Chicago  (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I guess you all know what Chicago is, a retro musical about the 1920s but in the style and glitz of the 1970s. It is an accurate translation of the feel of Bob Fosse's 1975 stage version to film. Many people picked it as one of the Top 10 films of the year, some even picked it #1. At any rate, it was good enough to pull off the seemingly impossible task of winning Richard Gere a best actor award. 

The basic storyline follows an aspiring flapper (Roxie Hart) who kills her boyfriend in a jealous rage and is then tried for the murder, thus achieving the fame she had craved. After a slippery lawyer wins her freedom, she performs her act for audiences curious about a singing and dancing murderer.


  • Renee Zellweger does some kinda- sorta nudity - she gets up from the bed after sex, wearing only a negligee - well, at least in theory)
  • Zeta. No nudity, The one time her butt is completely exposed, there is motion blur.
  • Queen Latifah supplies some mammoth cleavage action.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Commentary by director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Bill Condon

  • Deleted musical number "Class"

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette

  • Widescreen anamorphic format

That's about all there is to it. Were you expecting Anna Karenina?

Perhaps you didn't know that the saga of Roxie Hart is, more or less, a true story, or at least based on a true story. It was first made into a black and white silent movie in 1927. The story was told again in 1942 with Ginger Rogers as Roxie Hart. The 1942 version has a couple of musical numbers, but is not a musical. (The real Roxie was a performer, so Ginger performs, but only in the proper context.)

The Critics Vote

  • General USA consensus: three and a half stars. The typical response was "just short of 4 stars". Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli each deemed 3.5 to be the correct star count, and Entertainment Weekly was on the same course, with an A-.

  • UK consensus: three stars. Daily Mail 10/10, Daily Telegraph 9/10, Independent 6/10, The Guardian 6/10, The Sun 9/10, The Express 9/10, The Mirror 7/10, BBC 2/5. BBC's dissent brought the average down.

  • The film was nominated for eight Golden Globes, and won three including Best Musical or Comedy. (Gere and Zellweger also won) . It was nominated for 13 Oscars, winning six, including best picture.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Voting results: IMDb voters score it 7.8/10
  • Box Office Mojo. It was a blockbuster, grossing $170 million in the USA, and performing well overseas as well. Budget was $45 million.

Miscellaneous ...

  • The Dalai Lama also reviewed the film, since it featured his best known pupil, Richard Gere. He liked the film, which was a surprise since it didn't feature his main gal, Tawny Kitaen. (VERY funny review)
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, it's a C+. It is impressively staged and performed, but there's obviously no crossover appeal. It is for musical lovers only. If you hate Fosse-style musicals, you will hate this even more than usual, because it consists solely of the characteristics you despise about those musicals in the first place. I fell asleep more than once during this film! On the other hand, people who like old-fashioned musicals with show-stopping dance numbers, praised it to the rafters.

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