BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 10 May, 2001, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Muted reviews for Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge
Lavish production - but a weak plot?
Baz Luhrmann's lavish can-can drama Moulin Rouge was given the honour of opening the 54th Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, the musical extravaganza took almost five years to complete.

But despite the lavish production, it received a lukewarm reception.


Variety, Todd McCarthy

Moulin Rouge is a tour de force of artifice, a dazzling pastiche of musical and visual elements at the service of a blatantly artificial story.

Aussie helmer Baz Luhrmann displays often amazing resourcefulness as he mixes a multitude of film and song styles to relate a quintessential tale of la vie boheme.

For all the effectiveness of the story-telling... the love story never truly takes on a life of its own that rouses the viewer and becomes moving in its own right.

The tale is clearly a synthetic recyling of La Boheme elements that the characters remain constructs, exaggerated caricatures that are vibrant yet bloodless.


Screen International, Emmanuel Levy

Lurmann's new musical, which is set at the turn of the century in Paris andd stars Nicole Kidman, creates a heightened creative world that aggressively defies historical authenticity and the established traditions of Hollywood musicals.

The film's detractors will have a hard time dismissing it is just a crazy quilt of imagery inspired by music videos.

As a convention-free musical, Moulin Rouge creates its own heightened world, employing far-flung visual techniques.

Unlike other musicals, in which the songs often arrest the plot, here story and song are integrated, moving forward together and supporting each other.

Ultimately though what, makes the story touching is the splendid cast, headed by a dazzling Kidman, who acts better than she sings, and McGregor, who excels in both departments.


Nice -Matin, Philippe Dupuy

Baz Luhrmann's new film caught festival attendees on the hop with a mind-blowing opening of images, interspersed with musical numbers.

As with his film Romeo and Juliet, the wonderboy of Australian cinema mixes different styles and eras in a story of impossible love.

But where Romeo and Juliet lent heavily on Shakespeare's tragedy, Moulin Rouge suffers from a weak storyline.

Ultimately this condemns it to being nothing more than a succession of techno-pop music-hall numbers which have been shot in the style of a pop video for an adolescent audience.

Only the talent of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor (who really do sing their songs) keeps the project from sinking.


Festival diary

Films in focus

The lowdown

WATCH THE TRAILERS

TALKING POINT
Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes