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Best Picture – “Moulin Rouge”

Producers: Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron

Previous wins: Golden Globe, best musical or comedy; best film, National Board of Review

The story: A young Bohemian poet living in 1899 Paris defies his father by joining the colorfully diverse clique that inhabits the dark, fantastical underworld of Paris’ now legendary Moulin Rouge nightclub. He finds himself plunged into a passionate but ultimately tragic love affair with Satine, the club’s highest paid star and the city’s most famous courtesan.

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Oscar odds: Moulin Rouge has been already been recognized by the Golden Globes and the National Board of Review, as well as having received a nod from the Producers Guild of America, yet another precursor to the Oscars. But for all its cheers, the film has had its fair share of jeers. Dubbed “anti-cinema” and panned by many critics, Moulin Rouge is anything but a shoo-in (it’s director, Baz Luhrmann, was snubbed for best director–perhaps the best film nod reflects its acting performances rather than its direction?). Combined with the fact that the last musical to win best picture was Oliver! in 1968, this gaudy and colorful film is a long shot for Best Picture. —Guylaine Cadorette

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