Moulin Rouge! (2001)

moulin rouge poster 2001 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Original, high energy, good visuals

A lot to take in, sometimes too clever for itself, lots of attempts to copy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Moulin Rouge!

Studio:  Bazmark Productions

Genre(s):  Musical/Romance/Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):  May 9, 2001 (Cannes)/June 1, 2001 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

moulin rouge elephant medley satine christian ewan mcgregor nicole kidman

Fireworks appear when you are around!

The Bohemian spirit is raging in Paris, and the heart of the explosion is Montemartre and the Moulin Rouge with its cast of can-can girls.  Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent) and the Moulin Rouge’s Satine (Nicole Kidman) have a plan for the next big play by wooing the Duke of Monroth (Richard Roxburgh).  Unfortunately, Satine unexpectedly finds herself in love with a British writer named Christian (Ewan McGregor) who has become caught up in the Bohemian lifestyle and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo) and his troupe.  Unfortunately, Satine is destine for a sad cruel fate…but can love conquer all?

Written and directed by Baz Luhrman (with Craig Pierce as the cowriter), Moulin Rouge! is a post-modern musical romance.  The musical was released to critical acclaim and strong box office numbers.  The movie won Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress (Kidman), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Sound.

Musicals were out of vogue by 2000.  Moulin Rouge! helped spark a new interest in the musical.  Moulin Rouge! was a different type of musical that showed that musicals in a music video society could still be innovative.

moulin rouge paris picnic satine christian nicole kidman ewan mcgregor

Ah, Bohemian Paris lifestyle!

The story for Moulin Rouge! is a classic storytelling type of story.  Luhrman took aspects of classic operas and used them as the basis of the story.  It is the type of story where you are told the ending on the onset…Satine dies.  The path to Satine’s death has to be compelling and interesting and the film managed to do it in a Kiss Me Kate style format with the Moulin Rouge’s musical playing out and expressing feeling of the characters writing and performing it.

The cast also is strong.  Kidman and McGregor are good as the love-struck couple being kept apart by money and fate.  Richard Roxburgh channels his Gary Oldman as his sniveling Duke and John Leguizamo’s acting style is good for the over-the-top Toulouse-Lautrec.  Kylie Minogue is the Green Fairy (with Ozzy Osbourne providing her laugh).  The most under-awarded of the group is Jim Broadbent as Harold Zidler who’s showmanship is a scene stealer.

moulin rouge like a virgin duke harold zidler jim broadbent richard roxburgh

Like a Virgin…touched for the very first time!

Moulin Rouge! is really all about the visuals and music.  The movie has high energy (it is a lot to take in at first) and the visuals are eye-popping if you aren’t expecting them.  Likewise, the music is a blend of different genres and styles utilizing popular music.  “Come What May” was considered for an Oscar but since it was originally written for Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, it was deemed ineligible.

Moulin Rouge! was an experience but the resurrection of the musical and multiple attempts to emulate the success of this film have kind of watered down the effect of the movie.  Moulin Rouge! is still a strong and interesting movie with some catchy tunes, but the experience of Moulin Rouge! isn’t quite as powerful as it was when it was released.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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