Moulin Rogue (2001)

MOULIN ROUGE, French for "what the f***?," is an overripe, over-stim-
ulated, chaotic collision of costume comedy, period musical, and, well, 
hard-boiled writer pic that's set in 1900 Paris as Tim Burton might've 
imagined it, is manically directed by Baz "Confusion, What's That?" 
and whose elaborately costumed characters not only break into song but 
break into contemporary *pop* songs.  Ergo, such stranger-than-strange 
(early) screen moments as Ewan McGregor belting out "The Sound of Mu-
sic," a top hat 'n' tails-wearing Can Can-club crowd line-dancing to 
Nirvana's "Nevermind," and a glittering, ghost-white Nicole Kidman sus-
pended from a trapeze and cooing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."  
(Later music mayhem includes Jim Broadbent shouting a Madonna song, or 
so the ads have shown.  We left early, my date having a headache.  And 
if that sounds too fishy, then call it a haddock.  Just for the hali-
but...  Also, there's no apparent sign of *Ozzy Osbourne* singing about 
said hills being alive, though he reportedly recorded a version for the 
film.  Maybe it'll surface on the *second* volume of the soundtrack al-

There are numerous *non*-musical diversions, too:  John Leguizamo's di-
minutive chatterbox Toulouse Lautrec (though never uttering the line 
"special delivery, a bumb"), a blast of first-hour slapstick involving 
Kidman's frantic hotel-room concealment of one gentleman caller from a-
nother, and, for that matter, just about *any* scantily-clad shot of 
the Artist Formerly Known as Mrs. Tom Cruise prancing about in her 
next-to-nothings.  Rarely is sexy so surreal...  The plot has something 
to do with McGregor's character trying to write about love, Kidman's 
character mistakenly leading him on-- in addition to hanging around 
nightclubs, the sickly singer performs "other services" after hours-- 
her later death, and his later despair.  (At least, that's what the 
framing device-within-a-framing device suggests.)  In the likely event 
of head-scratching, film fans can at least enjoy the sundry silent-mo-
vie references: old-time title cards, black-and-white tinting (grainy, 
of course), and a singing man-in-the-moon right out of Georges Melies' 
1902 FX-fest LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE.  I'll leave the translation to 
you, as I gotta oui oui.  (Rated "PG-13"/126 min.)
Grade: W/O

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros 

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros