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Thread: Chicago (Marshall, 2002)

  1. #21
    Senior Member mysteryfan04's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2016
    Location: Irving, TX
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    Very good film with great acting across the board and some fun musical numbers. The satirical aspect is also incisive and darkly funny. Easily Marshall's best and a perfectly fine BP winner. Not much more to say beyond that.


  2. #22
    Unconsciousness of Being Technique Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Posts: 25,750
    You know these people on reality shows who has got a lot of self confidence, but you do not ever really understand why, because they do not really present you with much outside of being confident?

    And while the performers are game, this film is certainly that, undermined by a bunch of hellish cinematography and editing choices that turns the film into a flesh-a-thon of sorts, making it seemingly come to close and seem to distant. The film is never funny or amusing although it tries very hard to be so, and Marshall's baffling directing choices made me cringe several times.

    One of the worst best picture winners ever; while glitzy, the community theatre feel never leaves the frame.
    life goes on until the end

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: Mumbai, India
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    While I love the film (mostly), I still think Zellweger and especially Gere were miscast. CZJ and Queen Latifah, OTOH, were perfect.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Aug 2017
    Location: Dawson City
    Posts: 1,354
    The cinematography is soooo good. Now that you mention it, there is a shot during one of the Billy Flynn numbers that looks distinctly hellish, and for good reason. Think of the lives of these women, and of all the misjustice and misdirection going on, not only within the scope of this story, but within society as a whole that people gladly buy into and propagate, conditioned from birth and until death. "There's only one hell, and it's the one we're living in."

    It's the best work Dion Beebe ever did, probably because the constantly different staging and ample coverage demand forced him to be creative and continually find new ways of presenting each scene. That, and working within the confines of a film where there's an intelligent and unusual high contrast visual design - darkness is constantly present, but along with bold lighting that's allowed to have an excuse for being there. It's really quite amazing how much Bill Condon's screenplay added to what the film was able to do; the extra layer of imagined reality is perfect for this material and makes sense in so many different ways that simply doesn't work or hold the same thematic depth for virtually any other film. Being shot on actual film helps too (no easy digital shortcuts, strict attention to every single piece of lighting). Dion Beebe was also in his infancy with regards to shooting bigger films; he must have been very eager to prove himself, and that he did.

    It's not just about the flashiness either, there are shots like the one where Zellweger is going in to deliver fresh towels as a new inmate, and the light catches her hair and the upholstery in a way that starts to look like an authentic period oil painting. It's very involving. Also like I was saying at the start with how well Rob Marshall was able to capture expressions of the actors, Beebe certainly deserves credit too for finding the right framing and highlights. The painstaking attention to detail is very apparent and showing better judgement than in the overly soft blandness of how Memoirs of a Geisha looked at times, or the inane fabricated contrasts in Nine, or the overrated pall of his first foray into the digital with Collateral. I should probably post screenshots or gifs or videos when talking about the cinematography here, but I don't have the energy at the moment, just enough to use words to combat your assault on this masterful musical!

    Did you really get no amusement at all, even? That seems way harsh, Tai(mo). I understand some criticisms of Marshall's choices, but on the whole he did inspired work here and I was very impressed on this last watch with just how effective some of the shots were. I mean, sometimes it's blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but they are there and do bring a lot to the table. It's worth considering again how a lot of the rapid fire editing does serve as an illumination of the misdirection within the film itself, the legal proceedings and general 24-hour news cycle that is displayed so well here. Also too that idea of cheap entertainment, you know back in the day girls just kicking their skirts up and briefly showing a glimpse of panties was considered highly titillating and mesmerizing to a certain audience. Now we have twitter, et al, constantly kicking up their panties in everyone's faces and people can't get enough. More, it's not just in a show house or newspaper, it's constantly connected to everyone on a personal device they look at alllll day long.

  5. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Jul 2017
    Location: Hanoi, Viet Nam
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    Renee was pretty bad for me (
    But CZJ was absolute Flawless)
    Overall I like it a lot ))

  6. #26
    Senior Member Bee's Avatar
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    Location: Portmania
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    Rewatching it a while ago, I still think it's incredibly overrated but nonetheless has great numbers and a fine cast. Cell Block Tango is still iconic but I prefer I Can't Do It Alone and Mama's Good To You.

    CZJ is a fine winner and as much as I love Meryl, her Adaptation performance is probably her most overpraised. I thought she was formidable, just okay even with that fantastic scene of her getting high. I do see why people love it though.

    Julianne Moore should've been the winner that year though for The Hours.

    Remember, love is what brought you here...

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