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24 November 2005
CHRISTMAS MOVIES: CHICAGO BBC1

IT really is perfect Christmas fare - a dazzling musical based on the hugely successful Broadway show.

Stylish, thrilling and captivating, this is a must-see for all fans of song and dance and even for those who aren't.

Fame-hungry Roxie Hart, played with ease and panache by Renee Zellweger, dreams of a life on the Vaudeville stage, and spends her nights jazzing it up under the bright lights of Chicago. She hopes her lucky break is just round the corner so she can become the toast of Twenties America and make her escape from her dull husband, Amos. Her idol is the star of the moment Velma Kelly, played fantastically by Catherine Zeta Jones, who looks like she was born to high kick and belt out show-stopping tunes.

Naive starlet Roxie is lured by the promises of Fred Cassely who tells Roxie he can make her the next Velma.

But once he has his wicked way with her he reveals that he has no more connections in showbiz than she does.

She promptly sees red and shoots the lying scoundrel dead. Roxie is carted off to jail where she meets the seductive Velma, arrested for the murder of her husband and sisteron discovering their affair, and who is enjoying huge media attention on the back of her crimes.

But the tables are soon turned when Roxie is offered the help of slick Chicagolawyer Billy Flynn, played surprisingly well by Richard Gere. With a huge talent for PR he soon convinces the tabloids that Roxie is nothing more than a 'good time girl' caught up in a chain of unfortunate events.

A tabloid frenzy ensues and Velma gets forgotten - but Roxie still has to face the jury. And even though the courtroom is the perfect stage for Billy Flynn, all may not go Roxie's way.

Watch and see... and no matter what the outcome you will certainly enjoy the ride

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