[Screen It]


(2001) (Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
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Minor None Minor Mild Minor
Smoking Tense Family
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Musical: A young writer falls for a renowned courtesan who works at the infamous Moulin Rouge nightclub and has promised herself to a wealthy investor.
Christian (EWAN McGREGOR) is a young writer who's arrived in the Montmartre district of Paris in 1899. Hoping to write about love, Christian is suddenly thrust into the middle of a play that French artist Toulouse-Lautrec (JOHN LEGUIZAMO) and his Bohemian troupe - consisting of the Doctor (GARRY McDONALD), the unconscious Argentinean (JACEK KOMAN), Satie (MATTHEW WHITTET) and writer Audrey (DAVID WENHAM) - are trying to construct.

Christian soon finds himself the head writer and he's sent to the infamous Moulin Rouge nightclub to persuade its star performer and renowned courtesan, Satine (NICOLE KIDMAN), to work with him. She has her own agenda, however, as she's wishing to seduce The Duke (RICHARD ROXBURGH), a wealthy aristocrat, hoping he'll infuse the cabaret with some much needed cash.

Spurred on by the Moulin Rouge's impresario, Harold Zidler (JIM BROADBENT), Satine mistakenly comes to believe that Christian is the Duke, and the two quickly become romantically involved. Unfortunately, Satine must still make the Duke fall for her to get his financial support. From that point on and as Zidler signs over the papers to the growingly unscrupulous aristocrat as collateral in exchange for the play he's financing, Satine and Christian must figure out how to deal with their love for each other knowing she must sleep with the Duke to seal the deal.

Those who are fans of anyone in the cast, director Baz Luhrmann's earlier film, "Romeo + Juliet," or musicals may just want to see it.
For sexual content.
  • EWAN McGREGOR plays a young writer who arrives at the Moulin Rouge hoping to write about love. He gets the chance when he meets, falls for and apparently beds Satine.
  • NICOLE KIDMAN plays the renowned courtesan and performer of the Moulin Rouge who falls for and apparently has sex with Christian despite knowing that she must seduce the Duke to ensure that he finances their play.
  • JOHN LEGUIZAMO plays the diminutive French artist who spurs Christian into action and drinks some.
  • JIM BROADBENT plays the impresario of the Moulin Rouge who encourages Satine to seduce the Duke so that they'll receive his financial support.
  • RICHARD ROXBURGH plays the increasingly unscrupulous aristocrat who agrees to infuse cash into the Moulin Rouge in exchange for Satine's sexual favors.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated musical. Various sexual double entendres are used during a scene where a woman, a renowned courtesan, mistakes a man for another she's supposed to seduce and the benign comments he makes as being sexually related. That leads to some groping, aroused sexual sounds and talk of making love, but they're interrupted before anything else happens.

    That couple eventually becomes an item and they apparently fool around sexually, as we see them passionately kissing and then in a partially nude embrace (sheets cover their lower halves). Other courtesans and/or cancan dancers are seen in revealing clothing and occasionally lift up their dresses to show their panty-covered crotches. A song (both performed and recited as straight lines of dialogue) includes lines from Madonna's "Like A Virgin" with some sexually related lyrics.

    Violence consists of an attempted rape, several punches and a henchman trying to shoot the male protagonist. Some of those scenes may tense or unsettling to some viewers, and various characters involved with them and others have bad attitudes. Various characters drink (including some who hallucinate after drinking absinthe), some smoke, and one is dying from consumption (tuberculosis) and occasionally coughs up a little blood.

    If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information about what's present and/or occurs in it.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs late in the film during a thunderstorm.

