Sunday, 26 December 2010


Writer/Dir: Steve Antin - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Eric Dane, Alan Cummings
USA, 2010

Seen: December 3, 2010

Reason to see: No way I could resist this film. Glam. Dance. Cher. Cam. It's all good.

Ah, Burlesque. The moment I saw the first trailer I knew I would love this movie. Small town girl Ali (Christina Aguilera) with big dreams…and to be honest, that is enough of a premise to get me into the theatre. But add that Ali gets a gig working in a Burleque club run by Tess (Cher!!), with a always interesting roster of staff from the mouthy performer Nikki (Kristen Bell), charming bartender Jack (Cam Gigandet) and Tess’s second in command and super sewer Sean (Stanley Tucci) and there is never a dull moment.

Now, it certainly has a formula feel to it but one of the many things I loved about Burlesque is that it didn’t always go the obvious route, but it always went a route I believed it. I was like “Oh! He would say that!” or “Yes, she’d be that gutsy”, and although I always had a sense of knowing where it was going I didn’t’ know how it would get there and I loved each and every minute of the journey it took to get there.

Burlesque is a fun, frisky film. Christina Aguilera is charming and sweet as Ali, the girl with the big dream – but she’s also a girl who’s willing to do the work to get there. She’s smart, determined and my goodness can she sing. Add some feathers and you have a show! Counterbalance her with the club owner Tess whose been there, done that, heard it all and you have a fascinating dynamic of the push-pull of we do what works vs trying something new. That’s a great place to be. I love how the film tells both of their stories which makes it in essence a multi-generational film, showing different stages of the game of working in the performing arts with equal importance and relevance.

I mentioned that there are many things that I loved about the film, so here are a few more: Cher, because she’s absolutely lovely in the film. Getting to see Cam Gigandet play a nice guy for once – and he does it very, very well. Stanley Tucci is fantastic as Tess’s second in command – they have a very director/stage manager type relationship that many theatre folk will see, and it’s unique support structure that it brings. All of that and musical numbers with fantastic outfits with feathers, sparkles, and glamorous makeup and sometimes, well, not that much more than that. But it’s frisky and fun throughout.

I loved every single minute of the film because it is exactly what you would expect, but more in all the right places. That's Burlesque. I loved it.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I can't wait to see it again - I'll buy the film & the soundtrack
I'd recommend if you like fun-spirited, firey musicals

14 minutes of preshow including 7 commercials and 4 previews: Prom, Barney's Version, Country Strong and The Tourist

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010


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