Moulin Rouge!

2h 6m 2001

Brief Synopsis

Christian, a young Bohemian poet living in 1899 Paris, defies his father by joining the colorfully diverse clique inhabiting the dark, fantastical underworld of Paris' now legendary Moulin Rouge. In this seedy but glamorous haven of sex, drugs and newly-discovered electricity, the poet-innocent find

Film Details

Also Known As
Moulin Rouge
MPAA Rating
Release Date
May 18, 2001
Premiere Information
World premiere at Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France: 9 May 2001; Los Angeles premiere: 16 May 2001
Production Company
Bazmark Films
Distribution Company
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Australia and United States
Madrid, Spain; Fox Studios Australia, Sydney, Australia; Madrid,Spain; Sydney,Australia

Technical Specs

2h 6m


In 1900, young English poet Christian sits in his room in the Montmartre district of Paris and begins to write about his love affair with Satine, the star of the notorious Moulin Rouge nightclub: A year earlier, the idealistic Christian ignores his father's advice and moves to Montmartre to join the Bohemian revolution that has swept through Europe. Eager to write about truth, beauty and freedom, but above all else, love, Christian realizes that he cannot because he has never been in love. At that moment, an Argentinean, unconscious from a bout of narcolepsy, crashes through Christian's ceiling. The Argentinean is joined by his friends--Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Doctor, Audrey and Satie--who are rehearsing Spectacular, Spectacular , a musical play espousing their Bohemian ideals. The group persuades Christian to stand in for the Argentine, and when Christian surprises them with his talent, Toulouse suggests that he write the play with Audrey. Audrey leaves in a huff, but the remaining Bohemians persuade Christian that despite his inexperience, he must write their play, which will be staged at the Moulin Rouge. In order to persuade Harold Zidler, the club's impresario, to hire Christian, Toulouse schemes to get Christian a private audience with Satine, who is known as "The Sparkling Diamond." To stiffen Christian's resolve, Toulouse plies him with absinthe, and, fueled by the hallucinogen, Christian enters the Moulin Rouge. Dancers such as Nini Legs in the Air, Arabia, China Doll and Môme Fromage take the stage, and Christian joins the throng of wildly gyrating men. Christian is awestruck by Satine's entrance as she is lowered from the rafters on a trapeze, and while she performs, Zidler whispers to her that the wealthy Duke of Monroth is in the audience. Satine, a courtesan, is fearless in her determination to seduce the Duke and obtain his help in becoming a legitimate actress, but mistakes Christian for the real duke. Toulouse sneaks Christian into Satine's boudoir, which is shaped like a giant elephant, and there, Christian recites poetry to the courtesan. Satine is baffled by his shy reaction to her attempted seduction, but when Christian sings a song about his feelings for her, the couple fall in love. As they are embracing, however, Satine learns that Christian is merely one of Toulouse's penniless protégés. As she attempts to usher Christian out, Zidler approaches with the Duke, and Satine is forced to hide Christian. The Duke is mystified by Satine's erratic behavior, but is so consumed by lust that he is swayed by her repetition of Christian's poem. When Satine begins to make love to the Duke, however, a glare from Christian persuades her to throw the Duke out with a promise to consummate their relationship on the show's opening night. Unknown to Satine, she is suffering from consumption, and the exertion causes her to collapse. The Duke re-enters to find Satine in Christian's arms, and it is only through the Bohemians' quick action that she is able to persuade him that they are rehearsing Spectacular, Spectacular . After convincing the Duke to invest in the show, which tells the story of a Hindu courtesan who must chose between a penniless sitar player and a rich maharajah, the Bohemians celebrate, while Christian is preoccupied