Enchanting burlesque musical

2011-01-21 00:00

IF YOU’RE the kind of moviegoer that longs for a return to the golden age of Hollywood musicals, then Burlesqu e, one of three new films opening in Pietermaritzburg today, should be right up your street.

The film tells the story of Ali (Christina Aguilera), a small-town girl with a big voice, who stumbles upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing Los Angeles theatre with an inspired musical revue.

Ali convinces Tess (Cher), the club’s proprietor and headliner, to give her a job as a cocktail waitress, but she’s soon captivated by Burlesque’s outrageous costumes and bold choreography.

With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager (Stanley Tucci) and gender-bending host (Alan Cumming), Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage — and her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory.

The film also stars Eric Dane (best known as Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr Mark ‘McSteamy’ Sloane) as a charismatic entrepreneur; and Dancing With the Stars professional dancer, Julianne Hough, and When in Rome actress, Kristen Bell, as two of the club’s dancers.

Also new to CineCentre today is the new Russell Crowe thriller, The Next Three Days. The film, which also stars Elizabeth Banks, Brian Dennehy, Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson, tells the story of the seemingly perfect couple, John and Lara Brennan, whose life is torn apart when Lara is arrested for a gruesome murder she says she didn’t commit.

Three years into her sentence, John is struggling to hold his family together, while he pursues every means available to prove her innocence. But when their final appeal is rejected, he decides to break his wife out of prison and risk everything for the woman he loves.

Last, but by no means least is the British film, Made in Dagenham, which has just been nominated for four British Academy of Film and Television Awards (Baftas).

The film focuses on Rita O’Grady, the catalyst for the 1968 Ford Dagenham strike by 187 sewing machinists, which led to the advent of the Equal Pay Act in 1970. Working in impoverished conditions and for long arduous hours, the women at the Ford Dagenham plant finally lay down their tools when they are reclassified as “unskilled”.

The film stars Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson and Rosamund Pike, and its theme song is performed by Sandie Shaw, herself a former Dagenham Ford worker.

• Still on circuit: Spud; Gulliver’s Travels ; The Tourist ; Little Fockers; Easy A ; and Secretariat .

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