Posts Tagged ‘Ewan McGregor’


This movie is a an affectionate homage and occasional parody of those Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies from the 1960s – the most famous being Pillow Talk, which this film reminded me of.

Renee Zellweger is Barbara Novak, an author who has just released her book ‘Down With Love’ which is all about how women don’t really need men, and how they can be just as cavalier in their relationships as men are. This turns her into an overnight celebrity and she seizes the opportunity to publicly criticise Catcher Block (!) (Ewan McGregor), famous journalist and notorious ladies man.

Catcher is determined to exact revenge and sets out to make Barbara fall in love with him – she has never actually seen him so he assumes a fake identity and starts to romance her. Inevitably the deceit starts to unravel and revelation piles upon revelation…

I personally thought this was an absolute gem of a film, although it received only a lukewarm reception when it first came out. Zellweger and McGregor are perfectly cast in their parts and have terrific chemistry. The film is very colourful and playful throughout, perfectly recapturing the mood of those movies which it is playfully paying tribute to.

There are some terrific one-line zingers, and some unexpected twists, and at times I was genuinely laughing out loud. And Tony Randall – who co-starred in those Day/Hudson collaborations pops up here too! David Hyde Pierce plays the role that Randall tended to play in the original films, which is that of best friend/neurotic co-worker, and he is perfect for that part.

This is definitely one I will want to watch again and again.


Year of release: 2003

Director: Peyton Reed

Writers: Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake

Main cast: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Sarah Paulson, David Hyde Pierce






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I haven’t seen this film since it was in the cinema (10 years ago!!), but yesterday decided to revisit it on the small screen.  How glad I am that I did.  I loved it when I first saw it, and wondered if I would still enjoy it – the answer is an emphatic yes!

Nicole Kidman is radiant (and exquisite) as Satine, a high class courtesan at Moulin Rouge in Paris, a club frequented by bohemians, artistes, writers, who call themselves the children of the revolution.  When penniless writer Christian (Ewan McGregor) meets her, they fall in love…but Satine has already been promised to a rich and powerful Duke.  A love triangle ensues, but even as the lovers struggle to stay together, an even darker force is exerting it’s pull on Satine…

I hesitate to use the word extravaganza very often, but in the case of this film, it’s deserved.  The movie combines, energetic, colourful dance routines, with romance, comedy and drama.  The music is all drawn from familiar 20th century sources, although the setting for the film is Paris at the end of the 19th century (seriously, the songs here are from such artistes as Madonna, Nirvana, The Police, Bolan, Bowie – but all given a new and exciting spin).  The colour and energy radiates off the screen, and there are many laugh-out-loud moments of hilarity.  My favourite scene is where Satine, Christian, and their bohemian friends (including Toulouse Lautrec are pitching their idea for a new show to the Duke, in the hope of gaining his financial backing.

The two leads are brilliant.  Nicole Kidman has never looked more beautiful, and has never been so funny and tragic as she is here.  McGregor too is at his most endearing and makes you want to root for his character.  However, special mention must be made of Jim Broadbent, who played Harold Zindler, the manager of Moulin Rouge; and especially John Leguizamo, who played Toulouse Lautrec.  I have only ever seen Leguizamo in one other role – a coke addled Doctor on ER, and I hated him in that role.  Here however, he was fantastic.  What an incredible actor!

The aforementioned soundtrack is fabulous, and the story plays along nicely with a perfect balance of comedy and tragedy.  If you haven’t experienced Moulin Rouge yet (and if you haven’t, then why not?), I really recommend watching this film.  You might love it, you might hate it, but I doubt that you will forget it.

Year of release: 2001

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pierce

Main cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent, John Leguizamo

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Ewan McGregor plays a journalist named Bob Wilton, who while trying to get over his broken marriage, meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), who claims to be a former member of the US Army’s First Earth Battalion, an elite force trained to use their psychic powers to help them change the way the world thinks of war.

During a road trip into Iraq (during which the two men are kidnapped, rescued and find themselves lost in the desert), Cassady tells Wilton all about the training he underwent in the 1980s, under the command of Bill Django (Jeff Bridges).   Also in the Battalion is Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey) who becomes an intense rival of Cassady, due to their conflicting views about the the First Earth Battalion should utilise their skills.  Cassady reveals how he eventually became disillusioned with the  Army life after using his powers for bad rather than good (he manages to stop a goat’s heart using his own willpower).  Now though, Cassady is on a mission, the likes of which are not revealed until the end of the film.

Despite the subject matter this is a comedy – and very funny it is too.  George Clooney plays his role with his familiar easy charm and is an endearing and likeable character.  Jeff Bridges, as always, is superb in his role of the New Age believer Django, and Kevin Spacey is suitably sly and cruel for him to make Hooper a truly unlikeable character.  The only actor who I felt was not up to his usual standard was McGregor – his attempt at an American accent was not great, and I think it would have been better if he had been cast as a Scottish journalist.  However, his natural charisma carried him through.

There are plenty of laugh out loud moments in the film, and I left the cinema feeling light hearted and very satisfied.  Recommended.  (Incredibly, the movie is based on actual events, and most of the main characters are based on real people.  McGregor seems to be based on the British journalist Jon Ronson, who wrote the book on which the movie is based).

Year of release: 2009

Director: Grant Heslov

Writers: Jon Ronson (book), Peter Straughan

Main cast: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey

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