It blew critics and the Academy away in 2002. Rare 4 star from Travers and many comparisons to Fosse’s 1972 Cabaret… it is not Cabaret
I think it’s more a strong combination of pieces than brilliant artistic whole.
The opening montage editing sequence that pairs Catherine Zeta Jones (just give her the supporting actress Oscar 5 minutes in) with the Zellweger character getting seduced and then ultimately committing the murder is a great montage—“all that jazz” song and the passionate love and killing
On a pure content level I guess it’s a statement of celebrity and fame but this is no Lumet film (Network) in terms of intelligence. It’s no big meditation on these things—it’s a light romp- the film actually falters when it attempts brevity like the Hungarian woman who is innocent and gets hanged prison—it’s bad form—not set up correctly
Faced paced film—15 to 16 musical numbers- there’s barely a stop between
Won 6 Oscars, 4 acting noms and I don’t have a beef with any of them (gere wasn’t nominated- should’ve went for supporting instead of lead)
The editing is crisp—Oscar win and the screenplay is playful and light. It really pops
Zeta Jones is the main standout for me in the cast- she’s stunning, clearly a great dancer and singer—such a physical dynamic presence on screen—Gere is probably second- he’s the epitome of smooth
It’s no masterpiece but there are some really inspired moments of set design and lighting as well- I love the shot behind John C. Reilly during his solo—the extended hands creating a sillouette against the lighting backdrop
Recommend- certainly a good film and in the archives but not in my top 10 of 2002
I have a friend who compares Chicago with To Die For (1995) as they mock (does chicago mock it?) obsession with celebrity/fame, the ever changing media spotlight/public opinion and both feature women who have to claw their way to the top while men are already there. What are your thoughts on this
@Kidman69— That hadn’t occurred to be but I see the comparison. I think that checks out. Many films meditate on the nature of celebrity and celebrity culture. The King of Comedy is in that vein as well.
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