by thoughts of Satine. Christian returns to Satine's boudoir, and although she protests that she was acting when she proclaimed her love for him, she succumbs to his charming words. The next morning, the Duke demands that in exchange for his financial backing, Satine be bound to him exclusively, and that Zidler put up the deed to the Moulin Rouge as security. Zidler reluctantly agrees, and so begins an intense and happy period of rehearsals. While continuing to tempt him, Satine eludes the Duke's advances in order to spend time with Christian, always on the pretext of working. Meanwhile, Toulouse, who is to play the magical sitar, struggles to learn his one line: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return." After several weeks, the Duke grows impatient and warns Zidler that if he cannot possess Satine soon, he will depart. As Zidler cajoles the Duke to stay, he spots Satine and Christian kissing, and promises that Satine will come to the Duke that night. After Christian plans a rendezvous with Satine for that night, he leaves, and Zidler storms up to Satine, ordering her to end her relationship with the writer. Satine collapses, however, and while Christian and the Duke wait for her, she languishes under a doctor's care. Zidler is able to persuade the Duke that Satine, anxious to come to him "like a virgin," is confessing her sins to a priest, but after he returns home, Zidler learns that Satine is dying. The next morning, the jealous Christian has difficulty accepting Satine's explanations, and she attempts to end their affair. Christian promises to control his jealousy, however, and composes a song to signal that they will always love each other, "come what may." Swept away by Christian's passion, Satine relents, although during a rehearsal, the envious Nini hints to the Duke about Satine's romance, which is illustrated in the show when the courtesan chooses the sitar player over the maharajah. The Duke then demands that the ending be changed, and in order to protect her friends, Satine agrees to dine with him. Christian pleads with Satine not to sleep with the Duke, but she reminds him of their vow to love each other come what may, then leaves. While the entertainers wait at the club, the Duke lavishes a diamond necklace on Satine and agrees that Zidler can keep the show's "fairy tale" ending. While standing on the balcony, however, Satine sees Christian in the street and cannot bear to have sex with the Duke. The angry Duke's attempt to rape Satine is forestalled by a blow from Le Chocolat, one of the club's performers, who takes Satine to Christian. While Satine and Christian are planning to run away, the Duke warns Zidler that his servant, Warner, will kill Christian if Satine sees him again. When Satine returns to the Moulin Rouge to pack, Zidler tells her of the Duke's threat, and when that does not stop her, informs her that she is dying. Heartbroken, Satine agrees that the only way to save Christian is to hurt him, and so lies to him that she is choosing the Duke. Despite her failing health, Satine goes on with the show, while Christian, determined to learn the truth, sneaks into the club. Christian confronts Satine and demands that he be able to pay her, like her other customers, and follows her backstage. Just as Warner is about to shoot Christian, the curtain rises and Christian and Satine find themselves onstage. Christian tosses Satine to the ground and throws money at her, then tells the Duke that she belongs to him. As Christian walks away, however, Toulouse remembers his line and shouts it out. The weeping Satine then begins to sing their love song, and Christian rejoins her onstage. The audience roars with approval as the lovers embrace, and Warner's attempt to shoot Christian is foiled by a dancer. The Duke seizes the pistol but is punched by Zidler and leaves. After the curtain falls, Satine collapses, and as she dies, makes the sobbing Christian promise to write their story. Back at his room, Christian concludes that after overcoming his grief, he was inspired to write the story of their love, a love that will live forever.


