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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Moulin Rouge: Press views
Moulin Rouge is an assault on the senses
Moulin Rouge opened to mixed press reviews
Press reviews of Moulin Rouge

The Guardian

This movie, though blessed with some stunning architectural design, never pays its audience the compliment of giving them the time and space to look around. We are driven back by the great undifferentiated roar of colour and light and noise. It is as if a jeroboam of champagne has been shaken up far too much and then uncorked in our faces. That isn't a very refreshing or tasty experience.

The Independent

As a voluptuary of texture and spectacle, Luhrmann lays on the full dégustation menu, with an option to clear the pudding trolley at the end; as a romantic storyteller, he offers stale bread and tap water. You leave bloated, and completely dissatisfied.

The Daily Telegraph

Moulin Rouge may be based on an outrageous cliché, but it is nevertheless one of the most opulent, intelligent, instinctive, daring, and likeable movies of the year so far. It is a film with dazzle, a film that splices the velveteen world last seen in Ophuls's Lola Montes or Renoir's French Cancan with the MGM musical of the 40s, and which then fuses all that with the fashion-sense of Madonna and the sound of Massive Attack.

The Observer

Those raised on pantos and Hope-Crosby road movies didn't need Brecht to tell them they weren't seeing reality on the stage, and they had become postmodernists before they even encountered modernism. So this tour de farce of trivia and Traviata, of tragic love and deliberate banality, is nothing new and Nicole Kidman has the figure, the strident manner and the sense of fun of an ideal Principal Boy.

The Sunday Times

A film such as this needs heart and soul to stop it being just an empty spectacle. Here, McGregor lets the side down. He utterly fails to invest his supposedly love-obsessed character with any emotional depth or passion. Thank God, and Baz, for Nicole Kidman - she comes to the rescue with a dazzling performance that makes the love between Satine and Christian come alive.

London Evening Standard

Like a Virgin, sung choral-style by a load of dancing waiters, with Jim Broadbent quasi-rapping over the top, is about the funniest thing you ever saw. There is original music here, the soundtrack flags it up proudly, but most of the songs are bad late-Eighties-early-Nineties rock, frankly - in some cases, medley-fied together so they sound even more absurd than they did at the time. And yet the big moments are magnificent. They shall go down in history, if anyone ever does write a history of Most Amusing Uses of Nirvana (which someone surely should).

The Times

It is just about the most self-indulgent, overdone, exhausting confection it has ever been my misfortune to come across stone cold sober on a sunny afternoon. If you must go to see it, my advice is to go late and go drunk. By the close, I felt miserably hungover anyway, what with all the self-combusting song-and-dance routines, brick-in-the-face dialogue and laboured cutesy digital effects (singing moons, anybody?).

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