Bombalurina | December 16, 2019
Table of Contents
Background and Production
In July 2018, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor, James Corden, and Ian McKellen joined the cast. Taylor had previously tested for the role of Éponine in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables (2012) but was given the part of Bombalurina without an audition.
Principal photography began on December 12, 2018, and wrapped on April 2, 2019. Taylor said that the cast attended “cat school”, in which “We would literally do hours on end of barefoot crawling on the floor, hissing at each other. We learned about cat instincts and the way they carry themselves and the way that they process information, the way they see the world, the way they move.”
Cats grossed $27.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $47.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $74.6 million against a production budget of about $95 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net loss of the film to be $113.6 million.
Pete Hammond of Deadline complimented Taylor’s performance as Bombalurina and her signature “Macavity” number, as well as “Beautiful Ghosts.” Critic Guy Lodge called Taylor “the best thing in the film” and “the one performer who completely hits their marks and pulls off the lone successful number,” while critic Rebecca Lewis described Taylor’s performance as “one of the few genuinely good parts of the film.” Patrick Ryan of USA Today stated that Taylor “makes the most of her brief screen time, bringing her unabating charisma to the flirtatious feline … if there’s one thing that’s disappointing about Swift’s performance, it’s that there isn’t more of it.” Hans said that she was the only actor “who seems to be having fun, perhaps because she only appears in the film for approximately 10 minutes.” Jennifer Hudson similarly received praise for her rendition of “Memory”, with some critics describing it as “the best part” of the film and “the sole musical number in the new movie that summons real feeling.”
Lloyd Webber himself was critical of the film, calling it “ridiculous” in an interview with The Sunday Times, saying, “The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show.” He later revealed in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that “I wrote to the head of Universal and said, ‘You’ve got a car crash on your hands unless you get a grip on this thing’, a year before they made (it). I didn’t even get a reply.” In a 2021 interview with Variety, Lloyd Webber said that working with Taylor is the only good memory he has of the film. He even claimed his negative reaction to the film had directly inspired him to adopt a Havanese dog.
Taylor's Opinion on the Film
|Music||Andrew Lloyd Webber|
|Release Date||December 16, 2019 (Alice Tully Hall)|
December 20, 2019 (UK & US)
|Running Time||110 minutes|
|Box Office||$75.5 million|