Posted 03 April 2002 - 01:46 PM
There are over fifty named cast members credited as “dancer” .
It is the only movie that features the vocal stylings of both Placido Domingo (the man in the moon) and Kylie Minogue (the Green Fairy). By the way, that is not Placebo on the soundtrack album the rules being different, apparently, for CD reproduction.
Nicole Kidman’s voice; Ewan MacGregor’s voice; they show that there is a lot more to being a successful singer than a beautiful tone. Kidman’s voice has a bottled up tone, no real chest and a very thin top. She “manages” her low notes as opposed to really singing them. Her mid-voice has a three or four note range that is pleasant. Partially due to the lack of chest voice there is no register break, so it is evenly produced throughout its range.
Her attacks are sharp and seem to be on key. Her diction is superb and she sings on the beat. Her training as an actor probably helps with all this. Occasionally her sound opens up (aided, possibly, by digital magic in post-production) and her emotional commitment to communicating through music is riveting.
MacGregor has a better instrument with a decent range and a not unpleasant reedy tone. His voice blooms in the upper mid-range and his breath support is quite good. He sounds capable to sustaining tone over a long line if necessary (it really isn’t in this score). Possibly due to his character his singing lacks the core of compassionate truth that one might wish for, although there were stretches in which he was ardent and impassioned.
Both sing with a “white” tone—very little vibrato, much more Baroque (in its present original instrument manner) than Romantic. It makes it much more difficult to sing the correct harmonies in duets, which may mean that some of the blending of their voices was done in post-production.
The scenes with audience made up of night owls in their top hats, tails, leering expressions and very sad, isolated cores.
Jim Broadbent as Madonna; Nicole Kidman as Madonna and as Madonna as Marilyn Monroe.
The scene at the end of the misdirected seduction in the Elephant, in which Broadbent, Kidman, MacGregor, John Leguizamo, (Toulouse) Jacek Korman (The Argentinian) and Mathew Whittet (Satie) “put on a show” for the Duke. It is as funny, manic, fast paced and effective as any Rossini end of the first act confusion of characters.
The idea that for musicians, singers, dancers and other artists (here including acrobats, tumblers, jugglers and magicians) getting on stage and performing is the most important thing for them—as important as breathing.
There are a lot of other things to love about this movie, and most likely, much that people do not like about it. It was a surprise hit in the U. S., grossing more than $60 million. The distributors would have been happy with half of that, since it was expected to play very well in non-U.S. markets.
My comments are based on seeing it in the theater. The VCR release is unfortunately panned and scanned. Much of what Baz Lurhmann accomplished was in the depth of field and the extreme foreground of the shots. This is lost on the panned and scanned version.
Posted 03 April 2002 - 01:51 PM
I enjoyed it to. From the opening credits to the end, it was loud, brash, honest, over the top and to me Jim Broadbent was unrecognizable from the actor in "Iris" which makes him even more deserving of his Oscar.
Fun, but I think it was a case of you either loved it or hated it, not many in between!
Posted 03 April 2002 - 02:01 PM
I've heard that he is bringing La Boheme to NY.....who knows in what translation!
Posted 07 April 2002 - 12:55 PM
Thanks for the write-up, Ed. I think I need to see if I can still catch it in a theater.
Posted 08 April 2002 - 04:57 AM
If it is like the limited San Francisco Opera run, it will be triple cast so they can do seven or eight shows per week. There are lots of rumors that the entire show will be amplified in current Broadway style.
Posted 09 April 2002 - 12:55 PM
Posted 10 April 2002 - 01:24 PM
I feel bad about saying this, since Luhrmann is one of the few working in mainstream movies today trying to do something unusual, and I'd rather watch Moulin Rouge than, say, In the Bedroom. But I hope he cools off a little.
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