Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chicago - 78

 Holy cow I'm sorry it's been so long...

2002 Winner.  Won 6 Oscars in total including Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Zeta-Jones). All Star Cast in a Celebrity Jamboree; Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, the oh so dreamy Taye Diggs, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John C. Riley, Queen Latifah, Lucy Liu and even Mya.

Since my last Oscar post was so painful (All Quiet on the Western Front) and pretty much the worst post ever, I'll try to do this one a little more justice.
Get Some

Quite possibly one of the few musicals that is better on screen, depicting the story, than on stage. Just the way they can use camera angles and flow seamlessly through scenes.  On stage the play can, not saying that it is, become too jumbled and it's somewhat hard to follow scenes from the jail to scenes in the court room.  The luxury of the silver screen is that you can lay it all out for your audience, without losing them and still capture the essence of the play. I really don't want to give any of the play/film away so we'll leave out the plot completely and I'll focus on two of my favorite numbers in the show.

Almost the same image from stage to screen
I had forgotten how early in this movie the Cell Block Tango was.  I couldn't remember any other big numbers as vividly as the Cell Block Tango, which is why I was thrilled I had forgotten about "They both reached for the gun" (TBRFTG).  More on that later....The Cell Block Tango is one of my all time favorite songs done on Broadway and the way the film took it from stage to screen was phenomenal.  How each sound entering into the song could be seamlessly depicted was just, well, delightful! From the dripping water to the prison guard walking with his baton to a full scale orchestral piece just makes me all giddy.  I could probably watch this number on repeat for a good hour.  The use of light throughout this scene was also brilliantly done.  Not to mention camera angles and movement through the set.  Clearly, I am infatuated with this scene and need not discuss it further to get my point across.  If you haven't seen this or have no idea what I'm talking about please educate yourself;

Good, now that you no longer live under a rock I believe we can move on...

TBRFTG is a perfect example of what I was talking about earlier where some things and elements of a scene can get lost on stage.  "They Both Reached for the Gun" is centered around Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger at a press conference.  Richard Gere plays a puppeteer as Renee, Journalists and Courtroom are his puppets.  Another song that is better on screen than on stage.  It is so much easier to act as a puppeteer moving marionettes on strings when you have special effects at your disposal.  That being said, Richard and Renee do a remarkable job acting this scene out together.  Working in perfect tandem with one another throughout the entire song.  Without synchronization the essence and point of this piece could have easily been lost, but with great actors and great directing there were a couple times I had to double check to make sure it was still Renee singing and not some kind of fandangled doll in her place.

If you have not seen this, either on stage or screen, and do indeed love a good musical you need to get on this stat.  All in all I believe the best musical you will see on film (not counting Sound of Music because in the game of choosing favorites Sound of Music always wins).

Until next time,

Thank You Academy #78