Nicole Kidman


Ewan Mcgregor


John Leguizamo

[Henri de] Toulouse-Lautrec

Jim Broadbent

Harold Zidler

Richard Roxburgh

The Duke [of Monroth]

Garry Mcdonald

The doctor

Jacek Koman

The Unconscious Argentinean

Matthew Whittet


Kerry Walker


Caroline O'connor

Nini Legs in the Air

Christine Anu


Natalie Mendoza

China Doll

Lara Mulcahy

Môme Fromage

David Wenham


Kylie Minogue

The Green Fairy [Singing voice of The Green Fairy]

Ozzy Osbourne

Voice of the Green Fairy

Deobia Oparei

Le Chocolat

Linal Haft


Keith Robinson

Le Petomane

Peter Whitford

Stage manager

Norman Kaye

Satine's doctor

Arthur Dignam

Christian's father

Carole Skinner


Jonathan Hardy

Man in the Moon

Placido Domingo

Voice of Man in the Moon

Kirüna Stamell

La Petite Princesse

Anthony Young

Orchestra member

Dee Donavan

Character rake

Johnny Lockwood

Character rake

Don Reid

Character rake

Tara Morice


Daniel Scott

Absinthe drinker/Guitarist

Veronica Beattie

Lisa Callingham

Rosetta Cook

Fleur Denny

Kelly Grauer

Jaclyn Hanson

Michelle Hopper

Fallon King

Wendy Mcmahon

Tracie Morley

Sue-ellen Shook

Jenny Wilson

Luke Alleva

Andrew Aroustian

Stephen Colyer

Steven Grace

Mark Hodge

Cameron Mitchell

Deon Nuku

Shaun Parker

Troy Phillips

Rodney Syaranamual

Ashley Wallen

Nathan Wright

Susan Black

Nicole Brooks

Danielle Brown

Anastacia Flewin

Fiona Gage

Alex Harrington

Camilla Jakimowicz

Rochelle Jones

Caroline Kaspar

Mandy Liddell

Melanie Mackay

Elise Mann

Charmaine Martin

Michelle Wriggles

Michael Boyd

Lorry D'ercole

Michael Edge

Glyn Gray

Craig Haines

Stephen Holford

Jamie Jewell

Jason King

Ryan Males

Harlin Martin

Andrew Micallef

Jonathan Schmölzer

Bradley Spargo

Joseph "pepe" Ashton

Jordan Ashton

Marcos Falagan

Mitchel Falagan

Chris Mayhew

Hamish Mccann

Adrien Janssen

Shaun Holloway

Darren Dowlut

Cocoliscious Brother

Dennis Dowlut

Cocoliscious Brother

Pina Conti

La Ko Ka Chau

Nandy Mcclean


Maya Mcclean


Patrick Harding-irmer


Albin Pahernik


Aurel Verne


Kip Gamblin

Latin dancer


Josh G. Abrahams

Music development ed/Music programmer

Sue Adler

Unit stills Photographer

Eden Ahbez


Sean Ahern

Leading hand/Set builder

Guy Allain

Set finisher

Anthony Allegre

LA Assistant to Fred Baron

Greg Allen

Lighting tech

Liz Allen

Assistant soft furnishings

Celinda Alvarado

Costume maker

Colin Alway

Compositor, Animal Logic Film

Paul Anderson

Assistant grip

Steve E. Andrews

Associate Producer

Steve E. Andrews

1st Assistant Director

Deb Antoniou

2d 2d Assistant Director

Tekimo Aratema

Set builder

Charlie Armstrong

Supervisor cineon compositor, Animal Logic Film

Craig Armstrong

Original score

Craig Armstrong

Music Arrangement

Craig Armstrong


Peter Armstrong


Bob Arthur

Set builder

Martin Ash

Set Designer

Margaret Aston

Addl makeup

Fiona Atherton

Costume maker

Jane Atherton


Tessa Atherton

Costume Department Coordinator

Robyn Austin

Addl makeup

Michael Axinn

Dial/ADR Editor, U.S. post prod

Nathan Ayers

Set builder

Silvana Azzi

Title Designer

Silvana Azzi

Graphic Designer

David Baerwald


John Bailey

Assistant eng

Steve Balbi

Voice double

Matthew Baldwin

Set builder

Jason Ballantine

1st Assistant Editor, digital

Mark Barber

Compositor, Animal Logic Film

Aaron Barclay

Compositor, Animal Logic Film

Sandra Bardwell

Costume maker

Patricia Barker


Andrew Barlow


Pam Barnetta

Conform Assistant Editor

Fred Baron


Chris Barrett

Assistant eng

Alexander Barton

Extras' Costume Assistant

Julie Barton

Costume set Supervisor

Mark Battaglene

Set builder

Gloria Bava

Menswear Costume cutter

Julie Beach

Costume maker

Ann Marie Beauchamp

Art Director

Kristian Beazley

Rigging leading hand

Anna Behlmer

Re-rec mixer, U.S.

