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Phantom of the Opera (2004 movie)

Joel Schumacher's 2004 film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

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sparkling screen incarnation of Lloyd Webber's PHANTOM

  • Apr 20, 2005
Joel Schumacher's film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a perfect testemant to what has become the most successful stage production of all time. Though many people are still wondering why the film wasn't made with it's original stage leads Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, the energetic young cast featured add their own magic to the gothic love story.

The story is well-known and I won't go into a blow-by-blow account. Young diva Christine is mysteriously tutored by someone she believes is her `Angel of Music'. In reality it is the feared Erik, phantom of the Paris Opera. Complications arise when Christine is reunited with her childhood sweetheart Raoul. Erik, too, becomes infatuated with his young pupil. As passions rise, Christine and Raoul are dragged to the brink of destruction as Erik vows to make Christine his bride...

Gerard Butler is a fine Phantom, especially adept at making the role very human and vulnerable, yet also menacing and violent when the situation calls for it. His singing voice is acceptable ("Music of the Night", the Phantom's aria, is sailed through with little trouble). On the whole his performance is quite excellent.

Emmy Rossum might very well be the real discovery in this movie. Little more than a teenager when she made her auspicious debut here as Christine, Miss Rossum is the innocent heart of the story. A trained New York opera singer since childhood, Emmy Rossum sings Christine's intense and often very difficult arias to perfection. "Think of Me", "All I Ask of You" and in particular her heart-wrenching "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" . On stage the role of Christine is usually shared by two performers who alternate the 8 performance-week between them, so demanding is the role of Christine. Rossum could not have picked a more challenging role to make her big debut, but emerges triumphant.

Patrick Wilson, a veteran of Broadway musicals, is perfectly-cast as Raoul. The role has been somewhat re-written here as a more swashbuckling physical adversary to the Phantom. He also has a fantastic singing voice as you would expect from his stage pedigree. Minnie Driver is a hilarious delight as Carlotta, the resident diva of the Opera Populaire who is pushed from her perch to make way for up-and-comer Christine. Driver's singing is of course dubbed (by Margaret Preece, who has played Carlotta onstage). Ciaran Hinds and Simon Callow play the Opera's bewildered and guileless managers Andre and Firmin to perfection. Miranda Richardson adds untold depths to the role of mysterious ballet mistress Madame Giry. In the play her connection with the Phantom is merely alluded to, but here the full story of Giry and the Phantom is revealed. Jennifer Ellison plays Giry's daughter Meg with verve and spirit.

Lloyd Webber has added a new number "Learn to Be Lonely" which plays over the end credits, sung by Minnie Driver in her own interesting singing voice. The movie won't displace the stage production in the eyes of it's myriad fans (it was never meant to), rather they stand side-by-side, for one cannot exist without the other.

The film version of PHANTOM has been a long time coming ... but worth the wait.

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December 14, 2010
I am sorry to say that I haven't seen this movie yet--thanks for the reminder!
More Phantom of the Opera (2004 mov... reviews
review by . December 12, 2010
Stephanie's Favourite Movies: The Phantom of the Opera      I dislike Joel Schumacher as a director, mainly because he ruined Batman. However, I liked his grandiose, spectacular take on the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular musical, The Phantom of the Opera.      I don't get all the critical hate for this movie, it's incredibly well done and is plenty romantic. This is also one of two movies that I have cried at in my young …
review by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Music of the Night
I have seen two play versions of this wonderful Andrew Loyd Weber's masterpiece. The first was back when I was in high school and I saw it in LA. It captured my heart as a beautiful story with exceptional music. I still have the original program too preserved as a wonderful memory. I bought the soundtrack and learned all the words to all the songs. Than along comes the 2004 movie adaptation starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine and while I saw how beautiful she …
review by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
 To my amazement, this musical was repackaged for film as a stunning piece that I watched over and over again. I've seen the actual musical in New York, with chandelier swinging right overhead, and never thought anyone could put this to screen effectively especially after experiencing it so up close and personal. The disfigured musical genius who's only way of communicating his wishes is through fearful and mysterious "happenings" at the Opera House is excused somewhat in …
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler
Personally, I've never been a big fan of movie musicals, though there have been a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Joel Schumacher's marvelous film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. The lavish production perfectly captures the excitement of the stage, while cleverly exploiting the cinematic medium for maximum impact. The film showcases impressive costumes, awesome sets, and an unexpectedly terrific cast, which reenergizes the music with a youthful vitality that …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
To my amazement, this musical was repackaged for film as a stunning piece that I watched over and over again. I've seen the actual musical in New York, with chandelier swinging right overhead, and never thought anyone could put this to screen effectively especially after experiencing it so up close and personal. The disfigured musical genius who's only way of communicating his wishes is through fearful and mysterious "happenings" at the Opera House is excused somewhat in most of our minds after …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Visually stunning movie with strong performances. Gerard Butler showed his acting range by playing a more dramatic character than he is known now for playing.
Quick Tip by . August 25, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Great music, great cast, just great. And could the chemistry between Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler have been any hotter? I don't think so!!!
review by . July 29, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
(3.5) Going into a musical, one expects to open one's senses. Andrew Lloyd Webber, not quite at the height of his powers, gives us a few reasons to celebrate his musical brought to the screen in Joel Schumacher's rendition of `Phantom of the Opera'.     There are two main interlocking stories, and while they give one another meaning, they sometimes are conflicting to the musical's spirit. In front of the stage, Andre (Simon Cowell) has acquired the Paris Opera House. He must …
review by . February 27, 2006
Occasionally, a film is so bad that it rightfully deserves to be panned by audiences and critics alike. At other times, an incredibly well made film is poorly received, a fact that is both shocking and dismaying. Joel Schumacher's "The Phantom of the Opera" falls into the second category. This movie is, in a word, incredible. It's a pure sight and sound musical fantasy, grandiose in scope and delightfully over the top in drama and romance. Rarely have I found myself completely absorbed in a film; …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #55
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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About this movie


Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).

Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite.

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Director: Joel Schumacher
Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance
Release Date: December 22, 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Runtime: 2hrs 23min
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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