The Phantom of the Opera (2004) Poster

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Never loses it's beauty....
triple88 January 2005
I have just come from seeing phantom and was completely swept away. The stage show is my all time favorite Broadway show and I was a bit nervous as to how Phantom and the music of the night would hold up on the big screen but I needn't have worried because it was very definitely worth the price of the ticket-and then some.

The movie, for the most part, retains much of the stage show, I'd say about 85 percent true to the show, though there were slight differences. The magic present in the show live, is still, for the most part, here on film. In fact, I was wondering if I would cry during the movie and of coarse I did. Phantom of the Opera's's loveliness is still so luminous and the movie just fills your senses. I don't think there was a sound in the theater during the whole movie.

The film's look-among the most riveting I've ever seen-colorful, rich and oozing vibrancy, the look and feel are just magnificent. I sure hope this movie wins some awards for it's costumes and Cinematography. At times, there was almost a bit TO much going on which, as my friends and I discussed takes the focus away from the music a bit and maybe(though I'm torn on this) they should have toned it down just a tiny tiny bit. Still, the look was so spectacular I'm not even sure I'd definitely have done that myself. But still, 10 of 10 for atmosphere.

The casting-pretty good for the most part. I simply cannot believe Emmy Rossum is only 18 years old, she is magnificent and I am in awe of her. She was a beautiful, lovely Christine and I think we'll be seeing a lot of her in the future.

Gerard Butler has been getting some flack. I actually liked him in the role of the phantom although I began to feel more strongly about his rightness as the movie went on, not right at the beginning. That is not because he wasn't good in the role, just different then the stage version. To me, his singing got more and more soulful as the movie went on and his acting was an A plus, he wasn't just there to sing and look pretty, he acted the heck out of the role and succeeded in elevating the phantom from just a presence to a tortured individual. People have been saying he's to good looking, well that's certainly not his fault!(though they really could have gotten a more realistic looking mask for him to wear.) And besides, his looks are transcended by the end, they lose their focus until we are barely aware of them. He did a really good job. Patrick Wilson surprised me the most, I think in a way, I enjoyed his voice the most. He was simply Superb, and he too, embodied Raoul. He is a talented actor with a moving, gently powerful voice and he was great. Minnie Driver, Miranda Richarardson-all great. Good casting choices.

All in all a great night at the movies-I am giving this a 9 and I think if I had to say why it's not a perfect 10, it's just that this story was meant to, first be, a theatrical production, and as good as the movie was, and as many tears as I cried, it did not haunt me in the same way as the stage show. That does not take away from the movie's power or magnificence, I'm not even sure it could have been any better at all as a movie. It's just that seeing it live sends chills down my spine and haunts in a way that only a stage musical can do. I can actually understand how some people are not impressed by Phantom because, the bottom line is, this is as much about the music as the story and if one isn't a fan of this type of music, one probably won't simply find a lot here. But for those who have seen the beauty of Phantom on stage, they'll (probebly) love it and better yet, for those lucky enough to come into this film, and love it, WITHOUT having ever seen the play-see the play-because if you think the movie version is the stuff that magnificence is made of, think about all that live on stage right in front of you. This movie is good and I admiringly give it a 9 of 10.
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Play it AGAIN!!
lenoresden24 December 2004
This is what I found myself saying when the end credits started rolling. I have seen the Stage Play 12 times. I have read the Book so may times I can not count it(LEaroux AND Kay's books). I will not put spoilers in here. All I'm going to say is go INTO it with an OPEN MIND. Some of the scenes are different from the Stage play. IT IS NOT a shot by shot remake. Bring Kleenex. Your going to need them. Butler plays Phantom with so much Intensity you CAN'T help but love him. I am NOT a fan of Minnie Driver by any means, but I have to say I liked her in this movie, she was even funny in it. As for Rossum she makes a good Christine. The costumes and the scenery were Beautiful. 2 days after seeing it, and I'm STIL IN AWE.
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Stunning!!! Magnificent!!! Powerful!!! Beautiful, Sexy, and Tragically Heartbreaking
LadyBeth108 February 2005
I can't believe I waited so long to see this movie. I've never seen the stage play. I lived in L.A. for about 17 years, attended acting school, and performed in some musicals before, but was never that crazy about seeing them, so I really didn't know what to expect. I thought "Chicago" was okay. I went to see it on a whim. But when that chandelier went up and the sweeping transformation happened to the opera house from black and white dusty ruin to a lush landscape of red velvet and gold ornate statues to the equal sweep of that unimaginably beautiful music, I literally forgot to breathe. Every time I see it I still get goosebumps. You feel that you've just been magically transported to another world. I loved every frame, every note, every performance from the very beginning to the very end. The critics must be crazy. This movie should be up for every award ever made!! I can't stop watching it. I've seen it ten times already and can't wait for the next time. It's definitely now in my top ten of all time. Joel Schumacher, and Andrew Lloyd Webber have created a MASTERPIECE!!!

