A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn't going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago. Written by
"Chicago" is a stunning, brilliant piece of cinema.
It tells the satirical story of a group of characters living in the windy city, in the roaring twenties: a voluptious vamp that burns in the spotlight, a red-hot mama matron, a greedy, flamboyant lawyer, a wannabe-star chorus girl, and her neglected, suffering, and lovable husband. There lives are interwoven and elaborated on, centering on the chorus girl's rise to fame, through shooting her lover. The genra here is musical. And every number is wildly entertaining, taking on the musical form of a vaudevillian show: there is a flashy, signature opener (All that Jazz), a legendary closer (Hot Honey Rag), a circus-show me act, and each character is rewarded a song of their own, to express themselves: the chorus girl, Roxie (Roxie), the voluptious vamp, Velma (I Can't do it Alone), the red-hot mama matron, Matron Mama Morton (When You're Good to Mama), the greedy Lawyer, Billy (All I Care About) and the neglected husband (Mr. Cellophane) dance gorgeoussly around in gold lamee, flapper outfits, sultry black vixon dresses, and tramp costumes to exagerate their personas.
The story's main center (the telling of the voluptious vamp and the chorus girl, fooling the public with their murders) is filled with juicy dialogue, and a beautiful flow from song to scene to song.
The talent of "Chicago" is unsurpassed. Renee Zellweger gives a legendary performance as Roxie, the chorus girl. Her brilliant, realistic acting, and her oozing charismaa through her musical numbers earned her an Oscar nomination, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe. Richard Gere gives a fine, haughty potrayel of Billy, the lawyer, with a marvelous tap routine elaborating his talent. He was awarded a Golden Globe. Queen Latifah, and her wildly entertaining number (When You're Good to Mama), as well as her red-hot potrayel of Matron Mama Morton, earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, the same as John C. Reilly who gives a beloved, funny, and heartbreaking potrayel of Amos. Mr. Reilly can belt out a mean Mr. Cellophane. But the highlight of Chicago's cast is Catherine Zeta-Jones, as Velma Kelly. Every time I view Chicago I am reminded of her brilliant talent. Miss Jones is a phenominal dancer, in rememberence of Cyd Charise and Ginger Rogers, as well as a fabulous tune belter, up there with Judy Garland. She's also an amazingly real actress, and brings beauty and class back to the movie musical. Her frankly beautiful potrayel of the vamp earned her a Golden Globe Nomination, a SAG Award, a BAFTA Award, and the grandaddy, an Oscar.
However, the man of the hour involved with Chicago is Rob Marshall, who is forever-presesnt behind the camera. He weaves a perfectly gorgeous mood throughout the memorable scenes, and his choreography and dancing abilities are on par with Bob Fosse. The star of Chicago is its impeccable dancing and choreography, with sure and creative movements everywhere you look. Mr. Marshall earned a DGA Award, and an Oscar nomination.
Chicago is one of the best films of the year, of the generation. Never before have I seen anything quite like it. It brings back the old movie musical, while giving a Broadway flare. It is completely revolutionary and legendary. A perfect 10/10.
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