One of this year’s few musical features is a bit of a question mark to this point as nothing has been seen from it… until now. USA Today has delivered the first image of Christina Aguilera in Screen Gems’ Burlesque, a musical about Ali Rose (Aguilera), a small-town girl who discovers a burlesque club in LA. Along with Aguilera the film also stars Cher, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane and Alan Cumming.
The film marks Aguilera’s first feature film role and she discussed the role telling USA Today’s Susan Wloszczyna, “It wasn’t just a girl who comes to L.A. and makes it big. It was a girl who had suffered and felt pain, been in seven foster homes. She doesn’t let her past make her a victim. And that to me was so appealing.” She added, “It’s sexy, it’s sensual… The whole idea of burlesque has always intrigued me. The art of the tease, the dance, beautiful women – need I say more?”
Cher plays Tess, owner of The Burlesque Lounge where Tucci plays a gay stage manager who once had a fling with Tess. (You can see a picture of the two together at the bottom of this post.)
As for the music and dancing, Aguilera says she’s “never danced so much in [her] life” and she wrote four songs for the soundtrack and does an Etta James oldie.
Unsurprisingly, writer/director Steven Antin said of Aguilera: “She figured out how it works within weeks. She is a little bit of a freak of nature and a perfectionist. This girl is a movie star.” He may very well be telling the truth, but what else was he going to say? We can judge for ourselves on November 24 and I would expect a trailer can’t be too far off.
Perhaps my biggest question at the moment is whether or not this should be considered an Oscar contender? Obviously it is expected to fall right in line with the Golden Globes’ “Musical and Comedy” category, but the fact it’s being released by Columbia’s genre label Screen Gems is a bit of a surprise. Screen Gems is the house Resident Evil belongs to, not potential Oscar winners. However, it’s certainly got the potential given the cast so we’ll just have to wait and see.