The combination of high & lowbrow elements, the post-modern collage of influences (from opera, to Bollywood, to MTV) & the extended commentary on the nature of stories to express a reflection of something that can't be said are each exceptionally jarring & revelatory. The technique owes less to mainstream Hollywood & more to the avant-garde of Jarman & Potter, with a similarly anarchic emphasis on historical fiction.
Luhrmann's best film to date is a sumptuous creation that rightfully should have won picture and director the year it was nominated. The film's romantic mix of old school musical, modern song and extraordinary production value make it a modern classic. Performances are wonderful especially the young lovers played by Kidman and McGregor though Richard Roxburgh may have upstaged them at times. ' Come what may...'
If the music isn't good, I just don't care how good the movie is. One of the best songs in the movie is "Come what may", which should have won the Oscar, were it not disqualified for stupid reasons. While Nicole Kidman is picture perfect, it's Ewan McGregor who really steals the show. He does a great cover of "Your Song".
I got my first noise complaint in an apartment from playing this one too loud. I loved it. I loved the style the performances and the archetypal love story. Great music covers and surprisingly good singing from Kidman and McGregor. Triumph of style over substance if that can ever be a good thing.
I'm very conflicted about Baz Luhrmann. He definitely has a unique flair and his films are beautiful to look at. But the story here was so unbearably "fromage" that I was squirming to get out of the theatre. A woman in the front row was bawling her eyes out by the end which cracked me up. I know that people who love this film are quite rabid in their passion for it, but this just wasn't my cup of tea.