I had to check and re-check to make sure I was correct on this; I could’ve sworn that Chicago had not won Best Picture. It did win back in 2002 but I kept thinking otherwise – surely this was wrong?
As I’m sure everyone and their dog knows, Chicago is based on the popular musical of the same name. It’s not an awful film. In fact, when I initially saw it, I really liked it. A second viewing, however, doesn’t feel very fresh and got stale pretty quickly, but for the musical genre Chicago is pretty good.
The one problem I always had with the movie was that it felt oddly cast. Catherine Zeta-Jones was a pretty good Velma, but I didn’t like Renee Zellweger much as Roxie, nor did I feel Richard Gere was particularly outstanding in his role. Even John C. Reilly felt a little out of place and that feels odd to write down.
It certainly wasn’t better the second time around and I found myself marveling that, yes, this movie did win Best Picture. It’s certainly well handled, especially since I think taking something from the stage to the screen can be more than a little tricky and even trickier when it’s a musical. To be fair, the musical numbers are done well and the rest of the film is not poor by any standards.
The problem is that when I sat down to really think about what Chicago had achieved, I wasn’t feeling very impressed. I keep coming back to the fact that the movie was pretty good. Chicago is not great, not excellent, just a little bit above the rest of the flock.
Who else was nominated in 2002 for Best Picture?
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- Gangs of New York
- The Hours
- The Pianist
I’m flummoxed. I have to be honest – I have little to no idea what Academy members have in their heads when they vote, nor do I intend to start speculating. If you compare this movie with The Pianist, for example, The Pianist comes out on top easily. Adrien Brody really did a fantastic job in that movie and it was all-around great, as opposed to being just pretty good.
Why Chicago won, I don’t know.
I do know, however, that Renee Zellweger’s face must un-squint itself, since you can barely see her eyes anymore from all the face-scrunching. Renee, you gotta stop doing that, because watching your movies nowadays makes my face hurt for you.