I watched Moulin Rouge the other night for the first time in several years, and I was really struck by the emotion of it. I’ve finally become aware of how much more intensely than other people I seem to feel things, especially compared to what’s usually portrayed in movies. People hold their dying lovers with just a single tear trailing down their cheek, sometimes not even that. Maybe it’s the easy way out, to have so many characters exhibit grief through numbness, because it requires less from the actor. But it always pulls me out of a scene because where I would be absolutely destroyed, this character just seems pretty sad.
The most realistic grief I’ve ever seen is from Ewan McGregor in this movie, and that intensity is behind the other emotions portrayed throughout the movie as well. My favorite song has always been “Roxanne,” musically, but also because of how deeply it delves into the feeling of that scene, how it builds and pushes and you just feel that wrench in your gut the whole time.