Benjamin Beikoff

Assistant sculptor

Jo Beikoff


Michael Bell


Laurent Ben-mimoun

2D artist, Asylum Visual Effects

Belinda Bennetts

Visual Effects art Director, Animal Logic Film

Peter Bevan

Development costumier

Jill Bilcock


Jason Binnie

B Camera clapper loader

Katherin Birch

Addl hair

Laura Bishop

Music preparation, Melbourne and Sydney

Robert Blance

Set builder

Justin Bles

Const rigger

Genevieve Blewitt

Drapist/Soft furnishings

Marouska Blyszurak

Menswear Costume cutter

Marc Bolan


Cosmas Paul Bolger Jr.

Visual Effects Supervisor/Prod, Digital Filmworks

Matthew Bolin

Lighting tech

Donna May Bolinger

Shoemaker to Ms. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor

Alexandra Bolton

Title Designer

Gino Bonazinga

Costume maker

Chris Bone

Head R&D programmer, Animal Logic Film

Tony Bonicci




Mal Booth

Assistant grip

Mardi Borrack

Assistant standby Props

Guy Bowden

Best boy grip

David Bowie


Simon Bowland

Assistant plasterer

Deborah Boyce-brennan


Rosie Boylan

Senior milliner

Andy Bradfield

Addl mixer

Damien Bradford


Kristie Bragg

Lighting stand-in

Dan Breckwoldt

Tech Assistant, Animal Logic Film

Phil Brennan

Inferno artist, Asylum Visual Effects

Justine 'jay' Brien

Costume maker

Tristan Brighty

1st Assistant Editor, U.S. post prod

Brigitte Broch

Set Decoration

Alan Brown

Paint foreman

Andy Brown

Leading visual Effects art Director, Animal Logic Film

Craig Brown

3D anim, Animal Logic Film

Ian Brown

3D senior anim, Animal Logic Film

Louise Brown

Set dressing Assistant

Martin Brown


Peter H. Brown


William Browne

Editor Department Assistant

Christopher Bruce

Assistant buyer

Martin Bruveris

Scenic artist

Julie Bryant

Head costumier

Mathew Buchan

Rigging best boy

Andrew Bull

3D op, Mill Motion Control

Brent Burge

Supervisor Sound Effects Editor

Steve Burgess

Foley mixing, Australia

Bert Burless

Assistant dressing props maker

Danny Burnett

Set builder

Robert Burr

Best boy electrics

David Burrows

Conform Assistant Editor

Tika Burrows

Executive Assistant to Fred Baron

Josh Bush

Set builder

Felicia Bushman

Assistant to Ms. Nicole Kidman

Sophie Buttner

Senior model maker/Sculptor

Kevin R. Buxbaum

Financial controller

Kym Bywater

Costume jeweller

Kym Bywater

Costume jewelry

Ben Caine

Visual Effects Coordinator, Animal Logic Film

Simon Callaghan

Lighting stand-in

Sonia Calvert

Compositor, Animal Logic Film

Arthur Cambridge


Gary Cameron

Senior model maker

Jennifer Cammell

Costume cutter

Ellie Campbell

Prod Secretary

Mike Campbell

Inferno Assistant, Asylum Visual Effects

Tony Campbell

Art Department runner, dressing

Carlo Capolupo


Tic Carroll

Unit Manager

Tigger Carroll

Unit Assistant

Peggy Carter

Addl makeup

Nick Cevenero

Assistant eng

Kathy Chasen-hay

