Movie Musical Monday: The Phantom of the Opera

This post could also be titled: The Phantom of the Opera: Gerard Butler wasn’t a terrible Phantom.

I said it. I don’t think Gerard Butler did a terrible job as The Phantom. Like, in

comparison, he’s miles ahead of Russell Crowe in Les Miserables and they’re both ahead of Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia! Yes, Butler’s voice isn’t as operatic. In fact, it’s not operatic at all. However, when you consider that the first time he had ever even taken a singing lesson was just shortly before he auditioned for the film, I’m impressed. He’s an untrained singer singing freaking Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music. Give the guy some credit. I think it helps that his voice stands out, in a good way, from the others. The Phantom’s singing voice has to lure Christine in. He’s dangerous, and he needs to, well, sound dangerous.

Okay. So, at this point the Phantom is unmasked and dangerous, but that doesn’t stop the fact that Gerard Butler in these high-waisted pants and deep v-neck shirt really does it for me.

Okay, that’s enough about Gerard Butler’s performance for now.

16 freaking years old.

I am blown away that Emmy Rossum was only 16 at the time of filming this movie. Like, excuse me, what!? 16 years old! That’s crazy. Not only crazy because she was 16 and that’s what she was doing with her life, but also that she was only 16 and her vocal range was nuts. I mean, her rendition of “Think of Me” is phenomenal.

Her performance, though, isn’t the only one worth mentioning in this post. Minnie Driver as the diva Carlotta is one of the funniest performances in a movie musical that I have ever seen. I laugh every time she’s on screen.

Visually, this film is beautiful. I’ll give the director, Joel Schumacher, that. But, nothing will ever make up for his film Batman & Robin. NOTHING. So, that’s the only compliment he gets from me on this film. You know, because he cares so much.

I adore the choreography in this film, during “Masquerade”, in particular. (Please click on the link. Love that sequence with me. Thank you.) That whole segment is visually stunning. A lot of it has to do with the wonderful period costume pieces, that Alexandra Byrne is responsible for. And the marvelous set design. Honestly, I think nearly all of the numbers are perfectly choreographed, to where they’re visually interesting and beautiful to watch.

This is one of those movie musicals that I seem to forget about, and then, once every couple of years, it’s thrust back into my memory and I become obsessed with it all over again. The soundtrack is perfection. I’m not entirely sure what orchestra is used for it, or if it even is a specific orchestra but, whoever they are, they are wonderful to listen to. The music is soft where it needs to be soft and loud and harsh where it needs to be loud and harsh. It’s beautiful.

Well, that’s all I really have to say about the film. I think it’s a good adaptation of the stage musical while also having some throwbacks to the actual story of The Phantom of the Opera. The set design and the costumes help to place you in the time period, really immerse you in it. The singing and the orchestra kill it. Minnie Driver is hilarious. Emmy Rossum CRUSHES IT. And Gerard Butler is not a bad Phantom. Look. I’ve said it again.

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