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Moulin Rouge (2001 - PG13)
MOULIN ROUGE is a modern day juxtaposition of La Boheme, and Showgirls in this over-the-top, visual and auditory splendor. When a penniless Bohemian writer falls in love with the infamous underground night club Moulin Rouge's star courtesan, Satine, his life is forever changed. Though its love at first sight for these two, a nefarious Duke enters the picture with the bucks to financially back the Moulin Rouge's latest show, to be written by none other than the Bohemian writer himself. As the production ensues, however, the lusty Duk's jealous skepticism threatens to destroy the love between courtesan and poet before the courtesan's own fatal secret tragically emerges.
Written by: Craig Pearce.
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann.
Genre: Musical, Romance, Comedy.
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content.
Set at the end of the nineteenth century "Moulin Rouge" tells of one man's life altering trip to Montmarte, France. Leaving behind his home and family in Scotland, a young poet by the name of Christian (Ewan McGregor) sets out to Paris in hopes of joining the Bohemian Revolution who's mantra is "Freedom, beauty, truth, and love." Once there he falls in-step quickly with Bohemian artists Henri Toulouse (John Leguizamo) and his gang, which includes a narcoleptic Argentinean, who are currently working on their latest screen play to be performed at the notorious underground nightclub, the sinfully palatable "Moulin Rogue".
When Christian reveals his lexical talents, the Bohemian group employs him as their newest playwright, ousting the drag-queen protege Audrey from his/her prolific position. In need of an investor, the group plans to dress Christian up as a gentleman and arrange a special meeting with the Moulin Rouge's star courtesan, Satine (Nicole Kidman), the "Sparkling Diamond." But "someone else was to meet Satine that night... the Duke" (Richard Roxburgh). Thanks toToulouse's distraction, however, Satine instantly falls for Christian, whom she presumes to be the Duke, AKA her latest investor!
An explosion of sex, drugs, and contemporary pop-culture rock and roll infused with 19th century burlesque dance sequences follows the interlude. The visual and auditory assault mesmerizes viewers as, minute after minute, the film arrests the senses to portray the seedy yet enthrallingly dark and tempting mystique of the underground nightlife at the Moulin Rouge.
As Christian and Satine head back to her oversized gold and jewel-bedecked Elephant, AKA the lair of seduction, for his contemporary "poetry reading," Satine stands ready to pounce on whom she presumes to be the lucrative man ready to make her the next big actress. It's love at first sight, or first song, until Satine realizes that Christian is not the Duke but in fact "another one of Toulouse's oh-so-talented penniless Bohemian playwrights." Satine does her best to ward of Christian's amorous intentions while the lusty Duke prepares to invest in the Rouge's latest show, ''Spectacular! Spectacular!''. Of course the storyline of the play is an ironic foreshadowing of the trials to come for the two lovers as they do their best to avoid the scrupulous eye and wanton fingers of the lustful Duke intentions to make Satine his "virgin'" bride.
As opening night approaches, Satine becomes increasingly reluctant to join the Duke on his little love-hiatuses, and instead slips away to the humble haven of Christian's apartment. There the two vow to create a song that will remind them of their love whenever things get tough: "Come What May." But alas, the Duke's ignorance is avenged as he uncovers the truth behind Satine's real affections. A dark and dramatic climax renders Christian outcast from the play, which of course has an altered ending on behalf of the investor's request, and Satine is forbidden to speak to Christian ever again. Reasonably Moulin Rouge's impresario host Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent) is only too eager to keep Satine at bay from love's door; afraid to lose his star courtesan, and the Duke's money, Harold urges Satine to convince Christian she is no longer in love with him.
Can the two lovers' haunting love song overcome all obstacles of love before it's too late, or will the wily Duke with all his monitorial advantages prevail? Moreover, will Satine reveal to Christian the one dark secret she has been hiding from him; a secret which includes coughing up blood and random dizzy spells? An emotional climax emerges in an ironic ending where the plot line of the play merges with the story of the actual film. This double vision finally sheds light on Satine's dark secret, and unveils the fate for all, including the unsuspecting audience, of both 'Spectacular! Spectacular!', and "Moulin Rouge" alike.
Making Studio 54 look like child's play, "Moulin Rouge" fuses art of all senses into this cinematic splendor that is a blessing to the contemporary musical cinema. Finally Luhrmann has done justice to a film musical. From the outstanding performances of his leads, to a witty script, to the advantage of high tech special effects, Luhrmann brings to life a vision unparalleled in its day!
From the racy fusion of 19th century burlesque with contemporary pop sources, to the outstanding costumes, choreography, and musical ensembles, "Moulin Rouge" grips your senses and holds on tight to the end. Jim Broadbent is marvelously entertaining in his satirical role as the impresario of Moulin Rouge. Nicole Kidman smolders onscreen and graces the stage with her crystal voice and poignant presence that rivals even the most legendary silver screen starlets. Ewan McGregor takes audiences by surprise in his role as the desperate yet zealous and naively hopeful lover Christian. And Richard Roxburgh and John Leguizamo evoke laugh after laugh in their antithetical comedic roles as dense villain and giddy sidekick respectively.
"Moulin Rouge" is a Spectacular! Spectacular! musical bonanza of color, song, lighting, and dance. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor light up the screen with their stunning performances as the underground Moulin Rouge courtesan Satine and the penniless Bohemian writer Christian, respectively. Through a whirlwind of visual splendor and effect infused with a modern twist to pop culture's classic love songs, "Moulin Rouge" sparkles with a wit and originality that many modern day musicals are for want. You will be dazzled, moved, entertained, and blown away at this contemporary musical tour de force!
Won 2 Oscars and had another 62 wins and 67 nominations!
Nicole Kidman plays the smoldering yet graceful courtesan Satine.
Ewan McGregor plays the lovesick Bohemian poet.
Richard Roxburgh plays the wily yet ignorant Duke.
Jim Boradbent plays the over-the-top impresario of the Moulin Rouge.
John Leguizamo plays Christian's half-pint comedic Bohemian sidekick.