'Chicago," opening in movie theaters this month, received eight Golden Globe nominations this week, beating out all other films this year, which include critically acclaimed titles such as "Gangs of New York" and "Adaptation." It falls into a recent string of musical-based movies achieving popular and critical success, beginning with "Romeo and Juliet" (1996), then "Dancer in the Dark" (2000), and finally "Moulin Rouge" (2001). It seems that the musical is now reestablished as a viable genre—popular enough to stand out in a blockbuster-filled holiday season.
"I would say that it's an evolution," corrects Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D., a media expert and professor of psychology at California State University. "They have taken a musical from Broadway, mixed it in a beaker with all the current techniques of motion pictures that Hollywood has to offer, and put it together in this new format."
Unlike its stylistic predecessors, “Chicago's” adoption of modern filmmaking techniques gives it a chance of surviving the movie-saturated Christmas season. Previous movies, such as "A Chorus Line" (1985), failed to break out of the classic musical style—and subsequently flopped at the box office.