Moulin Rouge!

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Moulin Rouge!
Moulin rouge poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBaz Luhrmann
Produced byFred Baron
Martin Brown
Baz Luhrmann
Written byBaz Luhrmann
Craig Pearce
Story byBaz Luhrmann
StarringNicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor
Jim Broadbent
Richard Roxburgh
John Leguizamo
Jacek Koman
Caroline O'Connor
Music byCraig Armstrong
CinematographyDonald McAlpine
Edited byJill Bilcock
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 9 May 2001 (2001-05-09) (Cannes)
  • 24 May 2001 (2001-05-24) (Australia)
  • 1 June 2001 (2001-06-01) (United States)
Running time128 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States, Australia
LanguageEnglish
Budget$52 million[2]
Box office$179,213,434[3]
 
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This article is about the 2001 motion picture. For other uses, see Moulin Rouge (disambiguation).
Moulin Rouge!
Moulin rouge poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBaz Luhrmann
Produced byFred Baron
Martin Brown
Baz Luhrmann
Written byBaz Luhrmann
Craig Pearce
Story byBaz Luhrmann
StarringNicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor
Jim Broadbent
Richard Roxburgh
John Leguizamo
Jacek Koman
Caroline O'Connor
Music byCraig Armstrong
CinematographyDonald McAlpine
Edited byJill Bilcock
Production
company
Bazmark Productions
Angel Studios
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 9 May 2001 (2001-05-09) (Cannes)
  • 24 May 2001 (2001-05-24) (Australia)
  • 1 June 2001 (2001-06-01) (United States)
Running time128 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States, Australia
LanguageEnglish
Budget$52 million[2]
Box office$179,213,434[3]

Moulin Rouge! (/ˌmlæn ˈrʒ/, from French: [mulɛ̃ ˈʁuʒ][4]) is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor), who falls in love with the terminally-ill star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman). It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. At the 74th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, winning two: for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. It was the first musical nominated for Best Picture in 10 years, following Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991).

Plot[edit]

In the year 1900, a depressed British writer named Christian begins writing on his typewriter ("Nature Boy"). One year earlier, Christian moved to the Montmartre district of Paris to become a writer among members of the area's Bohemian movement. He encounters performers led by Toulouse-Lautrec; his writing skills allow them to finish their proposed show, "Spectacular Spectacular", that they wish to sell to Harold Zidler, owner of the Moulin Rouge. The group arrives at the Moulin Rouge as Zidler and his "Diamond Dog Dancers" perform for the audience ("Lady Marmalade/Zidler's Rap (Can Can)/Smells Like Teen Spirit"). Toulouse arranges for Christian to see Satine, the star courtesan, in her private quarters to present the work, unaware that Zidler is promising Satine to the wealthy and unscrupulous Duke of Monroth, a potential investor in the cabaret ("Sparkling Diamonds" medley).

Satine mistakes Christian for the Duke, and dances with him before retiring to her private chamber with him to discuss things privately ("Rhythm of the Night), but soon learns he is just a writer; by this time Christian has fallen in love with her ("Your Song"). The Duke interrupts them; Christian and Satine claim they were practicing lines for "Spectacular Spectacular". With Zidler's help, Toulouse and the rest of the troupe pitch the show to the Duke with an improvised plot about an evil maharajah attempting to woo an Indian courtesan who loves a poor sitar player ("The Pitch (Spectacular Spectacular)"). The Duke backs the show on the condition that only he may see Satine. Satine contemplates on Christian and her longing to leave the Moulin Rouge to become "a real actress" ("One Day I'll Fly Away"). Christian goes back to Satine to convince her that she loves him ("Elephant Love Medley"). As the cabaret is converted to a theater, Christian and Satine continue seeing each other under the pretense of rehearsing Satine's lines. The Duke becomes suspicious of their frequent meetings and warns Zidler that he may stop financing the show; Zidler arranges for Satine to dine with the Duke that evening, but she falls ill from tuberculosis ("Górecki"). Zidler makes excuses to the Duke, claiming that Satine has gone to confession ("Like a Virgin"). Zidler learns that Satine does not have long to live. Satine tells Christian that their relationship endangers the show, but he counters by writing a secret love song to affirm their love ("Come What May").

