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Moulin Rouge

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♥{Miranda!®}♥  (bella) Okey Dokey... has anyone seen it? I absolutely love this movie! I cried, laughed, and sang. Yes it's a musical and also falls into the romance category! But anyway, this is my favorite movie, for now!

message 2: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I enjoyed it.
It;s not my favorite movie, but I remember leaving the theatre feeling satisfied and having had fun.

For me it was much more enjoyable to see the reaction of the audience during the more crazy musical numbers. I turned around and actually saw people's jaws drop in surprise and shock.

♥{Miranda!®}♥  (bella) LOL, yeah some of the songs, were really funny!

message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (dwell_ondreams) I absolutely adore this movie. The story, acting, singing, dancing, all of it is excellent. It always makes me cry. :)

message 5: by Maryse (new)

Maryse (belle_maryse) | 66 comments The story was good, so was the acting and the music was great, but the crazy camera work blew it for me. I understand that they're trying to reflect the almost surrealist world of the Moulin Rouge, but it left me rather dizzy at the end of the movie.

message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen | 27 comments I loved it as well. I've probably watched it a half dozen times. I'm always curious why anyone wouldn't like it...but I have had people tell me they don't

message 7: by Faith (new)

Faith Quick (faithbquick) | 81 comments for me this movie gave me more meaning to the songs. i don't think i ever really paid attention to the words to most of these songs before. "here we are now, entertain us, i feel stupid, and contagious..." i thought was a great way to introduce the men going into the moulin rouge....i loved this movie. i was way impressed with the two main characters singing voices! my favorite part is the dancing and all the singing around roxanne

♥{Miranda!®}♥  (bella) OMG! I loved Roxanne, i listen to that so many times on my MP3 player! LOL! Yeah, i love it when Ewan McGregor starts to sing and then it gets really intence and they start singing over each other, it's great! "Come want may" was another good song, i love it when they sang it during rehearsal.

message 9: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Karen wrote: "I loved it as well. I've probably watched it a half dozen times. I'm always curious why anyone wouldn't like it...but I have had people tell me they don't"

Well, since you ask...

It's an incoherent mess. As a fan of musicals, I was absolutely appalled by the editing. I don't think there are two consecutive dance steps inside a single shot. The story was trite, and the mishmash of a score quickly became annoying.

I think this is one of the worst musicals I've ever seen and its Oscar nominations were some kind of bizarre practical joke.

There. I feel much better having gotten that off my chest. :)

message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments Daniel, this is a thread about MOULIN ROUGE. The film you're describing is Rob Marshall's travesty CHICAGO.

message 11: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments We have VERY different tastes. I thought "Chicago" was an absolute delight. "Moulin Rouge" is the war crime of musicals. It's a good thing Dick Cheney didn't see it or they would have been using it on the prisoners who weren't broken by waterboarding.

message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments We do indeed have very different tastes. CHICAGO is quite simply the worst film ever made, directed by a blindfolded Down Syndrome baboon.

message 13: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Not only are you wrong, but even if one were to accept your mistaken verdict of "Chicago" it is far from the worst film ever made.

I've seen several HUNDRED movies a year for the last 25 years. After you've sat through movies like "Burial Ground," "Delta Pi," "Nightfall," "The Hottie and the Nottie," and stuff so bad it never gets a theatrical release, you discover what REAL cinematic pain is like.

message 14: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments I'm not wrong Daniel. I'm as allowed to think that CHICAGO is the worst film ever made as you are to think that MOULIN ROUGE is the war crime of musicals. A memorable phrase, by the way, one I'll be using to describe CHICAGO in future.

message 15: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments You're entitled to your opinion, of course.

I was merely pointing out that there are movies that we would both agree are true abominations that I'm willing to bet you haven't seen. And that's lucky for you. For the most part I only saw them because I was getting paid to do so.

message 16: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I had forgotten this movie had Oscar nominations.

Which categories was it nominated for?

I enjoyed this movie a great deal, but hardly anything worthy of an Oscar, except possibly costumes or set design?

message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments It won for costumes and art direction. Nicole Kidman got a rather bizarre nomination for Best Actress, and the film got a nomination for Best Picture. Baz Luhrman didn't get a director nomination.

♥{Miranda!®}♥  (bella) Wow, really? I think that the filming was great. It didn't make me dizzy or anything, i love it when they film like that!

message 19: by Heidi (last edited Jan 23, 2009 04:34PM) (new)

Heidi I'll weigh in on the Chicago vs Moulin Rouge discussion. As a lifelong, avid fan of both Broadway and movie musicals, I was horrified by the bits and pieces I saw of Moulin Rouge in previews and reviews.

