Moulin Rouge Review

Image for Moulin Rouge

Sad film of the disabled artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's life. Vertically challenged Lautrec was the first living artist to have his work displayed in the Louvre but died shortly after, as his dependence on alcohol finally got the better of him. He was also a regular at the now legendary Moulin Rouge cabaret bar, filled with debauchery and mayhem.


Ferrer inspired a whole generation of comedians to wear slippers on their knees with his performance as the dwarf painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, but he still manages to convey a lot of the agony and intensity of the crippled creator.

Huston, in his "experimental" phase, was mainly interested in the look of the film, and marvellously approximates the frothy style of Lautrec's posters with Oscar-winning art direction and costuming, layering in lots of cafe music from Georges Auric and plenty of stalwart British character actors and gamine continental actresses. Although dated in its style, it still remains a gripping yet depressing tale.

Bright and colourful at the beginning as Lautrec entertains himself at the infamous club, the film gradually becomes darker as the artist becomes more and more dependent on alcohol. Ferrer gives his strongest and most physically demanding performance as the disabled artist.