As the Duke watches Christian rehearsing with Satine, Nini, a jealous performer, points out that the play is a metaphor for Christian, Satine and the Duke. Enraged, the Duke demands the ending be changed so that the courtesan ends up with the maharajah; Satine offers to spend the night with the Duke to keep the original ending. At the Duke's quarters, Satine sees Christian on the streets below, and realizes she cannot go through with this ("El Tango de Roxanne: "Roxanne/Tanguera"). The Duke tries to rape her, but she is saved by Le Chocolat, one of the cabaret dancers, and reunited with Christian, who urges her to run away with him. The Duke tells Zidler he will have Christian killed if Satine is not his. Zidler reiterates this warning to Satine, but when she refuses to return, he finally informs her she is dying ("A Fool to Believe"). Satine tells Christian they can no longer see each other as she will be staying with the Duke ("The Show Must Go On"). Christian tries following her, but is denied entry to the Moulin Rouge, and becomes depressed, even though Toulouse insists that Satine loves him.

The night of the show, Christian sneaks into the Moulin Rouge, intending to pay Satine to return his love just as the Duke paid for her ("Hindi Sad Diamonds"). He catches Satine before she steps on stage and demands she tell him she does not love him. Suddenly they find themselves in the spotlight; Zidler convinces the audience that Christian is the disguised sitar player. Christian denounces Satine and walks off the stage. From the rafters, Toulouse cries out, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return", spurring Satine to sing the song Christian wrote to express their love. Christian returns to the stage, joining her in the song. The Duke's bodyguard tries to kill Christian, but is thwarted, while the Duke's own attempt is stopped by Zidler. The Duke storms out of the cabaret as Christian and Satine complete their song ("Come What May (Reprise)", "Coup d'État (Finale)").

After the curtain closes, Satine succumbs to tuberculosis. She and Christian affirm their love before she dies. A year later the Moulin Rouge has closed down, and Christian is writing the tale of his love for Satine, a "love that will live forever" ("Nature Boy (Reprise)").

Cast[edit]

Background[edit]

Inspiration[edit]

The storyline of Moulin Rouge can be traced back to Alexandre Dumas, fils' The Lady of the Camellias, although Luhrmann, as an opera director, was probably more directly influenced by Verdi's adaptation, La traviata.

When asked about his inspiration for Moulin Rouge!, Luhrmann remarked:

Luhrmann revealed that he drew from the Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice in the DVD's audio commentary. The legend of Orpheus says he was a musical genius, far surpassing anyone in his world; the filmmakers chose to replicate this by using songs from the mid-to-late 20th century, many decades after the film's 1899 setting. In this way, Christian would appear to the other characters to be ahead-of-his-time as a musician and writer.

Production[edit]

Production began in November 1999 and was completed in May 2000, with a budget of $52.5 million.[2] Filming generally went smoothly, with the only major problem occurring when Kidman injured her ribs while filming one of the more complicated dance sequences. The production also overran in its shooting schedule and had to be out of the Fox Studios in Sydney to make way for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (in which McGregor also starred). This necessitated some pick-up shots being filmed in Madrid.

In the liner notes to the film's Special Edition DVD, Luhrmann writes that "[the] whole stylistic premise has been to decode what the Moulin Rouge was to the audiences of 1899 and express that same thrill and excitement in a way to which contemporary movie-goers can relate." With that in mind, the film takes well-known popular music, mostly drawn from the MTV Generation, and anachronizes it into a tale set in a turn-of-the-century Paris cabaret. The movie also features editing that several critics compared to a music video, involving swirling camera motion, loud music, dancing, and frenetic cutting. Some of the songs sampled include "Chamma Chamma" from the Hindi movie China Gate, Queen's "The Show Must Go On" (arranged in operatic format), David Bowie's rendition of Eden Ahbez's "Nature Boy", "Lady Marmalade" by Patti LaBelle (the Christina Aguilera/P!nk/Mýa/Lil' Kim cover commissioned for the film), Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl", Elton John's "Your Song", the titular number of "The Sound of Music", "Roxanne" by The Police (in a tango format using the composition "Tanguera" by Mariano Mores), and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, a song rarely used in films. The film uses so much popular music that it took Luhrmann almost two years to secure all the rights to the songs.

