Mostly, It’s a Story About Love

Luhrmann’s flamboyant musical ‘Moulin Rouge’ is a combination of Camille, La Boheme and Showgirls… The film swings easily between present and past, among so many wildly different moods: farce, tragedy, romance, satire, comedy and rock and roll…

‘Moulin Rouge’ is an assault on the senses, a non stop visual explosion, an exotic trip, and a love story that is sure to touch your heart… It is a gloriously cinematic spectacle with opulent imagery directed with an eye for rich color, especially the color of rouge… It is also a breathtaking and poignant piece of cinema, a disco of dreams, a crazy and daring show, a vibrant screen fantasy, a “Bohemian Revolution,” a magical movie for those who love romance, pop music and old musical movies…

Nicole Kidman gives the film its soul… She is the “sparkling diamond” of the show, the toast of Paris, the city’s top courtesan… She melts her characterization with a sizzling, yet tender, performance… She is undeniably sexy, a beautiful singer, a flashy dancer whose heart sings whenever she sees Christian… In many ways, she is drawn as the ultimate sex goddess, as enigmatic as Greta Garbo, and her glamor masks her pain as well as her happiness… Kidman gives the film its central erotic charge, and its romantic thrills… She sways on a flying trapeze belting out Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” and Madonna’s “Material Girl.”

Ewan McGregor achieves a nice mix of optimism and desperation, emphasizing the sincerity of the love-struck poet-hero… Christian is a young idealist who moves to the bohemian section of Paris during the ‘summer of love’ of 1899… He is hired to write a show about ‘truth, beauty, freedom and, most of all, love.’ Christian battles for the body and soul of the ravishing Satine… His fundamental believe is ‘the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and to be loved in return?

John Leguizamo is vulnerable and sweet as Henri de Toulouse Lautrec needing a good writer to come up with story and lyrics for his new show called “Spectacular Spectacular.”

Jim Broadbent is wonderfully comic as the ringmaster Harold Zidler… He is a jovial impresario who peddles the charms of a successful Satine to a mesmerized public… He is the owner of the infamous nightclub who has promised Satine to the evil Duke of Monroth… He has his eye on her too…

Richard Roxburgh is odious as the jealous benefactor obsessed with Satine to the point of murder… He is stunningly arrogant wanting the gorgeous can-can chanteuse in an “exclusive contract.”

Luhrmann combines 1900 Can Can burlesque with modern musical poetry, exploiting Kidman’s grace and beauty and overwhelming the audience with frenetic dance numbers delivered in operatic-style… Like Orson Welles, Luhrmann loves the technical magic of movies… When a red curtain opens, an orchestra conductor emerges to direct the unmistakable ’20th Century Fox’ theme opening, we immediately realize we’re in for something really magical: A spectacular costume revue, an eye-catching fin de siecle exuberance, an inspiring rebirth of the movie musical…

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