Classic Film Guide

Chicago (2002)

Best choice in a weak year? An Oscar winning Best Picture. The best thing I can say about this film is that in lieu of just filming a popular stage musical with more elaborate sets, the (Oscar nominated) director Rob Marshall (his directorial debut) and editor (Martin Walsh won the Oscar too) for this film really used the medium well to tell the story with the action of its stars (in lieu of doubles), e.g. by utilizing "quick cuts". Based upon what I've read, this technique really wasn't done to cover up or hide any lack of talent on the part of the principals either (however, even slick editing could not hide the fact that Richard Gere can't tap dance). Catherine Zeta-Jones true talent showed through enough for her to win the Supporting Actress Oscar. I think it's been so well received because it moves the adequate (Oscar nominated) story along efficiently with intriguing musical numbers, in lieu of the way Moulin Rouge! (2001) made you say "not another song, please!" and "is it over yet, can I leave now?" This film is much "tighter". Renee Zellweger, John C. Reilly, and Queen Latifah were Oscar nominated for their roles. #12 on AFI's 25 Greatest Movie Musicals list.

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