Visual Effects prod, Asylum Visual Effects

David Chazan


Desmond Child


Karl Christian


Kylie Clarke

Wig Department

Sondra Clarke

Music Department prod Assistant

Jake Clifton

Set builder

Matt Clyde

Lighting tech

Kurt Cobain


Adrian Colbert

Rec op

Lindsay Cole


Peter Collias

Head scenic artist

Phil Collins


Sue Collins

Prod and post prod accountant

Victoria Collison

Accessories Coordinator/Extras' stylist

Amanda Colliver

Vocal coach

Christopher Colwell

Set builder

Dominic Connor

Const rigger

Graeme Cook

Lighting tech

Norman Cook


Chris Cooper

3D senior anim, Animal Logic Film

Matthew Copping

Assistant grip B Camera

Toby Copping

Grip B Camera

Ed Cotton

Set Designer

Kimberly Shriver Covate

Operation Manager digital imaging

Brian Cox

Special Effects

Peter Coy

Foreman/Set builder

Fiona Crawford

Visual Effects line prod, Animal Logic Film

Bob Crewe


Mario Cristofoletti

Lighting stand-in

John Cross

Trade Assistant

Richard Crowe

Standby carpenter

Peter Cunningham

Art Department Electrician

Christo Curtis

Rec eng, Melbourne and Sydney

Sherree Da Costa

Assistant choreographer

Amiel Daemion


Ivana Daniele

Dancers' Costume standby Assistant

William Dartnell

Set builder

Tom Davies

Models and miniatures Supervisor

Pete Davis

Music programmer

Jane Dawkins

Extras' casting Supervisor

Rohan Dawson


Darren De Costa

Senior model maker/Sculptor

Wendy De Waal


John Deacon


Rob Delicata

Motion control prod, Mill Motion Control

William Demery

Senior model maker

Kylie Dempsey

Brush hand

Colin Dent


Marius Devries

Music Director/Addl score

Marius Devries


Graeme Dew

Rigging Coordinator

Nikki Di Falco

Assistant art Director

Sophie Dick

Prod Secretary

Bradley Diebert


Max Dittrich

Set builder

Steve Dobson

Director of Photographer, Mocon/Minatures unit

Justin Domingues

Data wrangler, Asylum Visual Effects

Monique Donaldson

Costume maker

Luke Doolan

2d Assistant Editor

Melinda Doring

Costume art finisher

Kate Dowd

Casting consultant--UK/Europe

Aaron Downing

Addl post prod Supervisor

Paul Doyle

Stunt rigger

David Paul Dozoretz

Pre visualisation Supervisor, Previsualisation by Persistence of Vision

Annette Dugan

Physical therapist

David Dulac

Lead TD/Anim, Animal Logic Film

Matt Dunkley

Music preparation

Matt Dunkley

Addl Music Arrangements

Beverley Dunn

Props Master

Film Details

Also Known As
Moulin Rouge
MPAA Rating
Release Date
May 18, 2001
Premiere Information
World premiere at Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France: 9 May 2001; Los Angeles premiere: 16 May 2001
Production Company
Bazmark Films
Distribution Company
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Australia and United States
Madrid, Spain; Fox Studios Australia, Sydney, Australia; Madrid,Spain; Sydney,Australia

