Title: Moulin Rouge!
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo
Reel Reviews Rating:
Set in 1900 France, Moulin Rouge is narrated by and focuses on Christian (McGregor), a young, naive, and idealistic writer. Christian comes to Paris to experience the “Bohemian” movement, which emphasizes the film’s motto: freedom, beauty, truth, and love. A strange incident at his apartment leads him to meet the one and only Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (John Leguizamo) and his merry band of actors and writers. They then encourage Christian to ask to work at the Moulin Rouge, the most popular nightclub in the city.
At the Moulin Rouge Christian meets and falls in love with Satine (Kidman), an ambitous singer and the star attraction of the club. Unfortunately, Satine is already promised to the Duke (Richard Roxburgh), a dangerously jealous man who can make Satine’s dreams of becoming an actress come true. Will Satine choose the penniless writer or the wealthy Duke?
I’m going to say it upfront.
I LOVE THIS MOVIE.
So very, very much.
1.) Baz Lurhmann is an awesome director. The use of lighting, of shadow, and of angles is brilliant.
2.) The sets are fantastic. I watched Lurhmann’s version of Romeo and Juliet several years back and (except for Claire Danes, who looked like a confused dog the whole time) loved it. Loved the directing, loved the sets. It’s so artistic. Perhaps I should praise the cinamatographer instead?
3.) Moulin Rouge is anachronistic in their use of musicals. Some may find it corny or gimmicky, but I think it was really clever to use modern pop music in the musical numbers. The best example is “Elephant Love Medley”, a duet by McGregor and Kidman. Here is a sample lyric.
You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs
I look around me and I see it isn’t so, oh no
Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs
Well, what’s wrong with that, I’d like to know, ’cause here I go…again
Love lifts us up where we belong
Where the eagles fly on a mountain high
4.) It’s funny. Although the overall film is more of a romantic drama, there are many lighthearted moments.
5.) Ewan McGregor is good at whatever role he plays. Since my younger sister is a huge fan and has several movies that feature him, I ended up watching a lot of these films and have realized that he really is a talented actor.
6.) It’s a movie musical not based on any pre-existing live musical. Granted, the plot is based on three operas/operettas (La Boheme, La Traviata, and Orpheus and the Underworld), but at the same time these operas were also based on other stories. But still! It’s one of a kind. How often does that happen these days? I would absolutely LOVE to see this performed live. Too bad though, that you likely won’t have the original cast.
7.) The musical numbers are lots of fun to watch. One of my favorites is Nicole Kidman’s “Sparkling Diamonds”, her version of the Marilyn Monroe classic “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”.
When Moulin Rouge! first came out in 2001, it was like a breath of fresh air in the movie industry. Sure, it was risky. Who the hell watches musicals nowadays? And one that features actors instead of singers? What were they thinking?
Well, Lurhmann’s gamble paid off. Moulin Rouge! went on to win a whole bunch of awards, including Golden Globes for both Kidman and McGregor for Best Actress and Best Actor, Best Director for Lurhman, and Best Original Song for “Come What May”. It’s a shame that it didn’t win for Best Picture. Personally, I liked this film a lot better than Chicago.
If you like musicals, or if you like Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, or if you’re just curious to see what they sound like when they sing, check out Moulin Rouge! I assure you, by the movie’s end, you’ll be humming a couple of the songs from the movie 🙂
Better yet, own it. There are cool easter eggs on the DVD, such as silly antics by the cast during the film’s shooting.
10 Comments »
- B movies
- Film Adaptation
- John Hughes films
- Miyazaki Films
- Social Commentary
- Specific Actors