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Moulin Rouge! (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  1 June 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 213,074 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 2,313 user | 205 critic | 35 from

A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.


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Won 2 Oscars. Another 85 wins & 112 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Garry McDonald ...
The Unconscious Argentinean
Kerry Walker ...
Caroline O'Connor ...
Christine Anu ...
Môme Fromage


The year is 1899, and Christian, a young English writer, has come to Paris to follow the Bohemian revolution taking hold of the city's drug and prostitute infested underworld. And nowhere is the thrill of the underworld more alive than at the Moulin Rouge, a night club where the rich and poor men alike come to be entertained by the dancers, but things take a wicked turn for Christian as he starts a deadly love affair with the star courtesan of the club, Satine. But her affections are also coveted by the club's patron: the Duke. A dangerous love triangle ensues as Satine and Christian attempt to fight all odds to stay together but a force that not even love can conquer is taking its toll on Satine... Written by O.G.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Above All Things This Story Is About Love See more »


Drama | Musical | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

1 June 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moulin Rouge  »

Box Office


$52,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$167,540 (USA) (18 May 2001)


$57,386,369 (USA) (19 April 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was shot largely at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, with no location filming at all. See more »


While "Spectacular, Spectacular" is being sung, it is clear that Toulouse is dragging his "feet" instead of lifting them. See more »


[first lines]
Toulouse-Lautrec: [singing] There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Curtains open at the beginning and close at the end of the movie. And at the bottom of the screen you can see an orchestra conductor. See more »


Featured in Nicole Kidman: An American Cinematheque Tribute (2003) See more »


Written by Andrew Barlow and Lou Rhodes
Performed by Nicole Kidman
Produced by Blam and Josh G. Abrahams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Mostly, It's a Story About Love
11 June 2001 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

This is a story about life. And about the artists who congregated in Paris in 1900, living a bohemian lifestyle and giving the world the fruits of their labor, of their art, for which they would gladly bleed and die. But mostly this is a story about love. Of a young man named Christian, a penniless writer, and a singer named Satine, who for a moment came together and tasted the nectar of the gods. `Moulin Rouge,' written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, takes you into a world that is bright and brilliant, fast and flashy and filled with all of the things that make life worth living. It's a fantasy world of song and color, of soaring hearts and aspirations-- but also of the reality upon which the illusion of it all is built. And the effects of that reality on Christian and Satine, whose love has been forbidden by that same reality they seek to dispel by impaling it with the artistic endeavors that give them life.

If Disney had commissioned a film to be written by Shakespeare, directed by Fellini and produced by Spielberg, this would be it. It's a dizzying, whirling burst of lights, colors, music, drama and comedy that assails the senses and will hold you spellbound from beginning to end. Like the bohemians he portrays, Luhrmann leaves convention behind and dips instead into his own inspired and highly imaginative formula to tell his story. The cinematography (by Donald McAlpine) and art direction (by Ann-Marie Beauchamp and Ian Gracie) are brilliant, as well as the production design (by Catherine Martin) and the sets (by Brigitte Broch). One of the many inspired touches Luhrmann employs here, is the use of different film speeds throughout, which, when combined with the superlative, quick-cut editing (by Jill Bilcock), makes it all transporting and surreal.

Ewan McGregor turns is a terrific performance as Christian, the young man who arrives in Paris with nothing more than spirit and a head filled with ideas and ideals. When artistic differences leaves Zidler (Jim Broadbent), proprietor of the Moulin Rouge, without a writer for a new show, `Spectacular, Spectacular,' Christian steps in. And so does McGregor, who shines in the part. And the boy can sing! He may not have the greatest voice in the world, but it's a good `stage voice,' and most importantly, he can sell a song, as evidenced by the scene in which he puts across Elton John's `Your Song.' McGregor has a charismatic screen presence, and in this role he really gets a chance to demonstrate his versatility as an actor.

As Satine, Nicole Kidman is saucy and sensuous, bringing her character vividly to life, this woman who makes her living by being every man's fantasy as she sings and sashays her way through this world of the Moulin Rouge. In her heart, she longs to be a serious actress, and if this new show is a success, she just may get her chance. But first, the show needs someone to finance the lavish production. They may have one-- the Duke of Worcester (Richard Roxburgh), has expressed interest, but he has one condition. If he pays for the show he wants something in return (besides a profit on his investment). He wants Satine. But so does Christian, who has nothing to offer the show but his talent, and nothing for Satine but his love. Zidler, meanwhile, aware of the Duke's demands, urges Satine to turn her back on Christian, to `save him.' And beyond and besides all that is happening, there is something else going on with Satine, something more personal, that ultimately will have an effect on the outcome of the dilemma for all concerned.

The supporting cast includes John Leguizamo (Toulouse Lautrec), Kylie Minogue (The Green Fairy), Garry McDonald (Doctor), Jacek Koman (The Narcoleptic Argentinean), Matthew Whittet (Satie), Kerry Walker (Marie) and Laszlo Lukas (Conductor). With an eye for detail and his imagination thrust into overdrive, Luhrmann has put together and delivered one of the brightest films to come along in quite awhile. `Moulin Rouge' is an explosion of sights and sounds, a film laced with humor and visual largess that holds a poignant and dramatic story at it's heart. Entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable, this is a memorable film and a satisfying movie-going experience. It's a story about love; a story told through the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.

99 of 166 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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