Technical Specs

2h 6m

Award Wins

Set Decoration


Best Costume Design


Best Costume Design

Catherine Martin

Best Costume Design

Angus Strathie

Award Nominations

Best Actress

Nicole Kidman

Best Cinematography


Best Editing


Best Makeup


Best Picture


Best Sound





The film begins with a shot of Matthew Whittet, as the character "Satie," standing on a stage in front of red velvet curtains in the nightclub Moulin Rouge. As the curtains open, Satie conducts an orchestra playing the famous Twentieth Century Fox fanfare over a shot of the company's logo. The curtains close, then re-open to reveal the titles "Twentieth Century Fox Presents/A Bazmark Production/Moulin Rouge!/Paris, 1990." The titles are designed to look as if they were from an early black-and-white, silent movie. After the time and setting are established, the camera moves past the curtains and into the screen behind Satie. After a brief shot of John Leguizamo, as "Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec," singing "Nature Boy," a long traveling shot of Paris in miniature leads to a flowing shot through the streets of Montmartre and up into the rooms of "Christian." The sequence begins in black-and-white, with an increasing color tint until it becomes full color with the appearance of Christian.
       The May 28, 2001 Newsweek review noted that Twentieth Century Fox originally objected to director Baz Luhrmann's unusual presentation of its theme music, which was written in the 1930s by longtime Fox composer Alfred Newman. According to the film's presskit, the shots of Paris were obtained using a collage created by Catherine Martin, the picture's production and costume designer, and the streets of Montmartre were created in miniature in one-fifth or one-sixth scale, with photographs and film of real people digitally added.
       The acting and crew credits for the picture appear at the end of the film; the first time the actors are listed, without character names, Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent and Richard Roxburgh receive individual title cards. The end credits begin with a card reading: "In Memorium, Leonard Luhrmann, 1934-1999." Leonard Luhrmann, who died while the film was beginning production, was the father of director Baz Luhrmann. After the end credits, the Bohemian motto "This Story Is About Truth, Beauty, Freedom, But Above All, Love," is flashed on the screen in stylized title cards. ["Bohemianism," a movement that began largely in Paris in the mid-to-late 1800s, promoted the concepts of creating art for its own sake, rejecting wealth and pursuing idealized notions of love and truth.] Voice-over narration by Ewan McGregor, as "Christian," is heard throughout the picture, as if the film is illustrating the novel he is writing about his romance with "Satine." Although several reviews refer to Richard Roxburgh's character as the "Duke of Worcester," in the film he is called only "The Duke," and his name appears in written form once as "Duc de Monroth."
       The end credits contain a disclaimer noting that while some actual characters, firms and events are depicted, the film is a work of fiction. The real Moulin Rouge, notorious for its can-can dancers and sexually suggestive atmosphere, was owned by Charles Zidler and his partner Joseph Oller, and opened in Montmartre on October 6, 1889. Artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), perhaps best known for his portraits of the club's entertainers, has been portrayed in other films, including the 1953 production Moulin Rouge, which is otherwise unrelated to the 2001 film (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1951-60). Môme Fromage, Le Petomane and Le Chocolat were real performers at the club. The film's presskit notes that the character Satie is "based on a loose mix between" unorthodox composers Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel.
       The end credits also include a card thanking Möet Chandon Champagne. According to a November 2000 article in Brill's Content, Susan Safier, the vice-president of Product Placement, persuaded Möet Chandon "to provide a large supply [of their champagne] and also got the company to reproduce vintage labels-at its own expense-which the film's production staff then used to replace the real ones."
       According to a June 2001 Movieline article, Luhrmann originally considered casting Heath Ledger as Christian, but after conducting several screen tests of Ledger with Nicole Kidman, decided that he was too young for the role. Both Kidman and Ewan McGregor made their singing debuts in the film, and in the film's presskit, McGregor credited the extensive four-month rehearsal process with aiding his ability to feel comfortable singing in front of the cameras during actual production. According to the presskit, in order to obtain the best vocal performances from the actors, Luhrmann allowed them either to lip-sync to their own pre-recordings, or to sing live during shooting, accompanied by a guide track or a live keyboardist. The picture marked the screen debuts of Australian actors Caroline O'Connor and Matthew Whittet.
       Numerous news items and magazine articles chronicled injuries suffered by Kidman, which delayed filming, including a twice-broken rib caused by being lifted in the dance sequences while wearing a tight corset, and torn knee cartilage resulting from a fall during the "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" production number. According to an interview for, Leguizamo approximated Toulouse-Lautrec's short stature through the use of "amputee prostheses with movable ankles and feet. His real feet and lower legs were erased with computer special effects." In several interviews, Leguizamo mentioned that the prostheses, which weighed approximately forty pounds each, were painful to wear and caused his legs to go numb.