Release and reception[edit]

Originally set for release on Christmas 2000 as a high-profile Oscar contender, 20th Century Fox eventually moved the release to the following spring so director Baz Luhrmann would have more time during post-production. The film premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival[6] on 9 May – making it the festival's opening title.

The film holds a rating of 66/100 at Metacritic based on 35 reviews,[7] and a 76% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 187 reviews, and a 65% "Fresh" rating, based on 40 "top" reviewers.[8] In December 2001, it was named the best film of the year by viewers of Film 2001.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

Academy Awards record
1. Best Costume Design
2. Best Art Direction
Golden Globe Awards record
1. Best Picture – Musical or Comedy
2. Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
(Nicole Kidman)
3. Best Original Score
BAFTA Awards record
1. Best Supporting Actor
(Jim Broadbent)
2. Best Film Music
(Craig Armstrong)
3. Best Sound

The film was selected by the National Board of Review as the best film of 2001. It picked up six Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (for Nicole Kidman), Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (for Ewan McGregor), Best Original Score (for Craig Armstrong), Best Director (for Baz Luhrmann) and Best Song ("Come What May"). It won three including the coveted Best Picture trophy. A few weeks later, it received 13 nominations at the BAFTA Awards, making it the most nominated film of the year for that ceremony. It took home three, including Best Supporting Actor for Jim Broadbent.

The film received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Nicole Kidman) and Best Picture.[10] The film was not nominated for Best Director (Baz Luhrmann); commenting on this during the Oscar ceremony, host Whoopi Goldberg remarked, "I guess Moulin Rouge! just directed itself." The film won the awards for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction.

"Come What May" (the only original song in the film) was disqualified from nomination for an Oscar because it was originally written (but unused) for Luhrmann's previous film Romeo + Juliet and not written expressly for Moulin Rouge![11]

Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "Baz Luhrmann's trippy pop culture pastiche from 2001 was an aesthetically arresting ode to poetry, passion, and Elton John. It was so good, we'll forgive him for Australia."[12]

AwardCategorySubjectResult
AACTA Award
(43rd Australian Film Institute Awards)
Best FilmMartin BrownNominated
Fred BaronNominated
Baz LuhrmannNominated
Best DirectionNominated
Best Actor in a Leading RoleEwan McGregorNominated
Best Actress in a Leading RoleNicole KidmanNominated
Best Actor in a Supporting RoleRichard RoxburghNominated
Best CinematographyDonald McAlpine, ACS / ASCWon
Best EditingJill BilcockWon
Best SoundAndy NelsonWon
Roger SavageWon
Guntis SicsWon
Best Production DesignCatherine MartinWon
Best Costume DesignWon
Angus StrathieWon
Academy AwardBest PictureFred BaronNominated
Martin BrownNominated
Baz LuhrmannNominated
Best ActressNicole KidmanNominated
Best Film EditingJill BilcockNominated
Best CinematographyDonald McAlpineNominated
Best Costume DesignAngus StrathieWon
Catherine MartinWon
Best Production DesignWon
Brigitte BrochWon
Best Makeup and HairstylingMaurizio SilviNominated
Aldo SignorettiNominated
Best SoundAndy NelsonNominated
Anna BehlmerNominated
Roger SavageNominated
Guntis SicsNominated
ACE EddieBest Edited Feature Film – Comedy or MusicalJill BilcockWon
BAFTA AwardBest FilmFred BaronNominated
Martin BrownNominated
Baz LuhrmannNominated
Best DirectionNominated
Best Original ScreenplayNominated
Craig PearceNominated
Best Supporting ActorJim BroadbentWon
Best CinematographyDonald McAlpineNominated
Best SoundAndy NelsonWon
Anna BehlmerWon
Roger SavageWon
Guntis SicsWon
Best MusicCraig ArmstrongWon
Marius De VriesWon
Best Production DesignCatherine MartinNominated
Best Costume DesignNominated
Angus StrathieNominated
Best EditingJill BilcockNominated
Best Special Visual EffectsChris GodfreyNominated
Andy BrownNominated
Nathan McGuinnessNominated
Brian CoxNominated
Best Makeup and HairMaurizio SilviNominated
Aldo SignorettiNominated
Golden Globe AwardBest Motion Picture – Musical or ComedyFred BaronWon
Martin BrownWon
Baz LuhrmannWon
Best DirectorNominated
Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or ComedyEwan McGregorNominated
Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or ComedyNicole KidmanWon
Best Original Song ("Come What May")David BaerwaldNominated
Kevin GilbertNominated
Best Original ScoreCraig ArmstrongWon
Grammy AwardBest Score Soundtrack for Visual MediaNominated
National Board of Review AwardBest FilmFred Baron, Martin Brown, Baz LuhrmannWon
Producers Guild of America AwardBest PictureWon
Satellite AwardBest FilmFred BaronNominated
Martin BrownNominated
Baz LuhrmannNominated
Best DirectorWon
Best Original ScreenplayNominated
Craig PearceNominated
Best ActorEwan McGregorWon
Best ActressNicole KidmanWon
Best Original ScoreCraig ArmstrongWon
Best Original Song ("Come What May")David BaerwaldNominated
Kevin GilbertNominated
Best CinematographyDonald McAlpineNominated
Best EditingJill BilcockNominated
Best Visual EffectsChris GodfreyNominated
Andy BrownNominated
Nathan McGuinnessNominated
Brian CoxNominated
Best Art Direction and Production DesignCatherine MartinWon
Best Costume DesignWon
Angus StrathieWon
Best SoundAndy NelsonNominated
Anna BehlmerNominated
Roger SavageNominated
Guntis SicsNominated

