Club Moulin Rouge - an experience you won't forget!
Release Date: June 01, 2001
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Producer: Baz Luhrmann, Fred Baron, Martin Brown, Holly Radcliffe
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Richard Roxburgh, Jim Broadbent, Kylie Minogue, David Wenham, Kerry Walker, Natalie Mendoza, Garry McDonald, Jacek Koman, Caroline O'Connor, Matthew Whittet, Christine Anu, Lara Mulcahy
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If all it took was a bit of creativity and passion to make a good movie, "Moulin Rouge" might be a great one. After all, few, if any, major-studio movies of late have been willing to take as many chances as this decidedly odd musical (that is, outside such surprising kids' fare as "Spy Kids" and "Shrek").
Unfortunately, there's a lot more to filmmaking than just taking risks, and despite the amount of sheer invention that went into it, this is a movie that's easier to admire than enjoy.
Filmmaker/jack-of-all-trades Baz Luhrmann (1997's "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet") should be lauded for mounting a full-blown musical in a time when such a thing is considered out of vogue. But as impressive as his musical stagings are, he counters every smart move with one that's disastrously bad. (In fact, the alternately good and bad sequences might make you think you're watching a movie version of "Jekyll & Hyde The Musical.")
"Moulin Rouge" bears only a passing resemblance to the 1952 John Huston film of the same name. This is the fictional tale of Christian (Ewan McGregor), a young writer who decides to ply his trade in turn-of-the-century Paris. To his surprise, he finds work almost immediately, helping a group of bohemian artists finish writing "Spectacular Spectacular," a musical production intended for the grand nightclub/brothel Moulin Rouge.
The second part of his job is a bit trickier Christian is supposed to woo entertainer/courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman) and persuade her to participate in their production. Due to a series of misunderstandings, however, Satine comes to believe that Christian is a wealthy patron and winds up falling for him.
While that's good for Christian, it's bad for club impresario Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent) and the wealthy duke (Richard Roxburgh) who has agreed to support the struggling club in exchange for Satine.
The film gets off to a particularly shaky start, thanks to Luhrmann's trademark use of jittery, quick-cut camera work. But when it finally gets into a groove, so to speak, it improves dramatically, thanks to the song-and-dance numbers. Among the best of those is "Lady Marmalade," together with Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which somehow works in this context. There's also a tango to Sting's "Roxanne" that has to be seen to be believed.
McGregor is surprisingly adept at singing, though he's upstaged by Kidman, who's both sexy and sympathetic as the tragic Satine. The supporting performers are a mixed bag, though. While big-screen veteran Broadbent impresses all the way around and Roxburgh sinks his teeth into his meaty villain role, John Leguizamo is all ham as an irritatingly lispy Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
"Moulin Rouge" is rated PG-13 for crude humor and risqu√Ø¬ø¬Ω sex talk, brief sex, brief violence (a beating and an attempted assassination), attempted rape, brief drug use (absinthe) and glimpses of nude artwork. Running time: 126 minutes.
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgJune 4th, 2001 · Details