boxes against a colored backdrop. But that’s okay. In fact, that all makes this movie way more fun. From awkward dancing to his ingenious method of killing flies (cutting them in half with scissors!) each very bizarre character makes his or her own mark on the film.

I am almost certain that there is some kind of Cold War analogy to be made here, but I think it would be a disservice to the film to talk about it when there are themes that still ring true 30 years later. Now with laptops and iPhones people never need to leave their houses. How will we experience the world? Will we end up like poor disinterested Abel? And what is the role new technology should play? Certainly a filmmaker would have a difficult time condemning television and movies, and Van Warmerdam never even pretends to do so. Abel might make you ask these questions. But more likely it will just make you want to annoy your parents. And that’s okay, too.

 

May 25, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Swimming Pool

swimming-pool-5To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

Movie #7: Swimming Pool

Director: François Ozon

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Young & Beautiful (Jeune et Jolie)

No genre gets more flack than the erotic thriller. Even at the sound of the words I can see Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs and I’ve never even seen Basic Instinct. But there is a world in which the erotic thriller is a noble cause to make some sort of commentary on the fucked-up sexual politics of modern society.

Swimming Pool is not the movie for the job. When the author of a series of stuffy British crime novels, Sarah Morton (Charlotte Rampling), needs time to find inspiration for her next book, her publisher (Charles Dance) lets her use his country home in the south of France. After a few successful days of writing there alone, her publisher’s bizarrely accented teenage daughter Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) shows up to enjoy the summer. The two co-habitate, if not always happily, until Sarah becomes more interested in the wanton sex and detached life that Julie leads.

Even as I write out this plot description, I’m getting titillated, but the formal styling of Ozon really gets in the way. The deliberate pacing of the movie I’m sure is meant to let tensions simmer, but instead allows them to evaporate. Any real advancement, character or plot wise, is given time to breathe but no air. Everything sits quietly in its place until it gets its one chance to gasp for air, but then its stifled back down by some British repression.

Although if you’re here for the erotic and not the thriller, you’ll get your fair share. Even Charlotte Rampling shows off her stuff. And boy does Ludivine Sagnier look good. I just wish I got to see Tywin Lannister strip down… Alas.

May 18, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: The Virgin Suicides

the-virgin-suicides-kirsten-dunst-188910_1020_576To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

Movie #6: The Virgin Suicides

Director: Sofia Coppola

Her Cannes 2013 Movie: The Bling Ring

I feel like I’m starting all of these mini reviews with a confession, but I need to confess something. The only movie I’ve ever walked out of the theater during was Marie Antoinette and I have no affection for Lost in Translation. I pretty much forced myself to start watching The Virgin Suicides, even though I was expecting it to be Melancholia: The Teenage Years.

Then it turned out to be freaking delightful. This is not a movie about sad rich people. It’s only about sad people.

When the youngest of five daughters takes her own life during an incredibly awkward party, her family spins just so slightly out of control. The four daughters are led by the magnetic Kirsten Dunst as Lux. She is only 14, but Lux has the bad girl attitude of someone far beyond her years. Girls just wanna have fun, right?

Coppola is the real star of this movie though. She makes a beautiful statement as a director, especially one distinctly different than her father. Every scene not only has a teen nostalgia not seen since John Hughes, but also has a slightly dark sinister edge. As an audience, you never truly learn who these girls are or what their motives are. But that’s part of the mystery.

I’m certainly still unraveling my thoughts on this movie a day later. Why did these girls kill themselves? Isolation? Exposure to bad influences? Lack of exposure to bad influences? Their loving, but kooky parents? I’d rather not know, but Coppola gives you enough food for thought along the way.

The cast across the board is top notch. I always forget how much I love James Woods, Josh Hartnett is the pinnacle of weird ’90s attraction, and Kathleen Turner does not get enough work. The soundtrack is incredible, pulsing with teen angst and hope for adulthood. But while these girls probably can’t wait to be adults, the boys who are tracking them just want to be kids again. Relive those mysteries. So maybe I’ll let this mystery sit and re-live the magic later down the road.

May 16, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Strictly Ballroom

sb_142PaulMercurioTo stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way? 

Movie #5: Strictly Ballroom

Director: Baz Luhrmann

His Cannes 2013 Movie: The Great Gatsby

I have a 16 year old cousin and the only thing she can talk about right now is how much she loves The Great Gatsby soundtrack and how she wants to be Lana Del Ray when she grows up. She’s been sick so to cheer her up, I thought I would do the only thing I know how to do and recommend a movie. So I went to her house and we watched Strictly Ballroom, the movie that started it all for Baz.

And somehow Baz seems almost unrecognizable as a filmmaker between the two. Where The Great Gatsby is only polish and finishings with no real attachment, Strictly Ballroom is under art directed, under finished, and kind of cheesy. But somehow that’s all part of the charm. It all works. There is so much real love and emotion in the bones of this movie that all of the elements that stray towards camp or B-movie territory are just written off as incredibly earnest. And one thing we do not see enough today is earnestness (Exhibit A: Silver Linings Playbook dance scenes).

The plot is the same as every other dance movie or movie that ends with a dance. Ugly Girl likes Boy. Boy gives Girl a chance. Girl takes off glasses and she’s beautiful. There is a big misunderstanding where Girl thinks Boy is insincere. Boy wins Girl back with a big gesture. Strictly Ballroom just does it with the weirdest supporting cast ever assembled. While I would argue that the leads Scott and Fran (what a great ugly turns pretty girl name) are given so much life by Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice. But Scott’s mother Shirley steals things from the first minute, Scott’s father Doug steals things with his kooky spotlight dance numbers, and Barry Fife is adance villain for the ages. 

I hope Strictly Ballroom gets remembered because it has the ability to age well. It’s utter sincerity in its message gives it more strength and power than anything else. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say that the last scene of the movie involves everyone dancing. And that’s all you want to do when the movie is done – dance.