Only 5 more days to Valentine’s Day which means that it is time for #5 on the Top 11 Countdown of my favorite romantic movies of all time: Moulin Rouge.Today’s pick isn’t just one of my favorite romantic movies, it is one of my favorite movies period. If I was somehow stranded on a desert island with no hope of rescue but with access to a DVD player, this would definitely be one of the movies I chose to watch over and over again for the rest of my life.
First of all, I love the use of music : rearranging, remixing, and combining all different kinds of music to create something just incredible to listen to. (I am a sucker for a good musical, which is why I love going to Broadway shows as often as I do). The main love song, Come What May, is one of my favorite songs of all time. (Seriously, if this soundtrack had come out before I got married, that song would have been our wedding song).
Secondly, the film is stunning visually! The fact that he can tell a love story so successfully amid all this glittering excess and lush drama gives me supreme confidence that Baz Luhrmann is going to do a phenomenal job with The Great Gatsby movie that is coming out soon. This and especially this are also very encouraging. (It is also one of the reasons why I would love to see him direct the inevitable film version of The Night Circus but that is a post for another day).
Lastly, I love that there is an almost Shakespearean sensibility about the story… a play within a play, mistaken identities, romantic lyricism mixed with bawdy humor, a Falstaff-like character and a Feste, and a opening scene that reminds me of the chorus that opens Shakespearean tragedies like Romeo and Juliet.
It also doesn’t hurt that this movie started my incurable love for Ewan McGregor which only grew after watching movies like Big Fish and Down with Love (a film that was a serious contender for this list)
All in all, even though I have serious problems believing that Satine could hit half those notes while wearing a corset that tight and while dying from consumption and even though I cry each and every time I watch it, I cannot recommend Moulin Rouge enough.
What about you guys? Are you Moulin Rouge fan? Could you believe that Ewan McGregor and Nichole Kidman could sing like that? Do you tear up at the end or do you stop the movie a little early and pretend that it is a happy ending? Let me know what you think.