Classic Film Review: Chicago (2002)

And the Oscar Goes to:

Chicago, 2002

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly

 

Chicago is a film adaptation of the musical of the same name, and focuses on Bill Flynn (Richard Gere), a lawyer representing two murderesses (Roxie Hart, played by Renee Zellweger, and Velma Kelly, played by Catherin Zeta-Jones) on death’s row in 1920’s Chicago.

A rare win for a musical, Chicago benefitted from its great actors (four of its stars were nominated for best acting roles at the Oscars, and the Best Supporting Actress even had two members of the cast, in Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah, Girls Trip, competing) and a brilliant presentation; transitioning seamlessly between the plot as it was playing out and the musical song-and-dances which accompanied it.

Its plot felt, at times, a bit rushed: an argument ensued between Roxie and Billy and they parted ways, before reuniting a scene later (without us seeing the apology or reconciliation), and Roxie’s character toughened up from the frightened girl who walked into the prison very quickly, while they don’t necessarily take anything away from the film it could easily have had more time focused on these.

The songs are all sung brilliantly, with the choreography and attire for their performances also wonderful, and this helped give the film an appealing look despite most of it set within a prison cell. While seeing a musical take the Best Picture Oscar may be surprising, seeing its brilliant cast, immaculate singing and a presentation worth admiring make it all understandable.

 

Plot: * * *

Acting: * * * *

Writing: * * * *

Presentation: * * * * *

Overall Rating: * * * *

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