What can I say about the performances that hasn't been said, they were superb. Emmy Rossum was innocent, beautiful, and angelic with a voice to match. Patrick Wilson was perfect as Raoul; handsome, and with a voice as smooth as silk. However, I can't say enough about Gerard Butler. His emotional range is absolutely stunning. Not since Richard Burton or Larry Olivier in Richard III have I seen an actor who can encompass so many different levels on the turn of a dime: Murderous rage; intense sexuality and longing; incredible vulnerability. I can't believe the comments I've seen on his singing. His voice was beautiful, sensuous, and the amazing thing was his singing matched every emotion he was feeling from highest to lowest. In the beginning we see a very confident, strong, domineering individual partial to strangling people when cornered, (not the most sympathetic of individuals,) who nevertheless shows a sensitivity and sweetness despite all of his extremely fatal faults; that is, in the more than competent hands of Gerard Butler. His performance is so beautifully and deftly drawn that gradually by the end of the film we see what's been behind the mask all along: He's just a lost little boy who never grew up.

I also have to comment on the "Point of No Return" number. That has got to be the sexiest scene I've EVER seen. And neither of them lost a stitch of clothing. Well, accept maybe a cape and a mask. But I digress. I'm sorry, but I would have dropped Raoul like a hot potato just to lie in that swan bed and let him sing to me ALLLL day, and ALLLL night, among other things.....use your imagination. So he lived in a sewer and had a little anger management problem. We could have worked through it with a good therapist. I mean this guy gave Christine what every hot blooded woman wants: Total and obedient worship. Am I right girls? Anyway to all you naysayers, I say this movie would have been nothing without him. To tell you the truth I kept wondering, "Who is this guy, where did he come from? So I did what the rest of you do and looked him up on "imdb." I'd seen "Dracula 2000," and "Timeline," but I didn't recognize him at all. Since then I've seen his other film roles, (to be honest the films weren't that great, but that's not his fault. You've got to take what you're offered.) So I just have to note another of his astonishing talents: I swear he changes with every role. His voice and his face, even his body molds to whatever character he's playing. I cannot believe that he is not up for Best Actor, or that this film is not up for at least ten Oscars. Incidentally, I shall be boycotting them this year, and I urge you to do the same. Compared to this film, the rest is just drivel. Anyway, Mr. Butler is an amazing actor. I'm so glad Mr. Schumacher had the tremendous insight to cast him. I hope now he will get the roles he so richly deserves. I'd pay admission to watch that man walk across the street. I can't believe he'd never had a voice lesson before. I hope he does more recording. I still can't get those songs out of my head, got the CD and still can't stop playing it. To all those spoil sports, GET OVER IT!! This is a MOVIE, it's not the stage play. You must embrace it on it's own turf. And WHAT a movie, I can't wait to purchase the DVD so I can savor it like the finest wine that it is to my hearts content. If you haven't seen it yet, you've missed something extremely special. It's one of the finest and most beautiful films ever made.

I have to thank you "imdb," at least we, for once, get a chance to air our opinions. I will never see another movie without consulting my fellow "little people" again. Thank you so much for this opportunity.
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You Can't Ask For Everything.......Especially With Joel Schumacher
alexkolokotronis27 June 2009
The Phantom of the Opera is of course a very well known story and has been adapted so many times that you would probably lose count if you tried. This of course is the musical adaptation if you may have not realized by now. Now if any part of your criticism of this film has to do with it being a musical then you probably didn't enjoy viewing it. I, myself are in no way a fan of musicals but in this case I found the experience of watching this film to be extremely gratifying.

