Baz Luhrmann’s "Moulin Rouge," the postmodern movie musical that uses an eclectic score and a frantic visual language, was nominated for a 2002 Best Picture Academy Award, and Nicole Kidman was nommed for Best Actress in the picture, it was announced Feb. 12.
"Rouge"'s nod marks the first time in over a decade that a musical has been up for the Best Picture prize. The last musical to win the Oscar was "Oliver" in 1968. The last musical to be nominated was the animated Disney effort, "Beauty and the Beast" in 1991. Other Best Picture musicals include "An American in Paris" (1951), "Gigi" (1958), "West Side Story" (1961), "My Fair Lady" (1964) and "The Sound of Music" (1965).
In total, the film racked up 8 nominations: Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup, Sound, Art Direction, Cinematography in addition to Best Actress and Picture.
The surprise of the Oscar noms (representing movies released in 2001) was that the visionary Luhrmann was not nominated for Best Director, and it failed to pick up a screenplay nomination.
Luhrmann will stage the American premiere of his 1950s-set La Boheme, the Puccini opera, on Broadway in the fall. The production will use a fresh, young cast singing in the original Italian. The staging was a smash in Australia a decade ago. Other theatre folks nominated for major awards included Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren in the Supporting Actress category for “Gosford Park,” Ian MacKellen for Best Supporting Actor for “The Lord of the Rings,” Judi Dench for “Iris.”
The Best Picture nominees are “A Beautiful Mind,” “Gosford Park,” “In the Bedroom,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “Moulin Rouge." Renee Zellweger, playing Roxie Hart in the now-shooting musical movie, “Chicago,” was nommed for Best Actress for “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
The winners of Hollywood's biggest awards will be announced March 24.
and Robert Simonson