Musical magic in Chicago
23/01/2003 - 15:39:26 Renee Zelleger received Best Actress for her part in Chicago at the Golden Globes.


Director: Rob Marshall

Cast: Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Lucy Liu

Cert: 15.

The Golden Age of the Hollywood musical may have passed, but this will more than satisfy fans of the hoofers.

It comes with a clutch of major Golden Globes - Best Picture, Best Actor (Gere) and Best Actress (Zellweger) - to give it a boost for the coming Oscars and may even start, along with last year's Moulin Rouge, herald a revival of the genre.

Based on a true story - Roxie (Zellweger) sees off her lover, tries to get wimpish husband (Reilly) to take the rap, is jailed and meets fellow-murderess Velma (Zeta-Jones) and has seedy lawyer (Gere) defend her - it's certainly one of the best musicals attempted in recent years, a colourful, rollicking effort of pace and style.

If none of the stars are conventional dancers or singers - with, perhaps, the exception of Zeta-Jones who appeared in the West End in her early career - it is all the more credit to them that they handle this part of the film so well. OK, so Gere won't have you thinking Kelly was a clump, but he makes the effort.

Zeta-Jones and Zellweger are, of course, the real stars of the show, as a couple of hard-hearted doxies and their performances shine throughout a film which has been well made by a director who knows when to let it rip and when to let us get our breath back.

Star Rating: 4/5.

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  Thomas Crosbie Media, 2003.