"Chicago" is a musical crime comedy-drama film that delves into the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Chicago during the Jazz Age. The movie is based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name, which in turn was adapted from a 1926 play written by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins.
The story revolves around Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two murderesses who find themselves on death row. As they vie for the spotlight, fame, and acquittal, the lines between guilt and innocence blur amidst a media frenzy.
Roxie Hart, a wannabe vaudevillian, is arrested for the murder of her lover. In prison, she meets Velma Kelly, a nightclub performer who's also awaiting trial for a double murder. Both women seek the services of slick defense lawyer Billy Flynn, who turns his clients into celebrities to gain public sympathy and manipulate the press.
As Roxie's fame grows, she dreams of a successful showbiz career, while Velma becomes increasingly resentful of her rising star. The two women eventually realize that there's only room for one at the top, leading to a dramatic courtroom showdown.
Cast and Crew:
- Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly
- Richard Gere as Billy Flynn
- Queen Latifah as Matron "Mama" Morton
- John C. Reilly as Amos Hart
Director: Rob Marshall
Writers: Bill Condon (screenplay), Maurine Dallas Watkins (play)
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Production Company: Miramax Films
Filming Locations: Toronto, Ontario, Canada served as the primary filming location, standing in for 1920s Chicago. The film utilized various historic buildings and theaters in Toronto to capture the essence of the Jazz Age.
Budget and Box Office: "Chicago" was produced on a budget of approximately $45 million. It was a box office success, grossing over $306 million worldwide.
Upon its release, "Chicago" was met with widespread critical acclaim. Critics praised the film's energetic performances, particularly those of Zellweger, Zeta-Jones, and Gere. The choreography, direction, and adaptation of the beloved musical numbers were also highlighted as standout elements.
Audiences embraced the film's razzle-dazzle, making it one of the highest-grossing musicals of its time. The movie's portrayal of the media's influence on the justice system and public opinion remains relevant, offering a satirical look at the lengths people will go to for fame.
"Chicago" received numerous awards and nominations. It won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, making it the first musical to win the top honor since "Oliver!" in 1968. Catherine Zeta-Jones took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Velma Kelly. The film also received awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.