Moulin Rouge

Director: Baz Luhrmann

(2001| 127 minutes| 12PG)

A dazzling bid to bring the movie musical kicking and screaming into the 21st century, this picture of Paris in the 1890s, with can-can dancers, bohemian denizens like Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), and ribaldry at every turn, is a pop culture wonderland. Everyone and everything is encouraged to shatter boundaries of time and texture, colliding and careening in a fast-cutting frenzy that thinks nothing of casting Elton John’s Your Song 80 years before its time. Nothing is original in this kaleidoscopic, absinthe-inspired love tragedy—the words, the music, it’s all been heard before. But when filtered through director Baz Luhrmann’s love for pop songs and timeless showmanship, you’re reminded of the cinema’s power to renew itself while paying homage to its past. There’s electricity between co-stars Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, whose vocal talents match the extraordinary sets, costumes, and digital wizardry. The movie’s novelty and inventiveness herald the genre’s joyously welcomed revival.

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