With Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Ms Kidman. Because it seems to me that the second she starts to play someone passionate, she turns into this hissing cat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her acting truly tender, loving, caring, somehow. Maybe I have seen the wrong films with her in it, somehow. Or maybe her acting is not the kind that convinces me that she is sincere.
Anyway, this particular one was, despite the subject -man falls heavily in love with prostitute that’s about to die from horrible disease- is far too childish in setup for me. Roxanne (Nicole Kidman) is the ‘head attraction’ of Moulin Rouge, and ofcourse it’s her who Christian (McGregor) falls in love with. His naive childishness is the other part I don’t particularly like. It’s too grotesk, to clownesk, too cardboard. I like the music, but the play as a film is not that realistic.
The singing voice of Ewan McGregor is one I can appreciate though. It’s boyish, naive, hearfelt, torn and cute at times. The proper mix for the part he is playing. I’ve seen Ms Kidman’s voice being judged as ‘surprisingly good’ but I don’t see that. It’s alright I guess, but for the femme fatale she’s supposed to play, desperately fighting for her life, convincing the world she’s all that: I don’t see that.
Then again, the film is not solely based on these two, there’s more. Those actors suffer from the weird theatrical display. It’s a film that wants to be a Broadway Musical, which is something more films (Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby) ‘suffer’ from, depending on which point of view. It is simply not the kind of film I deeply appreciate.
So therefore: is it all that bad? No, not at all. Just don’t expect the singing to be all that great, because that’s what singers are for. It is a spectacle, and given that it’s Moulin Rouge: who can blame ‘m, really?