For once I did not find myself feeling disgusted at the direction of Joel Schumacher. Joel Schumacher definitely handled this storyline with much more care then he has with other films throughout his career. Right from the opening minutes the film became extremely engaging and really never slows down. One thing for sure, and most people would agree, is that the set design and visual glamour of the film is astounding.

Yet one aspect of the film that certainly has not caught on with everyone is the acting of Gerard Butler who plays the Phantom. Such criticisms as he is not scary at all or he is lacking in the area of singing. For me his singing did not bother me one bit and the fact of him not being scary enough is just ridiculous to fault him for that. This film is a musical, not a horror movie. You simply can't expect a singing murderer to ever really be scary. If there is anyone to pick at for falling short it is Patrick Wilson. In my view he never presents anything unique or appealing in his performance. He, in a way, just seems to be just there. Emmy Rossum though certainly asserted her presence in the film. Her feelings as well as the Phantom's are always felt not despite the singing or music but rather with the help of it.

Personally this is my favorite musical and I definitely recommend it even if you're not a fan of musicals. Keep in mind as I stated before there won't be much of a horror factor but that is not really the point. This is by all means a romance and tackles the theme of loneliness in a very touching, poignant and compassionate way. The Phantom of the Opera is certainly gruesome but instead poetic.
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Absolutely fantastic!
emily_glenister14 December 2004
I dragged my long suffering boyfriend to see The Phantom of the Opera on Sunday, and was pleasantly surprised by it. Although I have never seen it on-stage, the film version - for me - was so enchanting that I now cannot wait to obtain tickets to it. The sets were absolutely beautiful. France is known for its beauty, and this adaption certainly paid homage to that. The theatre set itself was absolutely stunning; marble and velvet being the main materials within it. Emmy Rossum (Christine) was 17 when this was filmed and was absolutely outstanding. When she started to sing, my mouth literally dropped open. Minnie Driver (La Carlotta) was very funny in her Italian diva role. Her hand gestures added to the mannerisms of a typical diva. Her singing was overdone to add to the character (even though Ms. Driver did not do all the vocals herself). Patrick Wilson (Raoul), out of all of them, had the most captivating voice. Although Raoul seemed a bit wet and droopy, he was still gorgeous and made the GIRLS in the audience swoon. However, the star of the piece for me, was Gerard Butler (the Phantom). Although his vocal skills weren't entirely right for the part, he portrayed the Phantom as a lot of people see him; as a victim. I actually ended up warming to him, and when asked by my boyfriend who I would choose; Raoul or the Phantom, I said the Phantom. Something about the way Mr. Butler played him, was so sexy and he drew the WOMEN to him. Watching the Phantom and Raoul, certainly separated the boys from the men and the girls from the women. Another pleasant surprise is that Jennifer Ellison was actually rather good in her role as Meg, Christine's best friend. Miss Ellison has been trained in acting, singing and dancing and so was well equipped to the play the part, and carried it off very well. I wouldn't be surprised if more roles in Hollywood turned up for her. Overall, I rate this film a 5/5 and definitely recommend it. It sent shivers up my spine and gave me goosebumps. I urge those of you who haven't seen it, to become goosebump friendly by watching THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!
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I Really Liked This Movie...
endymion8215 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
So, I usually don't qualify my reviews, but this movie is sort of special, and the comments I've read are from all over the map so I feel I should give some idea of where I'm coming from too.

