Incredibly, Baz Luhrmann's Hollywood glitz spectacular, Moulin Rouge!, and its equally lush soundtrack, was released 20 years ago this month!
Starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, the cult musical extravaganza tells the saccharine love story of Satine (Kidman) and Christian (McGregor). Set in 1900 Paris, the heartbreaking storyline both climbs to the heights of dizzying romance and falls to the depths of despair, navigated by the film’s evocative soundtrack, which brings together some of music’s biggest stars in an epic tapestry of 20th Century music.
Despite being set over 100 years ago, the music of Moulin Rouge! was modern and bold – a recurring theme of Luhrman’s unique production style. Perhaps this point of difference was what made the film an unexpected triumph, winning two Academy Awards from seven nominations in 2002 – ending a 10-year hiatus in musical films being nominated by the Academy.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Moulin Rouge! and its spectacular soundtrack let's check out some highlights below!
“Come What May”
A heartrending ode to undying love against all odds featuring the film's stars, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor share vocal duties. “Come What May” was the film’s sole original composition.
This hypnotic symphonic masterstroke was composed by the one and only David Bowie. It’s the opening track to the film, fading in on sad clown Pierrot, loitering in front of a windmill while melodically pondering his place in the world.
When we first met Ewan McGregor as a drug-addled nihilist in 1996’s Trainspotting it was veritably impossible to imagine him declaring “Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong” at the top of his lungs with outstretched arms just five years later…
And who could forget the film’s star-studded honeytrap of a lead single, “Lady Marmalade” featuring the vocal power of Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink. The track was first made famous in 1974 by the all-girl group Labelle, and again topped the charts in 2001 with this modern spectacle from the Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack which sat at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks!
Listen to Moulin Rouge on Spotify:
Listen to Moulin Rouge on Apple Music: