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Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews
Article Date: December 10, 2004 | Publication: The Hollywood Reporter | Author: Martin A. Grove

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After an early look Thursday afternoon at Joel Schumacher's "The Phantom of the Opera," I can't wait to start the applause for this outstanding awards worthy musical drama. Warner Bros. has in "Phantom" not only a strong shot at best picture Oscar and best motion picture-musical or comedy Golden Globes nominations, but also a very commercial holiday season movie event with broad playability.

"Phantom," of course, has been a brand name stage musical for about 18 years. Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark play opened in London in October 1986 and has since been seen by some 80 million people during 65,000-plus performances in 18 countries worldwide. The film was produced by Lloyd Webber, who wrote its screenplay with Schumacher.

For now, let me just credit Schumacher and Lloyd Webber with having done everything right. They were especially smart to embrace youthful casting -- Gerard Butler as the Phantom, Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae and Patrick Wilson as Raoul de Chagny, all of whom deserve nominations -- that should attract young adults as well as older adults familiar with the stage play. In addition, "Phantom's" music, production design, costumes and visual effects should make it a heavyweight contender for awards recognition across the board.


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