Sure enough, I liked it. Chicago is brilliant, so fully realized on virtually every level (visuals, acting, direction, dancing, singing, casting) that I'm hard-pressed to think of a movie musical that even comes close. I enjoyed Cabaret, and yeah, Moulin Rouge too hm, maybe I am closeted after all—a closet mainstream movie lover, that is.
But Chicago tap-dances around virtually any filmed Broadway show you can name. It thrills, it sparkles, it titillates, pure razzle-dazzle all the way.
Kander & Ebb's songs do a lot of the work, certainly, but it's in the ways that the film manages to be a film (as opposed to a filmed musical) that Chicago wins big. The story is internal, with the nightclub setting seving as a conceit for glamorous murderess Roxie Hart's prison experience think of it as a very gay variation on HBO's "Oz."
Renée Zellweger is just perfect here, once again trumping my vague desire to dislike her. Catherine Zeta-Jones is radiant and wonderful. Richard Gere is alright. Queen Latifah is pretty good. Taye Diggs shines in a small role. All are well-cast and delightful to watch.
Chicago is a big film, full of great songs and choreography, yes, but amazingly fleshed out in terms of characterization, depth, witty dialogue, and I can't find another way to say it ooomph. In its way, it's as thrilling as The Lord of the Rings, albeit a whole lot more sparkly.
Review by La Fée