  • We see Christian holding a bottle of what's presumably liquor and see other bottles around him.
  • Christian and others drink absinthe (that causes them to hallucinate and imagine seeing a Tinkerbell-like fairy).
  • Various people drink in the Moulin Rouge.
  • Satine pours some champagne.
  • Christian's friends have glasses of liquor.
  • Some miscellaneous people drink.
  • Toulouse-Lautrec drinks.
  • Satine has some champagne.
  • At the end of a musical number, many waiters simultaneously open bottles of champagne.
  • Christian drinks, as do various other people.
  • Toulouse-Lautrec carries a bottle of liquor.
  • We see a tiny bit of blood on a cloth that a woman held over Satine's mouth as the latter coughed.
  • The Duke's lip is a little bloody after he's punched.
  • We see some blood on Satine's fingers from coughing up more blood.
  • Later, we see some blood on her lip as well as on Christian's shoulder.
  • Satine, Christian, Zidler and others try to pull a fast one on the Duke, making him think they're putting on a play (which they later do) and that Satine will sleep with him, all so that he'll invest in the Moulin Rouge.
  • A woman refers to the Duke as "the Jew."
  • Zidler's insistence that Satine stop seeing Christian and seduce the Duke so that they'll get his money.
  • Fed up with Satine's behavior, the Duke apparently tries to rape her (but is knocked unconscious by another man who catches him in the act). He then later says that Satine will be his or he'll have Christian killed (and we later see his henchman trying to shoot and kill Christian).
  • The Duke grabs Satine by her wrists and forces her to the floor. He then chases after her in his tower and it then appears that he's behind her, trying to rip off her clothes. He then pushes her down onto a bed, apparently ready to rape her, but a man from the play suddenly shows up and punches the Duke, rendering him unconscious.
  • Some viewers may find a scene where the Duke's henchman appears ready to shoot and kill Christian as tense (although it's not entirely playing in a suspenseful manner).
  • The same may hold true for scenes where Satine collapses from her sickness.
  • We briefly see that someone is wearing a pistol.
  • Pistol: Carried by the Duke's henchman and used in an attempt on Christian's life.
  • Phrases: "Whore."
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • Trying to convince the Duke that Satine is interested in him sexually, Zidler starts delivering lines from Madonna's "Like a Virgin" song (some paraphrased), including "Like a virgin, touched for the very first time," "Feels so good inside," "When you hold her, and touch her," and "You made her feel shiny and new."
  • The song "Roxanne" is about prostitution and includes lines such as "You don't have to sell your body to the night."
  • At least 1 use of "damn" as an exclamation.
  • Christian mentions that, among other things, the Moulin Rouge was a bordello, and once we're inside there we see various cancan girls dancing and occasionally showing/flashing their underwear (as we see them spreading their legs along with a few close-ups of their crotches in lingerie) and/or showing cleavage.
  • He also mentions that Satine was a courtesan and that everyone at the Moulin Rouge was counting on her spending the night with the Duke to get him to invest in the place. When she passes out from her illness, however, another woman states that she doesn't think "the Jew" (the Duke) is going to get his money's worth that night.
  • A female character does some brief provocative dancing.
  • Satine shows some cleavage.
  • Christian shows up at Satine's room to read poetry to her (hoping to get her involved in their play), but she mistakenly thinks he's the Duke and is thus ready to seduce him. As she seductively walks out in some lingerie (that shows cleavage and lots of leg) wearing garters and a mesh "robe/jacket," Christian says he'd like to get it over with (meaning poetry, but she's thinking sex). He then adds that he'd like to do it standing, but that she doesn't have to stand (which gets her excited), and that "it's quite long" (she mistakes his poem for something else). He then adds that he wants to make sure she's comfortable, that it's quite modern what he does, and that it may feel a little strange at first, but if she's open, she might enjoy it. We then see her writhing about on her bed, but she then asks what's wrong with him. He then says that sometimes it takes a while for inspiration to come (she again thinks he's talking about something sexual) and she then puts her hand onto his clothed crotch, asks if that inspires him and then begs him to make love to her. She then pushes him down onto her bed where she straddles him and mentions something about feeling the poetry. As she makes some sexual sounds, she starts undressing him, a comment is made about his "talent," and she then exclaims that she needs his talent. She then sensuously runs her hands along her clothed body (as he talks about naughty poetry) and makes more loud and aroused sounds. After that, nothing else happens as the real Duke shows up and Christian briefly ends up hiding behind/inside Satine's outfit with his head at her butt.
  • Some classical style artwork and paintings show scantily clad women.
  • Trying to allow Christian to escape from her room, Satine pulls the Duke down on top of her, telling him, "Let's make love."
  • Zidler spies upon Satine's room with his telescope and sees the Duke shaking Satine, but from his limited angle such movement looks sexual in nature.
  • Christian and Satine passionately kiss.
  • Christian does some pelvic thrusting (clothed) while talking about some bit from the play.
  • Christian and Satine passionately kiss again.
  • Trying to convince the Duke that Satine is interested in him sexually, Zidler starts delivering lines from Madonna's "Like a Virgin" song (some paraphrased), including "Like a virgin, touched for the very first time," "Feels so good inside," "When you hold her, and touch her," and "You made her feel shiny and new." At the end of what turns out to be a huge musical number, a waiter holds up a tray with two breast-shaped molds of Jello/gelatin to his chest and other waiters simultaneously open bottles of champagne (possibly symbolic of orgasm).
  • We hear again that Satine must sleep with the Duke on the opening night of their play.
  • We see Satine in bed covered just in a sheet and then see her and Christian standing nude in an embrace (with the sheet around their waists). During this, we see their bare backs and just part of the side of her bare breast.
  • Christian tells Satine that he doesn't want her to sleep with the Duke. A woman in the play then tells Christian that he'll get his ending (of the play) when the Duke gets his "end" (meaning Satine).
  • We see Satine holding a cigarette in a long cigarette holder, while the Duke's henchman smokes a cigar and various miscellaneous characters also smoke in several scenes.
  • None.
  • The real life Moulin Rouge.
  • Satine's life as a courtesan and performer at the Moulin Rouge.
  • The film's constant mixing of styles, periods and genres.
  • Consumption, which is what Satine had and is an antiquated term for tuberculosis.
  • An unconscious man falls through a floor (Christian's ceiling) and lands in the writer's room.
  • The Duke grabs Satine by her wrists and forces her to the floor. He then chases after her in his tower and it then appears that he's behind her, trying to rip off her clothes. He then pushes her down onto a bed, apparently ready to rape her, but a man from the play suddenly shows up and punches the Duke, rendering him unconscious.
  • Some men drag Christian out onto the street where one of them punches him in the face.
  • Christian pushes a person down and the Duke's henchman then comes up with a pistol and fires a shot. He then makes another attempt after retrieving his pistol, but a sandbag is dropped on his head, knocking the gun away. The Duke eventually retrieves the gun and is going to use it on Christian, but Zidler punches him in the face.

  • Reviewed May 15, 2001 / Posted June 1, 2001

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