john’s review published on Letterboxd:
I knew literally nothing about this movie other than (1) it's a musical and (2) that this is where the 2001 version of "Lady Marmalade" comes from. So you can only imagine how confused I was when a bunch of men in suits with top hats started singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 20 minutes into this movie.
This is the first jukebox musical (other than Mamma Mia!) that I've ever watched and it shocked me how much I enjoyed it. I liked all the song choices, the "Your Song" scene was beautiful, and it was a fun "a-ha!" moment every time I recognized the next musical number.
Ewan McGregor (especially a YOUNG Ewan McGregor) and Nicole Kidman so good. Like in everything. But they are also specifically very good in this. Nicole Kidman acted her ass off, man! The "One Day I'll Fly Away"/"Elephant Love Medley" section of the film were impeccable! Her performance bowed between the line of camp and real drama so well, I just can't believe she did THAT.
Now, Baz Luhrmann. This man is so good at visuals. The colors of this movie amazed me. Every scene was beautiful. And whoever the cinematographer was for this movie better have gotten the fattest paycheck of HIS LIFE after this.
Where Mr. Luhrmann unfortunately isn't so great with most of his movies are his scripts. This screenplay was not bad! But it wasn't a masterpiece. The whole "love" thing definitely felt tired by the time Act III was ready to wrap up. That said, still good enough to keep me focused!
This movie was a good time. I'll probably come back to it as a light pick me up because it didn't feel like it's actual runtime whatsoever (and I'm a sucker for a good musical, but whatever).
I doubt I need to tell anyone to go see this, because I'm probably the last person on this site to see it, but go watch it! It's worth it!