The Phantom of the Opera | Chicago Reader

The Phantom of the Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of the Gaston Leroux novel and movie standby has grossed more than $3 billion worldwide since it opened in London in 1986, but I doubt that I've missed much. Teen romance and operetta-style singing replace the horror elements familiar to moviegoers, and director Joel Schumacher obscures any remnants of classy stage spectacle with the same disco overkill he brought to Batman Forever. Arty trappings like black-and-white framing segments and floating candelabras (like the ones in Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast) don't help, though the spirited players—Gerard Butler, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, Simon Callow, Ciaran Hinds, and Emmy Rossum (Sean Penn's daughter in Mystic River)—do what they can. PG-13, 143 min.

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