Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love. Such are the tenants of the Parisian bohemian crowd in this week’s film Moulin Rouge! (DVD/Download). Since we’re celebrating great love stories on Cinema Sips this month, I had to include it. Power ballads and absinthe- now that’s a fantastic combination.
Moulin Rouge! was directed by splashy-extravaganza master Baz Luhrmann, who always manages to put layer upon layer of pop references and glitter into his films. This musical is no exception, drawing on modern and classic pop tunes for the songs, all collaged together to tell the story of Satine the showgirl and her penniless writer-love Christian. I never thought I’d see “Smells Like Teen Spirit” used in a frenetic musical can-can number, but there we are. Ewan McGregor is utterly charming as Christian, but where the movie falls flat to me is with Nicole Kidman’s performance as Satine. It may not be politically correct to say this, but to me, she just seemed too old for the part. And, not a terribly strong singer. Luckily the movie is rescued by the always-entertaining John Leguizamo as Toulouse-Lautrec. Is there anything this man can’t do?
As is so weirdly highlighted in the film by the appearance of Kylie Minogue as the Green Fairy, absinthe was the beverage du jour among the Parisian bohemian crowd. I’m definitely a fan, and honestly a little wormwood goes a long way toward improving my opinion of Nicole Kidman. While watching Moulin Rouge!, I recommend drinking a Spectacular!Spectacular!
1 ½ oz gin
½ oz absinthe
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup
1 ½ oz champagne
Mix all ingredients except champagne in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a flute or coupe glass. Top with champagne.
Despite my opinion that Kidman comes off as an over-the-hill courtesan instead of the tragically young ingénue, I still root for Satine and Christian. I want love to lift them up where they belong! For one brief moment it does, and then… she coughs. Party over. This week, raise a glass to truth, beauty, freedom, and above all things- love. Cheers!