Song of the Day #34: ‘Your Song’ – Ewan McGregor

Moulin Rouge is one huge heaping mess of a film. At times it feels like a runaway train in danger of flying off the tracks into a fiery pileup. But somehow it keeps its balance and emerges as one of the most memorable films of the 00s.

Most of the credit, in my opinion, belongs to Ewan McGregor. I can’t imagine another actor pulling off the naive innocence and the unabashed romanticism of his Christian, let alone one with a terrific singing voice to match. Nicole Kidman got the Oscar nod for this film, but McGregor was its MVP.

In this scene, Kidman’s Satine mistakenly believes Christian to be a rich businessman and is intent on seducing him. In fact, he’s a humble (and poor) poet who wants nothing more than to love (and be loved in return).

Their meeting starts out as farce but turns into something very different — true love, perhaps — when Christian bursts into song. Elton John’s ‘Your Song,’ to be specific.

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #34: ‘Your Song’ – Ewan McGregor

  1. Amy says:

    Well, you know you’ve picked a winner in my book. I use this scene every year during the film unit that I teach. Some students don’t know what to make of it, while others are immediately mesmerized. I agree with you about McGregor, but then isn’t that always the way with the Academy. They honor Dustin Hoffman (who, let’s face it, didn’t go “full retard”) but overlook the masterful (probably far more difficult) work of Tom Cruise. Nicole Kidman gets a death scene – nuff said. I loved this film from the moment Baz Luhrman’s famous red curtains parted on screen, but this is probably that moment the film became truly great, extraordinary, one for the ages, for me. The art direction, camera work, and performances are seamless in creating the shift from farce to force of nature.

  2. Dana says:

    Great film moment and great interpretation of the song by McGregor. Meanwhile, it’s Wednesday and I haven’t seen your musical for the music in film. (And don’t think that throwing Once in there will count:))

  3. Amy says:

    What is Moulin Rouge if not a musical? They stop mid-scene and break into song and dance, for crying out loud. That qualifies it as a musical in my mind. Yes, the songs had been written previously rather than for these characters and this film. Still, that was exactly the brilliant stroke that Baz Luhrman used to revitalize the musical in Hollywood. The success of Chicago (perhaps an upcoming pick?) is often directly attributed to Moulin Rouge having paved the way for a new generation of movie musicals.

  4. Clay says:

    Yeah, this certainly counts as a musical. And I think Once does, too.

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