Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This week’s pick for Hit me with your best shot was Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular Moulin Rouge. This was my most difficult task for this series, as every frame is so beautifully composed. I struggled to balance my desire to sit back enjoy the film while snapping up all the amazing shots to choose from. I hadn’t watched this film since it was released in 2001 and it brought back fond memories. I was 13 at the time and recall being enthralled by the music and deeply saddened by the tragic story. The performances of Kidman and McGregor left their mark on my mind, but this time I also appreciated the vital contribution of the supporting cast – particularly Jim Broadbent and John Leguizamo.

Click below for my favourite shot...

There were so many spectacular shots to choose from, but I kept going back to this simple image. On its own, there is nothing special about the shot, but the overall scene is one of the most memorable for me. It still had the same effect on me this time, as it did 10 years ago. Satine(Nicole Kidman) has finally decided to give up her life as a courtesan and run away with her love Christian. It’s such a triumphant moment for her and you really want her to have her happy ending. Then, Zidler (Jim Broadbent) shatters the fantasy as he says…

"You're dying Satine."

We already know that she is sick, but the news is devastating regardless. As they say in the film, this is a story about truth, beauty, freedom and love. The theme of love needs no explanation. The truth in this scene is a harsh one, as it is a death sentence that crushes her plans. She is oh so close, halfway out the door. Unfortunately, she is condemned to the dark underworld. She is thus unable to attain the freedom and sense of self-worth she desires. There are no spectacular sets and costumes in this frame. All that’s there is Nicole Kidman, who is the embodiment of the story’s beauty. Without the elaborate makeup and costumes, she is just another young woman with big dreams.


  1. I'm one of those nuts who was always drawn more to the tragedy than the comedy of this film, Squasher, and this is indeed one of my single favorite shots. I loved Nicole Kidman's performance in this sequence - has she ever been better, even in the Hours or Rabbit Hole? I think not (although she probably topped herself in Birth.)

  2. nice write up about the absence of spectacularness in this scene. it's all the closeups of their faces (and candle light? to some degree. not sure)

    but that's one of the reasons the movie is so brilliant. Amidst all those layers, frills, fx and songs, Baz never loses that it's about impossible fierce love... and not about the sets.

  3. Her eyes do wonders in this scene! I love the "Birth" theater sequence as much as the next man but her work here has got to be where she's used that face to the most.

  4. So true. You really can't keep your eyes off her in this film. Perfect casting

  5. Moulin Rouge is by far my favorite decadent retreat. Visually enticing, wonderful scripting, and Mash Up music before it was a trend allow the view to trip fantastically into an audio and delicious ride. The costuming is detailed and curve hugging, complimenting the makeup and larger than life characters. I am actually working on my blog, searching the net for news on art, and watching Moulin Rouge online all at the same time with my DISHONLINE.COM access. This is available to everyone with their subscription to DISH Network. For more information on how your subscription stacks up to DISH Network travel over to