Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Nov 2013)
Brief Synopsis – A young writer meets a dancer and they immediately fall in love. The only problem is that she is also wanted by a jealous Duke.
My Take on it – I have avoided this movie like the plague for the last 12 years and it was (until this week) the only Oscar Best Picture nominee since 2000 that I hadn’t yet seen. The premise just didn’t appeal to me and I’m not much of a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s movies, so I just stayed away.
Cinema Parrot Disco suggested last Wednesday that I watch it and I took the challenge from her and viewed it.
I had truly mixed feelings about this movie because I found the plot itself to be quite mediocre and boring because it was just a rehash of so many other movie plots. The twist here is what made it more interesting; all of the music in this musical is music from the 1960’s thru the 1980’s even-though the movie takes place in 1899.
I really really LOVED that idea and found myself paying more attention to the songs than the banal plot. I kept wishing for more music to be used in scenes where there is “mere” dialogue.
The choices of songs were chosen very well. Among them are songs by Elton John, The Beatles, Rogers and Hammerstein, Diane Warren, Sting, David Bowie and Queen to name a few.
Luhrmann tried a similar idea in his adaptation of The Great Gatsby (2013) that came out earlier this year, but the music doesn’t work there as well as it did here.
As good as the music integration is here, it unfortunately doesn’t help the fact that the plot is so thin and unoriginal.
Perhaps this movie got a Best Picture nomination solely on it’s musical integration, but I’m sure that it would be somewhat easy to find another movie from 2001 that was more deserving of that 5th spot [The other 4 nominees were – In the Bedroom (2001), Gosford Park (2001), A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001).]
Bottom Line – Interesting movie, plot isn’t too original, but LOVED the idea of adding modern music to a movie set in the late 19th Century. Too bad it doesn’t help the weak plot.
Rating – BAFTA Worthy