Moulin Rouge: Sue Adler
April 21, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Who has astounded you most with his or her singing?

Which actor or actress has astounded you most with his or her singing? —Kevin

There are a handful of movie stars who can truly sing (think of John Travolta in Grease or Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys), but the fact that they have good voices isn’t necessarily astounding; you simply accept that as an aspect of their talent. What astounds me most is when an actor or actress who isn’t all that great a singer puts his or her pipes on the line, like somebody in the audience on an inspired karaoke night. I first had that feeling watching Diane Keaton do ”Seems Like Old Times” in Annie Hall; it was more beautiful and moving than the most perfect cabaret version. In that spirit, I’m astounded by Matt Damon’s soulful ”My Funny Valentine” in The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Greg Kinnear letting rip an ecstatic ”Summertime” at the end of Stuck on You, and by the apex of modern movie warbling: Ewan McGregor’s ”Your Song” in Moulin Rouge (pictured), a rendition so earnest in its lack of polish that it’s like a blast from the heart.

(Got a movie-related question for Lisa or Owen? Post it here.)

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