Moulin Rouge

Year: 2001
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Producer: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Christine Anu, David Wenham, Kylie Minogue
The only movie you'll probably ever see with Jim Broadbent and Richard Roxburgh singing Like a Virgin to each other. I also once heard this described as a film someone must have made while 'coked off their tits', and Luhrmann & Co must have had plenty of supplies.

More a montage of music videos than a movie, showcasing the cinematography and costumes more than a plot, everything concerned is huge, lavish, and ridiculously over the top.

A writer, Christian (McGregor), comes to Parisian red light district Montemarte to become famous. There he meets a colourful company of fool actors led by Toulouse Lautrec (Leguizamo) and falls in love with the beautiful courtesan Satine (Kidman).

Essentially Romeo and Juliet again as Satine is promised to the Duke (Roxburgh, in an effective personification of sniveling) in return for his investment into the Moulin Rouge nightclub.

The usual and tiresome agonies of love are the result, but Luhrmann was apparently looking for a new way to tell the old story. Weaving modern rock hits into the story was an interesting but not altogether successful device and neither Kidman nor McGregor sound like they're really singing.

The characters are cartoonishly overdrawn, the well worn plot straight from a business card somewhere, and the kudos goes more to production designer Catherine Martin and Animal Logic than any writer or director.

There are too many cuts, everything moves too fast too much, and while it's hard to say it didn't work (as it's probably exactly what the creators were looking for), it's definitely an acquired taste. Think MTV meets Cabaret, an old-style musical spectacular on crystal meth.

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