Once upon a time Cher used to be a good actress, and even won an Oscar. However, a fortune on plastic surgery and many years later, she now looks like an imperious drag queen. On the up side, sheâ€™ll soon be able to double for Quentin Crisp - she just needs the fedora. Given she was supposed to be the â€œstarâ€� of Burlesque and the only one who didnâ€™t lipsync and sang her songs, I was immediately struck by the notion that it would have helped if sheâ€™d bothered to learn the songs so when she lipsyncâ€™d with herself in the opening number sheâ€™d be vaguely convincing. . Aguilera is very so-so â€“ unfortunately the course of this film has clearly been written to act as a singer-dancer-actress vehicle for her. This movie is predictable, so much so a toddler with a first set of crayons could have written a more imaginative and convincing script. Cher, Aguilera, and Tucci are all good performers â€“ but this is a terrible story/script/vehicle, and not right for any of them. Time Outâ€™s critique of this film is totally accurate save for one thing â€“ they gave it two stars - one star is generous.
Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says
Posted: Tue Dec 14 2010‘Burlesque’ stars the singer Christina Aguilera as a plucky Midwesterner making it big in a Los Angeles burlesque club and Cher (or is that a life-sized Cher mannequin?) as her mentor. The movie has three potential audiences. None will leave empty-handed. None will be truly sated.
Musical fans excited to see an all-singing, all-dancing rags-to-riches rollercoaster spectacular will probably feel least cheated. With form in music videos and live burlesque, debut writer-director Steven Antin knows how to put on a show and mean it. He throws spangly, ‘Chicago’-style production numbers at the screen like King Kong hurling cars down Fifth Avenue.
Connoisseurs of the compellingly bad and/or outrageously camp will find a fair bit to savour: notably, thudding exposition, naff design touches and a nocturnal car-park scene involving Cher, a crowbar, mutant lungs, memories, adultery and vomit. But too much of the movie is simply banal or inept. The leads are inert, the production design boringly glossy. Crucially, the script is devoid of tension, badly paced and stuffed with distracting supporting characters, of whom only Stanley Tucci, reprising his GBF shtick from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, is remotely memorable. Worst news for schlock fiends: no actual tits, no bona-fide bitches.
The third potential audience – adolescent girls in search of aspirational escapism – is the crowd to whom the film’s coy dissembling about the actual nature of burlesque does a real disservice. Even if they admire Aguilera’s powerful voice, this ain’t the way professional singers are discovered. But there it is: try to make ‘Showgirls’ for 12 year olds and you please no one. What a tease.
Author: Ben Walters
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
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