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Time Out says
Another post-modern mix of myth, musical, comedy, romance and unfettered pastiche from the impressively inventive Luhrmann, here ransacking pop culture's iconographic archives - rather than the real Paris of 1900 - to mount a hyperkinetic update of the Orpheus myth. Naive, lovelorn writer/composer Christian (McGregor) is taken up by bohemians like Toulouse-Lautrec to put on a show at the scandalous showplace of the title, where courtesan/torch singer Satine (Kidman) will do anything - even sleep with a dodgy Duke - to further her acting career, especially if pressed by the club proprietor (Broadbent) - until, that is, she meets Christian, and her heart melts. A Red Shoes-style fable of love and art in conflict with commerce and power, it's luridly stunning to look at even if it's cut a little too quickly and insistently for its own good. It's also jam-packed with allusions and gags, and performed with enormous gusto. If it lacks the emotional punch of Luhrmann's earlier films, and drags towards the end, it is still great fun.