       In the picture, song lyrics are often used as dialogue to propel the story. According to added content on the film's special 2-disc DVD release, composer Craig Armstrong explained that the film's story "is constructed around the choice of the songs." It took Luhrmann two years to obtain the rights to the songs used in the extensive music score, according to a May 6, 2001 Los Angeles Times article. In The Times (London) review, it was reported that Luhrmann obtained the rights for free from artists eager to participate in the unusual project, although an 18 June 2001People article stated that the director paid Courtney Love, widow of songwriter Kurt Cobain, $125,000 to use the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The article also reported that Luhrmann originally had the song recorded by Marilyn Manson, but when Love objected, was forced to re-record it with an "unknown" band shortly before the picture's premiere. No artist is listed as performing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the onscreen credits. The only music to which Luhrmann could not obtain the rights were songs written by the Rolling Stones and "Father and Son," composed by Cat Stevens, who, because of his religious beliefs, objected to the film's subject matter. According to Armstrong, after the filmmakers were unable to use "Father and Son," they decided to use "Nature Boy," which is sung at both the opening and ending of the film, and is used as "Christian's theme." "Toulouse's" big line during the production of Spectacular, Spectacular-"the greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return"-is a lyric from "Nature Boy."
       In numerous interviews, Luhrmann described Moulin Rouge! as the third in his "Red Curtain" trilogy, which began with the Australian Strictly Ballroom (1992) and continued with William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996). On the Moulin Rouge official website, Luhrmann explained that his "Red Curtain" films employ a heightened sense of theatricality, through the use of music, language, dance or other devices, and are based on an underlying, primary myth. The myth Luhrmann utilized for Moulin Rouge! was that of Orpheus, who descended into the underworld in search of his lost love but returned alone. (Several times during the film, the inhabitants of the Moulin Rouge are referred to as "creatures of the underworld.") In added material prepared for the film's DVD, Luhrmann called his "Red Curtain" films "audience participation cinema," and elaborated that the aim is constantly to remind the audience that they are involved in the process of watching a movie. Reviewers commented that the film's plot was also reminiscent of Alexandre Dumas' novel La Dame aux camélias (1848) and Giuseppe Verdi's opera La traviata (1853).
       In several interviews, Martin, Luhrmann's wife and frequent collaborator, commented on the film's complicated art and costume design. Fabrics from around the world were used for the over four hundred costumes in the picture. Hand-beading and embroidery for some of the costumes was done in India, while some costumes were imported from Italy. Martin and Luhrmann commented in several sources that the film's "look" was inspired by "classic film divas" such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Rita Hayworth; Hollywood musicals such as Folies Bergere, Meet Me in St. Louis and Cabaret; and the frequently extravagent "Bollywood" musicals from India.
       In designing the Moulin Rouge, Martin had access to blueprints for a planned 1902 renovation of the real nightclub, according to a May 2001 Entertainment Design Magazine article. One of the film's most elaborate sets is the three-story, papier-maché elephant that contains Satine's boudoir. The elephant is based on a building in the garden of the real Moulin Rouge, which housed an Arabian-themed gentlemen's club. According to the picture's presskit, several different sets of the elephant were built, including a full-scale elephant on a steel frame. The real Moulin Rouge was acclaimed for its at-the-time novel use of electricity, and in the presskit, director of photography Donald M. McAlpine stated that he attempted to reproduce the presumed effect of electric lights on the patrons by using "heightened lighting as befits the Moulin Rouge: all glamour." The color design of the picture was inspired by the colors used in the actual paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, according to the presskit, as well as Luhrmann's desire for a "super-saturated" Technicolor look. According to, the filmmakers originally planned to use only thirty special effects shots, but wound up with over three hundred in order to accommodate the many 3D models and miniatures. The film was shot entirely on soundstages in Sydney and Madrid and features no exterior locations.
       Although the film was originally set to open in December 2000, the release date was delayed until May 2001. According to October 2000 Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times news items, Fox decided to give Luhrmann extra time for the complicated post-production. In April 2001, Entertainment Weekly reported that Luhrmann had been unable to complete filming in time for the Christmas release, due to complications such as Kidman's injuries and the need to vacate their soundstages in Sydney, which were required by another production. According to the article, "Luhrmann eventually picked up his missing shots in Madrid last fall."
       Vogue, which had anticipated that the film would be released near Christmas 2000, featured Kidman on the cover of its December 2000 issue, and included a lengthy article about the picture's fashions. In mid-April 2000, Vogue hosted a preview screening of the film, in conjunction with a specially commissioned fashion show. According to a September 6, 2001 Hollywood Reporter review, Luhrmann's efforts to publicize the film became the focus of a BBC television documentary entitled The Show Must Go On. The documentary, directed by Adrian Sibley, followed Luhrmann for four months, beginning with the Cannes Film Festival, which celebrated its opening night with the premiere of Moulin Rouge!. In August 2001, Parade announced that Luhrmann was considering adapting the film for the stage. The picture was given a theatrical re-release in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and San Francisco on 21 November 2001.
       Moulin Rouge! was included in many top ten lists and was named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review. The film was nominated by AFI as Movie of the Year. In addition, Jill Bilcock received the AFI award as Editor of the year and Craig Armstrong received AFI's Composer of the year. The picture won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy and Best Score, and Kidman won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy. Luhrmann and McGregor received individual Golden Globe nominations. The picture's main love song, "Come What May," also garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for composer David Baerwald. Moulin Rouge! also won Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. The film won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design and was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Actress, for Kidman.

