Every Friday, we feature a movie one of our staff has chosen as their favorite Miramax film, along with personal stories about what makes it special to them. Consider watching one over the weekend. Today’s pick is Chicago from our Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, Kasey Oliver.
[pictured at the Miramax Halloween Party as Roxie with Jeremy Gross as Billy and Emily Silvers as Velma]
From the audience’s perspective, it’s difficult for a film to successfully blend storytelling with song and dance while doing so in a captivating manner. But Chicago does just that. From beginning to end, the audience is enthralled with Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two individuals who have more in common than they’d like to believe. Power hungry and instilled with the desire to do whatever it takes to get to the top, both women strive to outdo each other as “most notorious,” even while locked behind bars.
As a viewer, it’s difficult to want Roxie or Velma to escape a life in prison. Both women admit to killing people and show little remorse. However, given their talents, I found myself rooting for both women to escape their trials unscathed to ultimately pursue their passion as vaudeville dancers. Through many plot twists and turns, including Roxie’s trial, the audience is taken through each event portrayed through music. It’s beautifully executed and, at the conclusion of the film, it’s extremely difficult to get many of the songs out of your head!
Additionally, Chicago mesmerizes and enchants with its costumes and scenery. Every outfit that Roxie and Velma wear while they are performing is absolutely stunning. The Jazz Age is accurately captured through Roxie and Velma’s short hair, sequined leotards, long necklaces, and gloves. Mr. Billy Flynn, Roxie and Velma’s lawyer, wears retro suits and often completes the look with a Derby hat. The audience is taken back into time to Chicago in the 1920’s and, after the film concludes, you don’t want to leave the glitz and the glamour of the time period.
Approximately ten years after its release, Chicago continues to be recognized for its brilliance and, with its six Academy Award wins, there are many reasons why.
- To keep from being forgotten, Velma hopes to share Roxie's spotlight In this scene: Mama (Queen Latifah), Roxie (Renée Zellweger), Velma (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
- In a town where being memorable matters, Billy gives Roxie a a shot at redemption. In this scene: Roxie (Renée Zellweger), Amos (John C. Reilly), Billy (Richard Gere)
- According to the women on Murderess' Row, they had it coming! In this scene: Roxie (Renée Zellweger), Velma (Catherine Zeta-Jones)