Chicago (2002)

ChicagoBBBB.5

(out of 5)


Your caboose will definitely shimmy and shake for two hours during this excellent musical by first-time director Rob Marshall (who also did the scintillating choreography as well).  and  are two merry murderesses who are both on trial and could possibly face a hanging: Zeta-Jones for killing her sister and husband, Zellweger for killing her boyfriend in a fit of rage. Will both of them get strung up by the neck, or will the daring savvy of lovesick lawyer  get them off clear of all charges? The joke in Maureen Dallas Watkin’s original play Roxie Hart (which was based on a true story and eventually made into a film starring Ginger Rogers before becoming a Broadway musical in the seventies) is that the misogynistic society that doesn’t allow women any positions of prominence is also incapable of seeing them pull off any acts of violence, thus letting them get away with murder time and time again. Along the way we are treated to a whole bevy of brilliant musical numbers that all take place inside Zellweger’s stagebound brain (it sounds ludicrous but Bill Condon’s smooth screenplay makes it all work), and both she and Zeta-Jones dance their derrieres off and sing with exceptional skill. Colleen Atwood’s costumes are gorgeous, the dialogue is peppy and the pace never lags for a second. Despite there being six numbers cut from the original play, this film never feels compromised as a musical, nor does it bear the unfortunate habit that musical movies of late have of constantly apologizing for their singing and dancing in an effort to appeal to non-fans of the genre.


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USA/Germany, 2002

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the musical play by , , and the play by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by , ,

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


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Academy Awards
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Catherine Zeta-Jones as “Velma Kelly”)
Best Art Direction (art direction: John Myhre; set decoration: Gordon Sim)
Best Costume Design (Colleen Atwood)
Best Film Editing (Martin Walsh)
Best Picture (Martin Richards, producer)
Best Sound (Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella, David Lee)

Nominations
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John C. Reilly as “Amos Hart”)
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Renee Zellweger as “Roxie Hart”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Queen Latifah as “Matron Mama Morton”)
Best Cinematography (Dion Beebe)
Best Directing (Rob Marshall)
Best Music (Original Song) (“I Move On”, music by John Kander; lyric by Fred Ebb)
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Bill Condon)

Golden Globe Awards
Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Renee Zellweger)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Richard Gere)

Nominations
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Queen Latifah)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (John C. Reilly)
Best Director (Rob Marshall)
Best Screenplay (Bill Condon)

New York Film Critics Award Nomination
Best First Film

National Board Of Review Awards
Outstanding Directorial Debut (Rob Marshall)
Top Ten Films

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Renee Zellweger)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominations
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Richard Gere)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Queen Latifah)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Adapted Screenplay

Directors Guild Award
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Rob Marshall)

British Academy Awards
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
Best Sound

Nominations
Best Film
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Renee Zellweger)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Queen Latifah)
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Editing
Best Production Design
Best Make Up/Hair
David Lean Award for Direction (Rob Marshall)
Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music

Boston Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly)
Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Zeta-Jones)


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