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Sheer Gaul!

Moulin Rouge thrusts forth a deliciously garish Paris.

Two-la-la! Nicole Kidman is the songbird for Ewan McGregor's lark in Moulin Rouge.
Two-la-la! Nicole Kidman is the songbird for Ewan McGregor's lark in Moulin Rouge.

Kidman and McGregor also carry their roles and songs with heightened grace -- she offering her audience options ranging from "wilting flower, bright and bubbly or smoldering temptress," before crumbling from all her pretending, he reminding us how satisfying it is when a man sings a song instead of retching it. Their chemistry is admittedly weird, but the characters' impossible passion feels undeniably real, so much so that when the Duke commands his foot soldier to "kill the boy," it is, metaphorically, the best thing anyone could hope for.

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