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Movie Review: Chicago

Story: Cut to the chase - I loved this film. I have been toe-tapping since I left the theater. Choreographer turned director, Rob Marshall and screen writer Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) pay sweet homage to the 1975 Bob Fosse play which was updated in the late '90s and is still playing on Broadway.

The story's history is 78 years old. Based on two real life murderesses who were acquitted the story first surfaced as a nonmusical production in 1926. It was then made into a film with Ginger Rogers, called Roxie Hart. Eventually Bob Fosse, along with Kander and Ebb produced a Broadway musical starring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera (who has a cameo in this film) and are you ready? ---Jerry Orbach (yes, that's Lenny Briscoe from Law and Order). Sorry to get so involved but I thought it was interesting evolving tale.

The story is as timely as it was in 1924 when it all started. It is about fame, notoriety, scandal, publicity, celebrity and all that jazz. It is essentially a dark tale about murders who get away with their crimes. Sound familiar doesn't it?

The filming is fast paced, luscious and streamlined as if it were a stage play, production-wise. However, celluloid allowed the director to use imagery and segues that would be unimaginable in a stage play.

Treat yourself to a fine, very entertaining two hours and I guarantee you will be humming All That Jazz all the way home.

Acting: The entire cast looked like they were having a great time doing this film. Whatever special energy was created on set certainly carried across to the big screen. It was a treat to see serious actors performing their own dances and singing without the usual obvious dubbing. Catherine Zeta Jones is a knockout. She is beyond beautiful and was great as Velma Kelly. Richard Gere (who is not one of my favorites) was charming and fun to watch as Billy Flynn, the lawyer. Renee Zellweger, who seems to grow on me when on-screen was terrific as Roxie Hart. Special mention must be paid to John C. Reilly as the sad-sack husband. His musical number, Mr. Cellophane really moved me.

Predilections: I appreciate films that are daring.

Critters: None.

Food: Chocolate

Blatant Product Placement: None. Although it's a nice plug for the City of Chicago.

Soundtrack: Terrific. I was humming in the streets afterwards, much to the dismay, I am sure, of passersby.

Opening Titles: None - we are jolted directly into the action.

Theater Audience: Very crowded for an early Saturday morning show. We saw it at the glorious old Ziegfield theater. It was a perfect venue to see this large film.

Predictability Level: High

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Nit Picking: No its to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Oh, big screen for sure. If you want to rent some other movie musicals how about: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moulin Rouge (one of my all time favorites), Evita and the very wonderful All That Jazz.

Length: Under two hours.