40 must-watch movies to consider yourself a film buff

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Moulin Rouge (2001)

You could say we’ve charted the musical throughout this series which leads us to Baz Lurhmann’s 2001 romantic sing-along, Moulin Rouge. In the vein of Lurhmann’s previous two features, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge is an opulent, garish, and tragic romance told through the power of song and dance. But where most musicals write and perform their own songs, Lurhmann decided to tell his story using pop music already known to his audience.

Thus his story of the doomed romance between a penniless writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor), and the courtesan, Satine (Nicole Kidman), sees the two burst out in renditions of songs sung by David Bowie, Madonna, and The Police. The film’s also populated with amazing side characters, including John Leguizamo, whose memorable performance of Tybalt in Romeo + Juliet is joined by the actor’s role as Toulouse Lautrec here in terms of his great work.

The film is stunning to look at, particularly during Kidman’s performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” and there’s an elegant and sexy tango to the song “Roxanne” that is amazing; I just wish Lurhmann didn’t get so edit happy and let us actually see the dancing. My apologies if you have the soundtrack on repeat after watching this.

Where to Watch It: Rent it via Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, PlayStation, YouTube, and Apple.