73. 'Moulin Rouge'
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Why do I love "Moulin Rouge"? Because of its opening sequence, in which a
crazed little man comes out from behind a curtain to conduct an unseen orchestra
through an emphatic, equally bonkers version of iconic 20th Century Fox fanfare,
perfectly setting the stage for the two-plus hours of insanity to come. Because
the film did the then-unheard of, unimaginable thing of largely forsaking
original musical compositions in favor of reused, recycled or straight-up
re-imagined popular songs, thus reinventing the musical for the 21st century.
Because Nicole Kidman is hot. Because Ewan
McGregor is hot.
Bing: Watch music videos from 'Moulin
Because it also features the incomparable John Leguizamo inexplicably playing
a dwarf. Because director Baz Lurhmann understood — perhaps better than anyone —
what made the ADD-addled minds of the Millennial generation tick, and how to
capture our imaginations. Because I can't hear any rendition of Elton John's
"Your Song," The Police's "Roxanne" or Madonna's "Like a Virgin" without
thinking of the film, and a smile coming to my face. Ditto, of course, Christina
Aguilera's version of "Lady Marmalade," which became an even bigger hit than the
film itself, and is, perhaps, its most enduring contribution to the pop cultural
And because, ultimately, what could be more universal than the love, shared
and lost, between an impoverished writer and a tuberculosis-stricken prostitute
in turn-of-the-century Paris? Nothing! Rhetorical question. Like Christian and
Satine's romance, "Moulin Rouge!" will live forever, through its music, in our
hearts, and in our DVD libraries. Or BluRay, or digital download or whatever ...
— Corwin Neuse (Moulin Rouge!/©20th Century Fox Film
Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection/Rex Features)