SAN DIEGO – “Moulin Rouge,” voted No. 1 in a survey of movies that FilmOut festival audiences wanted most to see, will be screened at 7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Birch North Park Theater.
The 2001 musical stars Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and John Leguizamo in a lavish production set in the Montmarte Quarter of Paris, famous for its bawdy nightlife.
The film, directed by Baz Luhrmann and written by Lurhrmann and Craig Pearce, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Kidman). It won only two Oscars: Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
“Moulin Rouge” tells the story of a young English poet/writer named Christian (McGregor), who falls in love with the terminally-ill star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine (Kidman). Leguizamo plays Toulouse-Lautrec, and Richard Roxburgh plays The Duke. Look for Kylie Minogue as The Green Fairy.
The ambitious plot pays homage to two great operas, "La Boheme" and "La Traviata," as well as Jacques Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld," based on Greek mythology.
The film cost an estimated $52.5 million to make, according to imdb.com, and has grossed more than $57 million in the U.S.
Shot entirely on the set of Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, the musical was beset by injury when star Nicole Kidman fractured two ribs and injured a knee during rehearsals of a dance scene. But the show must go on, and Kidman proved to be a real trooper as she shot some scenes while sitting in a wheelchair. Look for scenes where she is only seen from the chest up.
Leguizamo endured his own ordeal in attempts to make his legs look shorter to play the height-challenged Toulouse-Lautrec. Sometimes he walked on his knees in special braces; sometimes he squatted. He also wore blue socks at times to allow for digital "shortening" of his legs. After the filming was completed, the actor spent several weeks in physical therapy to restore the health of his legs.
Despite flopping at the box office, "Moulin Rouge" is considered a cult classic for lovers of big musicals.
Tickets cost $10 to see “Moulin Rouge” at 7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Birch North Park Theater, 2891 University Av.
Click HERE to order tickets online.