U2 Pop Culture Database

Moulin Rouge

Writer and Director:
Baz Luhrmann [Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet]
Principal Cast:
Satine . . . Nicole Kidman [Dead Calm, Days Of Thunder, Flirting, Billy Bathgate, Far and Away, Malice, My Life, Batman Forever, To Die For, The Portrait Of A Lady, The Peacemaker, Eyes Wide Shut]
Christian . . . Ewan McGregor [E.R., Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, The Pillow Book, Emma, Brassed Off, Desserts, The Phantom Menace, Eye of the Beholder]
Toulouse Lautrec . . . John Leguizamo [Casualties Of War, Die Hard 2, Regarding Henry, Out For Justice, Hangin' With The Homeboys, Whispers In The Dark, Carlito's Way, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, Executive Decision, The Fan, Romeo + Juliet, Doctor Dolittle, Freak, Titan A.E.]
In 19th-century Paris, a penniless poet vies with a rich aristrocrat for the love of a courtesan.

U2 Pop Culture Reference:
[Film time: about 10:30] The bohemian creators of the productions staged at the Moulin Rouge call themselves the "Children of the Revolution". They toast their partnership with Absinthe, a liquor which was thought to cause hallucinations, upon which a green fairy appears (played by Kylie Minogue). She sings a song to them and then we hear Bono and Gavin Friday's version of Children Of The Revolution playing while they toast and drink with each other.

[Film time: about 43:00] After the Duke has offered funding for the new play Spectacular Spectacular, there is a party above Christian's apartment where we hear Bono and Gavin Friday's Children Of The Revolution played.

Christian is a penniless writer who has recently moved to a bohemian part of Paris in 1900. Satine is the star attraction at the Moulin Rouge. All the men instantly fall in love with her as she performs. Through a mix-up, Christian and Satine have a rendezvous where he 'thinks up' and performs Elton John's YOUR SONG while she thinks they're supposed to sleep together. She becomes smitten.

[Film time: about 48:00] Later Christian climbs up to Satine's roof and tries to persuade her that she loves him. [In the credits, this scene is called 'The Pitch']. He begins his pitch by speaking and singing snippets of every song with 'Love' in the lyrics that he can think of.
Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lift us up where we belong. All you need is love. [spoken]
Satine: Please don't start that again.
Christian: All you need is love. [sung--All You Need Is Love written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, made famous by The Beatles]
Satine: A girl has got to eat. [spoken]
Christian: All you need is love. [sung]
Satine: Or she'll end up on the streets. [spoken]
Christian: All you need is love. [sung]
Satine: Love is just a game. [sung]
Christian: I was made for lovin' you baby, you were made for lovin' me. [sung--I Was Made For Lovin' You written by Paul Stanley and Desmond Child and Vini Poncia, made famous by Kiss]
Satine: The only way of lovin' me baby is to pay a lovely fee. [sung]
Christian: Just one night, give me just one night. [sung--One More Night written by Phil Collins, made famous by Phil Collins]
Satine: There's no way 'cause you can't pay. [sung]
Christian: In the name of love, one night in the name of love. [sung--Pride (In The Name Of Love) written by U2, made famous by U2 (lyrics changed a bit on most of these songs)]
Satine: You crazy fool, I won't give into you. [sung]
Christian: Don't leave me this way. I can't survive without your sweet love. Oh baby, don't leave me this way. [sung--Don't Leave Me This Way written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert, made famous by Thelma Houston]
Satine: You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. [sung--Silly Love Songs written by Paul McCartney, made famous by Wings]
Christian: I look around me and I see it isn't so, oh no. [sung]
Satine: Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. [sung]
Christian: Well what's wrong with that. I'd like to know. Cause here I go, again. [sung]
Christian:Love lift us up where we belong. Where eagles fly on a mountain high. [sung--Up Where We Belong written by Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie and Will Jennings, made famous by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes on the OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN soundtrack]
Satine: Love makes us act like we are fools. Throw our lives away for one happy day. [sung]
Christian: We could be heroes, just for one day. [sung--Heroes written by David Bowie and Brian Eno, made famous by David Bowie]
Satine: You, you will be mean. [sung]
Christian: No I won't. [spoken]
Satine: And I, I'll drink all the time. [spoken]
Christian: We should be lovers. [sung]
Satine: We can't do that. [sung]
Christian: We should be lovers. And that's a fact. [sung]
Satine: Well nothing will keep us together. [sung]
Christian: We could steal time just for one day. [sung]
Both: We could be heroes, for ever and ever. We could be heroes for ever and ever. We could be heroes. [sung]
Christian: Just because I will always love you. [sung--I Will Always Love You written by Dolly Parton, made famous by Whitney Houston)]
Satine: I...[sung]
Both: ...can't help loving...[sung]
Christian: ...you. [sung]
Satine: How wonderful life is, now...[sung--Your Song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, made famous by Elton John]
Both: ...you're in the world. [sung]
After a four minute medley of songs, she gives in and they embrace.

Besides U2, is it worth watching?
This is the most fun I've had at the movies in years. You know how you find yourself smiling at the creativity that a filmmaker will show. I remember smiling throughout AMERICAN BEAUTY even though the subject matter wasn't really happy. It is so refreshing to be shown something you haven't seen before. So I smile. Well I must have had the goofiest grin on my face for the entire running time of MOULIN ROUGE. If you know popular music of all eras, you won't want to make a sound for fear of missing the next musical reference. The YOUR SONG scene was simultaneously exhilarating and romantic almost beyond belief. Another particularly good scene is Madonna's LIKE A VIRGIN dance number. The plot is predicable, but the performances and the SONGS are fantastic. The cuts are so quick as to give one whiplash, but your eyes are filled with color and light from every corner of the screen. Among the most creative films I've ever seen, from the very beginning when someone conducts the 20th Century Fox orchestra, to the ending of the old-fashioned credits.
It still holds up after a second viewing. Perhaps the surprises aren't there, but there is no way to possibly catch every song snippet, every visual effect, or every joke after one viewing. It's also fun to listen to the audience react to things that you already knew about.

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copyright © 2003 Michael Warner Cummins
Most recent update: 3/28/03 3:31:09 PM
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