Growing up, my two sisters both loved Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.  Personally, I was never that interested; gothic romances have never really struck a chord with me.  I’m not sure when that changed, but I did eventually see The Phantom of the Opera when the national tour made a stop in our area and I enjoyed it.  The actor who played the Phantom was phenomenal.

Even after seeing the play, I was still just warming up to the entire spectacle that is TPotO.  Then the movie came out.  I don’t know why I loved it so much, although Gerard Butler might have something to do with it.  Anyway, I saw the movie the day it came out, I bought the soundtrack, and once the DVD came out, I bought that too.

As for the movie itself, it has a lot going for it, and Gerard Butler is just the tip of the iceberg.  I’ll admit, his singing didn’t immediately impress me, but it has definitely grown on me.  Yes, his voice is a little on the gravelly side, but he hits all the notes and there are times when his voice is just so pure, it takes my breath away.  Also, he is so attractive, even with only half of his face exposed—he makes the mask work, and his acting is pretty heartbreaking.

Patrick Wilson is the perfect Raoul.  Personally, I’ve never been crazy about the character, but he was always the lesser of two evils when it came down to him or the Phantom.  Patrick, on the other hand, makes Raoul seem sympathetic and even likeable.  Not to mention, he has an outstanding voice.

The production values of this movie are also impressive.  The scenery and the costumes are pretty amazing.  When the chandelier comes back to life at the very beginning of the movie and the theater is returned to its former glory, it’s magical.

Minnie Driver seems to be enjoying her role as Carlotta, even though her singing was dubbed.  Miranda Richardson, although not the best singer in the world, is very good as Madame Giry.

On the other hand, this movie has plenty of problems, namely, the director and the female star.  Joel Schumacher is famous for directing the movie that put nipples on the Batsuit, and although he didn’t totally destroy TPotO, it isn’t as great as it should have been.  There are odd forward flashes of Raoul heading toward the cemetery to visit Christine’s grave.  There are also several snippets of songs that are spoken instead of sung.  It is weird.

Emmy Rossum as Christine is beautiful, but she just doesn’t have the required voice for the part.  Granted she has the range, but her voice is very nasally and weak.  As K likes to say, her voice never would have carried past the footlights and she would have been booed off the stage at a realy opera in the 1870s.  Her acting is also kind of bland.

My favorite part of the entire movie is the Point of No Return scene.  It just smolders, which I guess was kind of the intention.  Gerard Butler in the black mask and the puffy shirt (if men only knew how attractive puffy shirts were, they would always wear them) is the epitome of sexy.

To compliment this scene, I chose to paint my nails with Milani’s Spellbinding.  Because the Phantom has some sort of unexplainable power over Christine, I also thought this was an appropriate polish.

This is a black base chock full of red glitter.  It really is a stunning polish.  This picture is two coats and a top coat.  The formula is pretty good and went on smoothly.  Because of the glitter, it was a little tricky getting off, but not too terrible.  I also didn’t have too much of a staining problem, which often happens with black polishes. ~E

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