French dressing fit for a diva's delectation

Category: Phantom of the Opera News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 22, 2004 | Publication: Daily Mail | Author: BAZ BAMIGBOYE
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SWATHED in pink silk chiffon and faux fur, like some glorious raspberry parfait, Minnie Driver epitomises the voluptuousness of the screen version of Phantom Of The Opera.

Minnie plays La Carlotta, the prima donna the Phantom wants to dump so that his ingenue Christine can sing his arias.

Director Joel Schumacher has opened out Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage creation so we see the backstage world of the Paris Opera where the creature of darkness - the Phantom, played with panache by Gerard Butler (right) - unleashes mayhem.

The score remains the composer's best (although I must confess to a sneaking soft spot for The Woman In White), and it's beautifully sung by Emmy Rossum as Christine, Patrick Wilson as the benefactor who loves her, and Butler.

But because costume designer Alexandra Byrne and hair and makeup creator Jenny Shircore have shaped their best work for Ms Driver, your eye is drawn to her whenever John Mathieson's camera brings her into view.

The British talent behind the scenes - all the aforementioned names plus production designer Anthony Pratt - are bound to be in the running for Bafta and Academy Award honours.

Opulence oozes from every frame in this movie, which opens in December.