CHICAGO    - A  Narada   Film Review

   CATHERINE ZETA-JONES as    
   Velma Kelly
   
   RENEE ZELLWEGER as    
   Roxie Hart
   
   RICHARD GERE as     
   Billy Flynn
Chicago - -  2002   - Rob Marshall-Director   &   Martin Richards-Producer

   Viewed on 4 March 03         Chicago in the '30s was wild and wide-open. and in the entertainment world, talent wasn't be enough to get you into the spotlight.   Should you get into the spotlight by, say, killing your husband, well, that's another story -- the story of CHICAGO.
        Most movie-goers are not "musical" people.   In the last 40-plus years, I can think of only two musicals that were popular across the entire spectrum of viewers; West Side Story, and Little Shop Of Horrors.   CHICAGO is now the third such film.   Virtually all of the stars exceeded themselves; Catherine Zeta-Jones blossomed as actress and performer.    On stage, if you squinted, she might have been Annie Lennox, and she did most of her own numbers.  Renee Zellweger comes off somewhere between a Madonna and a Cindy Lauper, if you can imagine that, and somehow makes it work.  The real surprise, however, was the large body of Richard Gere-loathers reluctantly admitted that even he passed muster; probably because the 'shyster lawyer' part was "him".  Queen Latifa as Mama Morton the prison matron, was a sight to behold, I only wish she'd mimed a number by Chicago Blues Queen Koko Taylor - that would have brought down the house - I would have given CHICAGO 5 stars without batting an eye.
       As with other musicals, different numbers catch different viewers' fancy, however, the opening number, And All That Jazz, and Tap Dance are as good as it gets.  One can't view CHICAGO without being infected with a sense of delight.   Narada predicts that CHICAGO will be the film to "run away" this year at the Oscars.  Not that Narada agrees with the Oscar selection process -- there are too many good films out there, and the nomination process cuts the number of films down much too severely to expect a truly across-the-board, fair selection process.   But having said that, should CHICAGO make that 'Oscar sweep', no one will go home unhappy.
       Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Some men just can't hold their arsenic."

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