"Chicago" Is Released

Chicago is a 2002 American film adaptation of the satirical stage musical Chicago, the film explores the themes of celebrity and scandal in Jazz age Chicago.

Directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall, and adapted for film by screenwriter Bill Condon, Chicago won six Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture. The film was the first musical film to win the Best Picture Oscar since Oliver! in 1968.

Chicago centers on Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, two criminals-of-passion who find themselves on death row together in 1920s Chicago. Velma, a vaudevillian, and Roxie, a housewife with aspirations of having the same profession, fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows. The film stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and Richard Gere, also featuring Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, and Mýa Harrison.

It's rare to find a picture as exuberant, as shallow — and as exuberant about its shallowness — as Rob Marshall's film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Chicago." The movie, set in Prohibition-era Chicago following the murder trial of the manipulative kewpie doll Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger), is tough, brittle fun — a mouthful. It's the raw expenditure of energy and the canniness of the staging that should pull audiences in and keep them rooted. This of course is undoubtedly the best way to present a movie take on Bob Fosse's digressive musical version of "Chicago." This new picture maintains the relentless spirit of Fosse's blunt suavity and the breathless, black-silk enthusiasm of Kander and Ebb's songs. Catherine Zeta-Jones, in Louise Brooks wig and ruthless smile, is Roxie's fellow felon and jailbird, Velma. And as the big-ticket defense lawyer and jury barometer Billy Flynn, Richard Gere has never been better, turning spoiled princeling arrogance into a witty revel. — Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times