Picoreview: Moulin Rouge

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Picoreview: Moulin Rouge is still exactly the kind of thing you’d like if you like that kind of thing, and definitely not if you don’t.

One of the local cinemas is doing a Baz Luhrmann month running up to his Gatsby this week, so Ted and I went to see Moulin Rouge (still can’t type that without typing Rogue first) last night, for probably the 3rd or 4th time on a big screen for me, at least.

I’ve no doubt become more accustomed to Nichole Kidman’s voice through repeated listening to the soundtrack, so she seemed vocally much stronger to me than she did when I originally saw the film. Ted mentioned that too, so that was kind of a nice unexpected bonus. And it also kind of struck me this time, as (weirdly) it hadn’t before, that the fragile breathiness of her voice had a pretty good in-story reason for it. Indeed, every time she really belts it out she coughs or passes out, so yeah.

I always think of Kidman as a particularly reserved, ice-princessy sort of actor, which makes her flinging herself around squealing (Luhrmann must have just had everybody check their dignity at the door for that film. “Like A Virgin”, OMG. Still. Even knowing it’s coming, OMG. :)) in the first elephant scene just all the more agonizing. And funny. Ewan McGregor’s expression of bewildered horrorified embarrassment is just wonderful in that scene.

As is, of course, his sudden burst into song. The first time I saw it, the film already had me quite thoroughly by the time a bunch of old guys began singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (a song which I now feel basically exists to be snarled out by old men at brothels), but it was “This Is Your Song” that pretty much made me fall in love with the story. And with Christian, just as Satine does. :)

I also especially and particularly like “Roxanne” and the tango scene. It’s better in the DVD extras, mind you, because they have the whole uncut tango from all four camera angles, and although I think the cutting was very good and necessary for the structure of the storyline, I come from the Fred Astaire school of thought, which is I want to see the goddamned dance, stop screwing around with multiple camera angles and cuts. But the raw power of that scene just thrills me.

Kidman’s costume for “The Show Must Go On” is still one of the most gorgeous pieces of clothing I’ve ever seen. I found myself actually holding my breath in anticipation of seeing it. It may also be my favorite song in the film, although I didn’t even know it before seeing Moulin Rouge (Rogue) the first time.

Some of the super-fast-forward things bothered my eyes more than they did when I saw it in the theatre before. I don’t know if that’s because I was very tired, or because the theatre was smaller than the others I’ve seen it in so I was closer to the screen, or what, but a couple of times I was quite o.O over those bits. Overall, though, delighted to have gone and seen it again.

They’re doing a John Hughes retrospective next. Who wants to go see The Breakfast Club with me? I’ve never seen it on the big screen!

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1 thought on “Picoreview: Moulin Rouge

  1. If I lived in Ireland I would go with you for sure. I love Moulin Rouge…it always makes me want to break out in song.

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