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the 2002 Artios Award for Feature Film - Drama by the Casting Society of America (CSA).

Released in United States August 2001 (Shown at Locarno International Film Festival (Closing Night) August 2-12, 2001.)

Co-Winner, along with "A Beautiful Mind" (USA/2001), of the 2001 award for Best Director from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Nominated for the 2001 Award for Best Cinematography from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

Nominated for the 2001 award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen from the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

Nominated for the 2001 award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Feature from the Cinema Audio Society (CAS).

Nominated for the 2001 award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film from the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

Nominated for the 2001 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Best Ensemble Cast.

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2001 by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Winner of nine 2001 Golden Satellite Awards, including Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Actor - Musical or Comedy (Ewan McGregor), Best Actress - Musical or Comedy (Nicole Kidman), Best Supporting Actor - Musical or Comedy (Jim Broadbent), Best Director, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects, from the International Press Academy.

Winner of the 2001 award for Best Overall DVD from the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS).

Winner of the 2001 Award for Best Production Design in a Feature Film - Period/Fantasy from the Society of Motion Picture & Television Art Directors/ Art Directors Guild (ADG).

Winner of the 2001 Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature - Comedy or Musical, from the American Cinema Editors (ACE).

Winner of the 2001 Golden Laurel Award for Best Motion Picture from the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Winner of the 2001 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing for Music in a Musical Feature Film by the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE).

Winner of two 2001 awards, including Best Film and Best Supporting Actor (Jim Broadbent), from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

Winner of two 2001 awards, including Best Supporting Actor (Jim Broadbent) and Best Production Design, from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Winner of two awards, including Editor of the Year and Composer of the Year, at the 2001 American Film Institute (AFI) Awards. Also nominated for the award for Movie of the Year.

Winner of two awards, including European Achievement in World Cinema (Ewan MacGregor) and the Screen International Non-European Film Award, at the 2001 European Film Awards.

Released in United States Spring May 18, 2001

Expanded Release in United States June 1, 2001

Limited re-release in United States November 21, 2001

Released in United States on Video December 18, 2001

Released in United States August 2001

Shown at Locarno International Film Festival (Closing Night) August 2-12, 2001.

Began shooting November 9, 1999.

Completed shooting May 13, 2000.

Film was on hiatus due to Nicole Kidman's injury.

Film is unrelated to "Moulin Rouge" (USA/1952).

Released in United States Spring May 18, 2001

Expanded Release in United States June 1, 2001

Limited re-release in United States November 21, 2001

Released in United States on Video December 18, 2001