Monday, March 5, 2012

Musical {Moulin Rouge}

Moulin Rouge is by far one of my favorite musicals! I remember the first time I watched it. My best friend, Kaleigh, was shocked when she found out I hadn't seen it, so she made me watch it immediately. I honestly didn't think I would like it, but by the time it was over I had probably used an entire box of Kleenex. I am a major weeper (someone name that movie)! So this isn't really that surprising, but I bawled through a lot of this movie!

All pics via google
A lot of musical lovers wouldn't even consider calling Moulin Rouge a "real" musical, and get upset when someone refers to it as one! I just had this debate with someone, so I am not making this stuff up! So, why wouldn't it be considered a "real" musical you might ask? Well, the musical does not use original songs. Honestly, that is what I think is great about it, but others think that makes it less noteworthy. It encompasses many popular hits such as: "The Sound of Music," "Lady Marmalade,""Like a Virgin," and "Roxanne" to name a few!

The setting for the film is 1900 Paris, France. However, it mainly focuses around the Moulin Rouge and the surrounding area. The contrast between the era being portrayed and the modern music is wonderfully done, in my opinion. Like I said though, many don't agree with me on this one, so you will need to check it out for yourself and see what you think!

Elephant Love Melody
Basic plot line - A young British poet/writer trying to make his mark in Paris' Bohemian culture falls in love with the terminally ill star of the Moulin Rouge. The musical is a tangled mess of mistaken identities, passion, and jealously! Ewan McGregor plays Christian, the poet, in the film (if for no other reason, isn't McGregor reason enough to watch it). And Nicole Kidman plays Satine, the star of Moulin Rouge. I think the pair do a great job with this film, and their singing is pretty impressive as well. I have heard that Kidman had no musical training before she played this role!

The soundtrack to this musical is phenomenal. I listen to it at least a couple times a week on my iPod. My favorite songs are: "Your Song," "Elephant Love Melody,""Come What May," and "El Tango de Roxanne." The "Elephant Love Melody" and "El Tango de Roxanne" are by far my favorite! I literally sing at the top of my lungs in my car to these songs. The rendition of Roxanne is probably the best scene of the entire movie (my opinion)!
El Tango de Roxanne
The film was nominated for eight Oscars in 2002! Nicole Kidman was up for "Best Actress" and the film was up for "Best Picture" (it had been ten years since a musical had been nominated). It only won two of the eight Oscars though, "Best Art Direction" and "Best Costume Design." Nevertheless, this musical was the first to receive some love in a long time. 

So, if you haven't seen this musical yet, do yourself a favor and go rent it! I would recommend a box of Kleenex for your viewing experience! After watching it, let me know what you think! Do you think it is a good musical or a knock-off with no originality? What are your favorite scenes and/or songs? Can't wait to hear from you! 


  1. Fun fact of the day: The only original song in the film, "Come What May", was disqualified from Oscar contention as it was originally written and intended for Baz Luhrmann's previous film "Romeo and Juliet". However he never used it in "Romeo and Juliet", only in "Moulin Rouge".

    1. Who is this guy?

  2. YAY!!! I was wondering when you'd do this one :) I LOVE musicals, and I say M.R is a musical! I think another reason people tend to dismiss it as a musical is because it is a movie, and has never (that I know of) been adapted for stage. I'm sure peopole have tried, in fact I know of a few companies who have tried, but no one has succeeded so far (that I know of). But HI HELLO it's a STORY in SONG FORM. AKA a musical.
    LOVE YOU! :) and I love when Arthur shares his random movie knowledge, I always find out cool junk :)

  3. Major Weeper movie - The Holiday. Thank you very much....

    I abhor this movie. It is not a musical. Let the discussion begin!

    1. The editor of my Film Theory book considers it a musical... I feel he has a more academic basis on which to judge the film. Sorry?

    2. Well, then it is settled! It is a musical! Just curious, what is his argument?

    3. He just mentions it in passing. One of the articles I had to read was an argument for the Musical as a genre, and what it required to be a musical. Too much info to relate for my tired soul. However, in the introduction to the article, the Editor mentions Moulin Rouge in passing saying, "He (the author) draws from three classic Hollywood musicals (and two contrasting genres) to show how different types of musicals attempt to resolve contradictions in different ways, whether through the opposition between narrative and musical numbers in the backstage musical (such as Dream Girls [2006] or the overall sense of utopia that colors the world of musicals that integrate numbers and narrative more seamlessly (Such as Moulin Rouge! [2001])." However, his use of Moulin Rouge as an example of a musical, in the introduction to the article about musicals, must lend some credence to the legitimization of Moulin Rouge as a musical. There's a paper to be written here, I'm just not in any position to do so.