Despite that, I just can't pass up a musical. I remember renting it (could kick myself now for not seeing it on the big screen) so I could intellectually discuss my contempt for what Baz Luhrnman did to the movie musical... lo and behold, after I rearranged my preconceptions and had sat through about 30 minutes, I realized that Mr. Luhrman had done the modern audience a favor (an audience that before Moulin Rouge may never have considered paying to see a movie musical). He reintroduced the joys of the movie musical to a new generation who likes their music delivered via MTV styled productions, which is not to say better or worse that the flicks dominated by Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Shirley Jones, Fred Astaire, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, etc.

Must admit the movie wasn't a complete triumph-- Nicole Kidman gave a fairly wooden and yet still over-fevered performance, which was easy to forgive considering the other strong performances. Who knew that Obi-wan could sing?

Chicago, on the otherhand, could have taken a few lessons from Luhrman's production. Yes, it's faithful to the stage production (which I adore) but it was terribly miscast (can you say "keep Richard Gere away from all things musical") and very uninventive in form... I won't say I hated it-- I own it and love the music, and the movie does boast the best version of Mr. Cellophane.

However, like Rent and The Producers which followed, Chicago didn't capture the attention of this generation of moviegoers... and that's a real shame.

message 20: by Daniel (last edited Jan 23, 2009 06:48PM) (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Not a big Richard Gere fan but I found him a definite plus in "Chicago." Who knew he could sing and dance (and a lot better than Ewan McGregor did).
I thought doing the numbers as if they were in a musical theater of the mind worked very well. The influence of "Cabaret" was obvious. The unconventional casting worked quite well, including Queen Latifah as the matron.

The only musical films that have worked since then are "Hairspray" and "Sweeney Todd." Both "Rent" and "The Producers" had a stuffed and mounted feel, but at least were preferable to "Phantom of the Opera" which was DOA.

Dare I ask what people think of the train wreck called "Mamma Mia?"

message 21: by Tom (last edited Jan 23, 2009 06:59PM) (new)

Tom | 5182 comments My review of the MAMMA MIA disaster:

MAMMA MIA is a musical play that takes the songs of ABBA and plugs them into a story line. Simple enough, right? The story isn't much: a Girl lives on a Greek Island with her Mother. The Girl wants to marry her Shirtless Boyfriend, but wants her Father to attend the wedding. She doesn't know who her Father is, because her Mother isn't entirely sure who the Father was. So the Girl, unbeknownst to her Mother, sends invitations to the three most likely candidates, and FUN ensues. That's the plan, anyway. On Broadway, a certain degree of FUN did ensue. The show was mostly charming, it didn't take itself too terribly seriously (one poor actor had to sing ABBA's song SOS as if it was a serious relationship song and came off looking rather foolish) but hey it was over mostly painlessly. I didn't want to hunt down and kill everyone associated with it. And compared with others that have come since, like GOOD VIBRATIONS, MAMMA MIA comes off like PRIVATE LIVES.

So now there's a movie, with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Stellan Skarsgard. A really good cast, by any standard. So what goes wrong?

The material is so incredibly feather light that everybody seems to work harder than they've ever worked before to keep it light. The vastly over-qualified cast seems so afraid of coming off as too good for the movie that they all over compensate: they play the FUN with a seriousness that quashes the fun entirely, and the SERIOUS moments are played with a level of honesty that the material just can't bear. The fun-induced panic that hovers around Meryl Streep is particularly oppressive: America's Dowager Actress Goddess lays it on like a CEO at an office picnic glad-handing the janitors. She hasn't worked this hard since SOPHIE'S CHOICE: sending her daughter to the ovens was nothing compared to singing "Dancing Queen.". And nobody else fares any better: the usually magnificent Julie Walters at one point steps into a small dinghy, and of course falls off into the water, but the process by which she loses her balance and falls in is so blatant and overdone that any slight amusement I might feel is quickly stifled. It becomes kind of a metaphor for the entire film: what should be effortless as falling off a boat becomes labored and obvious, too much damn work.

I could go on about the disparity between the obvious location shooting and the obviously studio-shot scenes, and Pierce Brosnan's really appalling attempts at singing (a male Marni Nixon was direly needed here). But I won't bother. I feel like I'm kicking a puppy here. An obnoxiously overcute puppy. Can I just have it put to sleep instead?

message 22: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments For me that last enjoyable American musical was Grease.
I left the theatre humming the songs and generally having a good time.

The trouble with the current crop of musicals is that they put on a great show, but you forget all about the music.
I liked Hairspray, but I didnt leave humming any of the musical numbers or with any great urge to go see the movie again.

message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments The main problem with HAIRSPRAY was Travolta's godawful performance and that godawful makeup job, easily the worst prosthetic makeup job in the history of prosthetic makeup. Pathetic.

The movie was charming, when he wasn't onscreen. Made with a degree of intelligence that the incompetent Rob Marshall of CHICAGO infamy will never be able to approach.

message 24: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10269 comments it's a crime that travolta played a part once immortalized by divine. i broke out in hives when i discovered a john waters film was being remade with a hollywood cast.

chicago was on screen when i was flying over the atlantic once. i would have jumped out of the plane, but...well, somehow i survived it.

i probably shouldn't be commenting here...i'm not much of a fan of musicals. umbrellas of cherbourg maybe...but only for a few minutes at a time.

message 25: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I keep hearing a great deal of love for Chicago (except for Phillip) but as of yet, Ive never had the urge to see it.

I cant explain it, since I generally do like most musicals. Most of the actors in the movie have a good reputation and I have admired their work in other movies. I suppose I went to see Moulin Rouge more out of curiosity than anything else, I did like the look of that movie.

Speaking of musicals:
everyone should see "Paint your Wagon" at least once, if only to see Clint Eastwood sing.

message 26: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Manuel wrote: "Speaking of musicals:
everyone should see "Paint your Wagon" at least once, if only to see Clint Eastwood sing. "

And then never again. Clint AND Lee Marvin singing. It's almost as scary as Linda Blair in "The Exorcist."

message 27: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments At least Clint and Lee Marvin weren't dubbed like Linda was. Or were they?

message 28: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I hate musicals. Despise them. Excpet for the few I like. I know, that doesn't make sense but I adore MY FAIR LADY, NASHVILLE, WILLY WONKA (original...not the vapid remake), DANCER IN THE DARK, and AMERICAN ASTRONAUT. In my addled and depresed youth, THE WALL had its place upon my alter but can't really connect to it anymore. There are probably a few others but I just can't stand characters breaking into song & dance in the middle of a story. I'm sure it's a terrific genre but one I never warmed to. I almost forgot the Busby Berkeley films which are a treat to watch! Hmmm...maybe I like the genre more than I thought?

message 29: by Phillip (last edited Jan 24, 2009 08:38AM) (new)

Phillip | 10269 comments alex - nashville, the original wonka, and dancer in the dark....i'm with you. i really enjoyed those. so, yeah, i can no longer say i categorically hate musicals. but nashville isn't particulary what you think of when you think of musicals...(there i go again, questioning genre - forgive me).

message 30: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments MY FAIR LADY? Oh, Alex, really? Dear oh dear...

I like good musicals. Which means I don't like many. Recently I was blown away by Tim Burton's magnificent film of SWEENEY TODD.

But MY FAIR LADY. >shudder<

message 31: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments I like "My Fair Lady" AND "Sweeney Todd."

So there. :)

message 32: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments I expect I'm one of the very few out there who were just bored to tears by Moulin Rouge. I like some form of chemistry between the two main characters if their story is supposed to be a love story and that story has to carry the film. I felt none between the characters portrayed by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor (and I've been a fan of his since Shallow Grave and hers since To Die For). Of course, I'm evil in that I felt the same way about Shakespeare in Love , even though I adore Tom Stoppard normally.

message 33: by Phillip (last edited Jan 24, 2009 05:31PM) (new)

Phillip | 10269 comments i felt the same way, jill - all the song and dance glitz couldn't convince me that mcgregor and kidman cared about each other.

nice to hear someone mention shallow grave - that was one i liked a lot. and kidman's debut (for me) was flirting, a really nice coming of age film from australia featuring thandie newton, who i wished i saw more in films.

message 34: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments That's cool, Daniel. You're able to appreciate Cukor's worst film and Tim Burton's best.

message 35: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10269 comments george cukor made my fair lady? shows you what i know. i haven't seen it since i was a kid - rex harrison doesn't do it for me. i really liked the "original" pygmalion though...

message 36: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments Rex Harrison was about 70 years too old to play Higging when the finally made the film, so his bizarre relationship with the surrealistically miscast Audrey Hepburn takes on an uncomfortable pedophilic aspect, like someone's great-great grandfather offering chocolates to a teenager on the playground.

message 37: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Just finishing preparing a lecture on "My Fair Lady." Harrison is just fine as Henry Higgins (although he was apparently difficult to work with). As for Cukor's "worst," try "Sylvia Scarlett," the first of four films he did with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in which she DOESN'T end up with Grant. It was such a flop he told the studio he owed them another movie to make up for it.