I've been an playwrite, actor, and director for years, with work of mine have been doing both domestically and internationally, and having appeared in plays both amateur and professional and every level in between, including a professional opera and many a musical: whenever I watch anything, I approach it on three levels: artist, critic and audience. Also, I grew up seeing shows on Broadway, both mega-musicals and little indy plays in the Village, and while generally speaking my tastes lean more towards "arty and indy", I do have a broader pallet and it would be more accurate to say that my real interest is piqued by anything that is genuinely good at being what it is- which is one way of describing "Phantom of the Opera." Because yes, it's not as complec and intelligent as the work of Sondheim, or Kander and Ebb, but for what it sets out to be, an enthralling and absorbing Gothic romance (a genre that is rarely done well on stage, let alone as a musical), it achieves on every level: the score (which is soaring and crashing and large, just like the emotions of the characters who sing it), the design (ornate and overwhelming and grand guigol to the hilt), the story (which is totally ridiculous on some level, but since gothicism and romance are both genres which celebrate the extremes of our minds and imaginations, this is totally appropriate). "Phantom" is a brilliant example of art where the content and the style of the rendering of that content fit each other to a tea, and while it may not be YOUR cup of tea I sort of feel that anyone who thinks it's crap has basically missed the point or is just sour grapes because the thing is so damn popular and so damn good at being what it is (and lets face it, it's hard not to resent a success sometimes). Genius is often ridiculed, especially genius of an unusual nature or in a somewhat unconventional field (and Gothic romance, be it novel, film or musical, is looked down on in general, usually for the very qualities that make it interesting) and Webber's work is genius, because "Phantom" is, for all its faults, tightly written, a brilliant balance of camp, melodrama, satire and fairy tale, and while the style of music might not work for each listener, it effectively illuminates the story and conveys what is most important about the characters: their titantic (albeit, somewhat simple-minded) emotions, desires, fears and obsessions.


The movie, in my opinion, takes what is best about the play and does it even better. Though some of my favorite bits from the stage show (the rehearsal of Don Jaun where the piano plays itself, Raoul's part in "Wondering Child") are gone, they have been dropped in favor of brilliant improvements, namely having the chandelier crash at the conclusion of the film (it really brings the whole thing full circle), and allowing more glimpses of Paris 1917, finally explaining why it is Raoul returns, what happens to the Phantom, etc. Other good bits that we see now but never saw onstage: an affectionate moment between Meg and Madame Giry, some history of the Phantom, a deeper sense of what Meg may know or not know about the Phantom's presence, the stalking of Josephe Bouquet, the life of the underclass of the opera house, the Hall of Mirrors from the book, etc. Also, the music has been beautifully re-orchestrated, and never sounded better. I'll take orchestra over canned synths, any day, thank you.

The cinematography is beautiful and the "opera" moments are well done- complete with the cornball, almost intrusive dancing and vibrant but totally unrealistic sets and costumes that characterized "grand opera" at the time. The sense of constant claustrophobia back stage is great, and adds to that sense of what it was like to live and work in this tiny world where everyone is a performer and half your wardrobe comes from the costume department (did anyone else catch that moment where Christine takes her dress from the wardrobe?), adding to the central question at "Phantom's" core- what (who) is real, and what (who) is an illusion- and is real preferable to illusion, or vice-vera? The bleedingly bright colors and deep shadows of the movie help echo all of this- reminding us always, this story is not real, hero on white charger and all, but we don't want it to be: it's a legend, it's a fairy tale, it's a farce... it's a masquerade. It's, as the Auctioneer says, "a strange affair." "Phantom" told and acted realistically, totally wouldn't work, so don't ask it to, or judge it that way.

