10 Years On . . . That’s Chicago
Chicago winning Best Picture in 2003 at the Oscars is often regarded as a mistake due to the other films nominated that year. I fell in love with it but then again I am just a little bit of musical geek. So obviously I still love it and have it as one of my all time favorite films. The academy showed its supposed love for musicals that year but Oliver! was the previous Best Picture winner for a musical so it had been a very long time between a musical winning the best picture award. I think it’s quite scary that it is now 10 years on and loved how the cast we involved in the 2013 ceremony. Especially the All That Jazz performance from Catherine Zeta Jones that totally made the whole show for me. It’s a great song one of the best openings to a musical and it also helped show that she still has it after more than 10 years!
I actually done the classic film finishes, go back to the start with Chicago for weeks! Bought the soundtrack, honestly I really loved this film and watched it over and over again. I not only know it word for word but I know all the dance moves as well. Watched every special feature and behind the scenes things as possible. I can’t really remember why I loved it so much thinking back now, I just did and still do. With the Oscar season just finishing Sky Movies had a special channel and whenever Chicago was on I couldn’t resist putting it on even if only 10 minutes were left, baring in mind I have two different types of DVD and the Blu Ray edition!
So many songs that you can sing (and dance) along to, it really doesn’t take long to totally get right into the music. It’s catchy the dance moves are Fosse! I think that’s another reason I totally love it, I love the style he puts into it. Having also seen the stage show three times, I really am taken back by his unique style. The film is much more bright and colourful but you have to jazz it up a bit for the big screen. All taking place in Roxie’s head, brilliant way to get it across in a slightly different way in my opinion.
Amos has the most depressing song really, you cannot help but feel sorry for him. The words in Mr Cellophane really describe how everyone just seems to pass him by. Not paying any attention to him and this brought about an Oscar nomination for John C. Reilly in this role as well. Throughly deserved in my opinion as the emotion he puts into the role is just brilliant from start to finish. This role is slightly different to what it is like on the stage, on the stage he is more of a joke and laughed at. I don’t think that is the same in the film version, in the film you really do feel sorry for him even if he is slightly stupid in his love for Roxie but you can’t claim that he doesn’t care about her.
Billy Flynn doesn’t really just care about love . . . He loves money and wants as much of it as he can possibly get. Don’t let some of the songs deceive you. But it is all about the razzle dazzle in the courtroom as well as outside of it, as he says it’s all a show and a circus. Also if you didn’t already know I have a lot of love for Richard Gere and that makes his portrayal of Billy Flynn even better for me. You will have to admit that he is one very charming man and you would probably trust him as well. The song “When We Both Reached For The Gun” is a massive highlight and brilliant done with Zellweger as the dummy!
Velma Kelly. Catherine Zeta Jones. All That Jazz . . . Possibly the greatest opening number in any musical EVER . . . I actually do mean that as well, not being over the top or anything. All That Jazz is a brilliant song and really sets up Chicago, I’m sure this was a big part in Catherine taking the Oscar as well, even though the rest of her performance is flawless as well. I struggle to remember that Velma is not actually the main character in all of this as she really cannot help but stand out.
Roxie Hart is the main character in this film, looking very Marilyn Monroe like. With plenty of songs about wanting to be a star and trying to get her freedom for killing Fred Casley. With the help of her adoring husband Amos and lawyer Billy Flynn, not forgetting Mama Morton of course the whole storyline of the film takes place in her head. Well actually I mean the musical numbers, which I found a very clever and good way to do the film. How she is seeing people and the songs they are singing to help explain how exactly they are feeling.
The dancing, not sure if I have mentioned much about the dancing? Well “I Cant Do It Alone” is probably the best at showing the dance moves as Velma attempts to show us how she cannot do the double act alone, trying to get Roxie back on her side. The hate between the two female characters really is just brilliant and the performance at the end just shows what you can do.
Seeing the cast reunited on the Oscar stage this year has inspired this blog post and reminded me of my obsession and love for Chicago. The actors as well, especially Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Gere who will be featuring in some special blog posts sometime very soon (so watch this space). I did think it was a brilliant jester especially with Gere being banned from the Oscars for so many years. Although it did feel like a slight build up to Les Mis picking up the Best Picture award which obviously didn’t happen. So Chicago still remains the latest musical to have claimed that highest accolade. I wonder if we will see any more musical contenders in the next few years as it had been quite a while since the last nomination.
So Chicago is a film which I hold in such high regard, have such a passion and love for pretty much everything about it. Yes I understand I seem to be in a minority with this but that doesn’t matter I still love it and . . . All That Jazzzzzzzzzz