Soundtrack[edit]

Songs sung in the film:

The following is a partial list of songs featured in the film along with the artist that popularized them.

Elephant Love Medley

The following is a list of songs featured in the medley, along with the names of the writers and singers of the original.

The "Elephant Love Medley" also contains additional original lyrics that are unattributed.

In the Blu-ray Edition of the movie, it was revealed that the song that was planned to open the movie was originally Cat Stevens' "Father and Son", sung by Christian where he argues with his father for making him see that he has to go to Paris in order to make his dreams come true. Cat Stevens refused the permission for using the song in the movie, therefore the song was changed for "Nature Boy".

Two soundtrack albums were released, with the second coming after the first one's massive success. The first volume featured the smash hit single "Lady Marmalade", performed by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink. The first soundtrack, Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film, was released on 8 May 2001, with the second Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film, Vol. 2 following on 26 February 2002.

Stage adaptation[edit]

For a while in 2002–03, there was speculation about the possibility of a stage musical based on Moulin Rouge!, possibly in Las Vegas, but there have been no public talks in the years since.[13] Some sources claimed in 2006 that the director, Baz Luhrmann, had approached the leads of the film (Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor) to star in the potential stage version.[14]

In 2008, a stage adaptation, La Belle Bizarre Du Moulin Rouge, toured Germany and produced a cast recording.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MOULIN ROUGE! (12)". British Board of Film Classification. 21 June 2001. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Moulin Rouge! (2001) – Box office / business". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "Moulin Rouge!". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd ed. Longman. ISBN 1-4058-8118-6. 
  5. ^ Andrew, Geoff. "Baz Luhrmann (I)". theguardian.com Film. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Moulin Rouge!". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "Metacritic reviews". Internet Movie Database: Moulin Rouge!. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Moulin Rouge! (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster,Inc. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Moulin Rouge is viewers' favourite". London: BBC News. 20 December 2001. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Fung, Alex (9 February 2002). "Alex's Oscar Column No. 09 for the 74th Annual Academy Awards". Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  12. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (11 December 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
  13. ^ "Moulin Rouge – Stage Production". Baz the Great. Retrieved 27 March 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ Gorgan, Elena (20 June 2006). "Moulin Rouge on the Stage? – The director Baz Luhrmann has already approached Kidman and McGregor with the offer". Softpedia. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "La Belle Bizarre Du Moulin Rouge » Touring Cast : CastAlbums.org". Retrieved 7 September 2011. 

External links[edit]