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  • by David C. Terr

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    chicago movie posterTitle: Chicago

    Director: Rob Marshall

    Starring: Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere

    Release Date: Dec. 27, 2002

    Running Time: 113 min

    Genres: Musical, Comedy, Crime, Drama

     

    Commentary
    Chicago is a wonderful musical about scandal in show business in Chicago in the 1920s. The music, talent, and acting are all quite good. Even Richard Gere, whom I usually can't stand, does a great job in this picture.

    Plot Summary
    Chicago has a complicated plot involving the show biz careers of Velma Kelly (Jones) and Roxie Hart (Zellweger). Both of these ladies commit murders. Kelly kills her adulterous husband and her sister with whom he'd had an affair and Roxie kills her abusive lover. Facing death row, Roxie hires attourney Billy Flynn (Gere). With his help, Roxie's publicity makes her famous. Velma and Roxie end up competing with each other. Eventually after many more scandals, Velma and Roxie agree to perform a two-woman act together, which becomes a hit.

    Music
    The music in Chicago is very good. Here are some of the songs:

    • "All That Jazz" (Velma)
    • "Funny Honey" (Roxie)
    • "All I Care About" (Billy)
    • "Mister Cellophane" (Amos)
    • "Razzle Dazzle" (Billy)
    • "I Move On" (Roxie, Velma)

    Musical Film Revival
    Chicago is one of the first successful new musical films. Musicals suffered a hiatus period of about 30 years, but due to the success of new musicals like Chicago and Moulin Rouge! (2001), they're starting to make a comeback. Chicago was the first musical film to receive the Best Picture Academy Award since Oliver! (1968).

    Musical Technique
    The musical technique used in Chicago is unique. The songs and dance numbers are all shown being performed onstage at 1920s theaters, even while the related action is going on elsewhere.

    Movie Clips

    Here's a clip of Renee Zellweger singing "Roxie".

     

    Here's a clip of John Reilly singing "Mr. Cellophane".

     

    Here's a clip of Catherine Zeta Jones singing "I Can't Do It Alone".

     

    Here's a clip of "All That Jazz".

     


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