And can you really prefer "The Model and the Marriage Broker," "The Chapman Report" or "The Bluebird" to "My Fair Lady?" Really? Please advise what drugs you're on and where I can get some. :)

message 38: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments The drugs are just opinions, Daniel. You like MY FAIR LADY, I don't. And making little jokes about what drugs I'm on, I mean really.

message 39: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Context, Tom, context. You said it was Cukor's "worst film." I cited four movies that are clearly not up to the standards of "My Fair Lady," regardless of what you think of it.

Can you really say you prefer them?

message 40: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Tom wrote: "Rex Harrison was about 70 years too old to play Higging when the finally made the film, so his bizarre relationship with the surrealistically miscast Audrey Hepburn takes on an uncomfortable pedoph..."

In fact he was 55 when he made the film and she was 34.
Hardly pedophilia at all. I think your dislike of the film is distorting your take on it.

message 41: by Tom (last edited Jan 24, 2009 03:17PM) (new)

Tom | 5182 comments Context, Daniel, Context. Making little personal jokes about peoples' tastes in films being the result of drugs they're taking isn't cool or funny. Stick to talking about movies, please.

I exagerated Harrison's age and the discrepancy with Hepburn's age for comic effect. I stand by my point: Harrison is simply too old for the role, and the age difference between himself and Hepburn is, to me, a real drawback on the film, as is Cukor's appalling direction.

You like the film, and have found other Cukor films that you would say are worse. I dislike the film, and can't imagine that any of the others you mention quite scrape the horrific lows that Cukor hits with this mysteriously Oscar-winning travesty.

message 42: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments In other words, you haven't seen the other films.

You're free to dislike the film. But you lack a context to judge its place in Cukor's career.

message 43: by Tom (last edited Jan 24, 2009 03:55PM) (new)

Tom | 5182 comments Got me Daniel. Haven't seen the others you mention. By your standards I therefore lack the context to judge its pathetic place in Cukor's apparently disaster-ridden career.

Care to share context by which you can judge MOULIN ROUGE's status as war crime?

message 44: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Tom wrote: "Care to share context by which you can judge MOULIN ROUGE's status as war crime? "

I've seen a minimum of 300 movies a year for more than 25 years. I know a painfully bad movie, like the execrable "Moulin Rouge," when I see it from long experience of seeing good and bad movies. I can't calculate the number of musicals I've seen, but I've seen enough ranging from the dawn of the sound period to the present, to recognise the pedestrian acting and singing, and amateurish filmmaking involved. All that choreography wasted because Luhrmann's MTV style editing rarely let you see any actual dancing taking place except for his camera.

As musicals go it was an abomination. "My Fair Lady" is a delightful rendition of the stage show. "Cabaret" is a landmark movie that obviously influenced "Chicago." "Fame" was a solid attempt to reinvent the musical for the '80s. "Sweeney Todd" is the best transition of a Sondheim musical to the screen. But "Moulin Rouge" was about as appetizing as three day old pizza with the ingredients thrown on randomly.

I think that says it.

message 45: by Tom (last edited Jan 24, 2009 04:16PM) (new)

Tom | 5182 comments No, Daniel. I think we all know by now that you are a PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC. I was asking about the context by which you can judge MOULIN ROUGE as a war crime. Which war crimes have you witnessed personally that give you the context to judge MOULIN ROUGE as being the "war crime" of musicals?

message 46: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments I have not tried to trump anyone by my supposed "authority" if any.

I believe I said it was the war crime of musicals. It was an analogy, not a claim that Baz Luhrmann needed to be prosecuted before the World Court.

message 47: by Tom (last edited Jan 24, 2009 04:33PM) (new)

Tom | 5182 comments In other words, you haven't seen any war crimes.

You're free to dislike the film. But you lack the context to judge it as being the war crime of musicals.

message 48: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments Tom wrote: "In other words, you haven't seen any war crimes.

You're free to dislike the film. But you lack the context to judge it as being the war crime of musicals."

So what, in your mind, would have been a more appropriate analogy?

message 49: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5182 comments Jill, I'm merely holding Daniel to the standard to which he held me.

message 50: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments Tom wrote: "Jill, I'm merely holding Daniel to the standard to which he held me."

But he was using his statement as an analogy, which is a common enough tactic used in discussion, as the hyperbolic nature of the statement indicated the degree of dislike.

You actually did say that My Fair Lady was Cukor's worst film. Unless I am wrong in what you meant by that statement, and you meant that as a hyperbolic statement, not necessarily a precise one, just as Daniel did.

(I'm reading a lot of books on debate tactics and what not, so I apologize for being argumentative.)

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