The best thing about this movie is the performances, and the director has done a wonderful thing by moving AWAY from Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, both of whom gave role defining performances, neither of which are any more "correct" than any other. The question isn't, are Butler and Rossum as good as their predecessors, but rather do their versions of the characters work, and the answer is: yes. Return to "Phantom" as a text, not as a show with a history, and you'll see that Christine is supposed to be dreamy, lost, emotionally unstable and young, just as Rossum plays and sings the role. Butler, with his harsher singing and deeper range, is much more believable as a madman who is sometimes pathetic and pitable, but still ultimately a deranged egomaniac who lives underground and makes wax statues of the woman he loves. The rest of the cast is equally good, with Minnie Driver giving a heroically hysterical performance, Jennifer Ellison combining strength and curiosity with innocence and a certain grounded quality (I've always believed the audience is ultimately supposed to identify with Meg, who is the only character who never panics and maintains a healthy sense of "reality) that contrasts nicely with Rossum's morbid dreaminess, and Patrick Wilson doing much more with Raoul than any of the actors I've seen on stage. I wish Simon Callow had had more to do, but such is life- at least he was there. Miranda Richardson continues to prove she can play anything, and conveying more with a look than most actresses can with a full script of dialogue. Her accent is totally brilliant: it sets her apart, makes her glamorous and mysterious, and at the same time, is another sly tongue in cheek reminder that what we are watching should only be believed to a point: it is, after all, just another version of beauty and the beast.
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A fantastic experience!
jsp12323 January 2005
I have seen the movie, Phantom of the Opera, five times, a phenomenon never experienced with any other movie in my life. The movie has such depth and rich details, making it is worthy of spending the time and money to see it five times. Please spare me any more negative comments about Gerard Butler's performance! I have seen the play in New York and in a regional theater. Of all performances I have seen, Gerard Butler's portrayal of the Phantom is the finest, most sensitive, and most provocative. His singing is full of emotion, making his character believable and powerful. I would like to see Gerard Butler get some recognition for his performance, because he lifts the character of the Phantom far beyond what it has been in the past. He was perfect for the role, and his acting and singing should be recognized as one of the best performances on the screen this year! Emmy would not have been as great as she was without the performance provided by Gerard Butler. I want to thank Gerard Butler for taking me out of the everyday details of living into a world of "music of the night." Speak out for Gerard Butler's receiving recogniton for his truly inspiring performance as the Phantom!
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My New Favorite Movie!
krajewskim24 February 2005
I couldn't speak for 20 minutes after walking out of the theater, except to say "Oh my gosh!!!" I saw the stage version in Lodon, Ont. with Colm Wilkinson and I thought I would hate the movie phantom. He won me over within 5 minutes. All the acting and singing is just phenomenal. Beware, though, this movie is VERY SEXY!!! My husband and I saw it on Valentine's Day and almost skipped dinner after the movie and went straight home!!!! This is not your mother's phantom. You learn so much more in the movie. The symbolism is incredible as are the effects. Sets and costumes are stunning! One to see again and again. Minnie Driver was sooo funny going on and on about her "puppy". She was a perfect pout. The roof scene (All I Ask of You) was filled with tension you never really see in the stage version. Being able to see such depth of expression on the actors faces added so much to the movie version. I also realized in the movie that Christine's father was a famous violinist. Notice how many of the musical themes belonging to Christine and the Phantom feature the violin. The movie also brings out the Fruedian theme of Christine's love for her deceased father and her not really knowing if her father is the Phantom or not. Go see this movie. It is worthy of all the praise it receives and more!
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A Brilliant adaptation
planetweirdo9 December 2004
Well pinch me I must be dreaming, Joel Schumacher hs made a masterpiece? I am not dreaming and I can tell you it is true. This is everything a musical movie should be, fantastic songs, amazing sets and wonderful acting.

I have seen the stage show once and enjoyed it a lot, but the movie just blew me away, it was so lavish and gorgeous I was floating in mid air or at least it felt like it. Emmy Rossum steals the show as Christine the beautiful young ingenue, she has the voice of an angel and her gorgeous youthful looks and innocence make for a wonderful performance. Gerard Butler doesn't have an amazing voice, but for what he lacks in singing he makes up for in acting. The supporting cast are great too, especially Minnie Driver who is HILARIOUS as La Carlotta.

I loved this movie but there are bound to be haters who hate webber or schumacher, my advice go in with an open mind and let the images and music captivate you.

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The Phantom has arrived.....
Shaun Tossell13 December 2004
I went to see this film with my best friend yesterday and I asked her what she thought of the film and she said "That was the worst film i've ever seen" I turned to her and saw she was blubbing her eyes out(she was being sarcastic).

This film was AMAZING!

It looked gorgeous, the singing for some reason has been slated a lot by critics but I thought the singing was wonderful and everyone should be applauded especially the two leads Emmy Rossum and Gerald Butler they were brilliant.The songs sound as good as ever, there was one thing that really ticked me off with some reviewers they have said "The song are in desperate need in updating" and all I can say to that is "Don't change perfection because its already perfect. The stand out moment for me was the beginning,when the film changed from black and white and went back in time to tell the story,it sent shivers down my spine. I have to say i've never seen the stage show but now i've watched this I don't think I need to

10/10 Go see this film!
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