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DarkVader

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Well I'm happy because this gives it more time in theaters where it must be seen. Of course most people will now see it on screeners which I regret. They'll be only getting a small part of its impact. And as much as I like Moreno in the film I wish she hadn't been nominated(are there more nominees now? I don't keep up with these things.) I would like to see DeBose have a better chance. Really loved her in it. Tough to choose between Faist and Alvarez. Well at least they all get to have fun at the ceremony. Shouldn't there be nominations for things like musical scoring and conducting or do they not have these anymore?

And when does the original get a 4K? This is getting ridiculous that neither this nor the impossibly successful Sound of Music both filmed in 70MM have no release date when Oliver!, The Great Escape, and Navarone(all wonderful films but not nearly as successful) have it.

West Side Story received a total of 7 Oscar nominations:

BEST PICTURE
BEST DIRECTOR - Steven Speilberg
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Ariana DeBose
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN - Adam Stockhausen and Rena Dangelo
BEST SOUND - Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tod A. Maitland, Shawn Murphy
BEST COSTUME DESIGN - Paul Tazewell
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Janusz Kaminski
 

roxy1927

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Yes I see now that I was looking at the 'For Your Consideration ad.' Well it should have definitely gotten a best supporting actor nomination.
 

Matt Hough

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All of the acting categories this year were hotly contested. I can't remember a year when there were so many viable choices for those five slots. In years past, one or two of the acting categories were kind of weak sisters, but not this year. They could have filled every one of those categories with ten highly deserving nominees each.
 

Beckford

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Anybody have an idea how good DeBose's chances will be?
I'd say she's got it sewn up. With Kirsten Dunst as a possible spoiler. My favorite performances in the category this year came from Bree Elrod ("Red Rocket") Olga Merediz ("In the Heights"), Ann Dowd ("Mass" and Jayne Houdyshell "The Humans". But none of them were nominated.
 
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ahollis

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All of the acting categories this year were hotly contested. I can't remember a year when there were so many viable choices for those five slots. In years past, one or two of the acting categories were kind of weak sisters, but not this year. They could have filled every one of those categories with ten highly deserving nominees each.
And this is what has excited me this this year. I haven’t been this excited in many years.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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This review from the New Yorker at the link I find misses the film completely. The author is not reviewing what’s on the screen but is reviewing a film that doesn’t exist.


I HATE to get into aguements that pitch the current generation against previous generations BUT (and face it, you KNEW there was a "but" coming) this is everything that's wrong with modern day reviewers raised in a era where their personal opinion about, lterally, everything was given undue weight.

It follows the modern trend of not reviewing what's in front of them but lugging their particular baggage into the fray and comparing what they see to the imaginary movie in their head that they WOULD have made had it been up to them. They often don't seem to realize that they haven't actually MADE a movie themselves so there's aboslutely no point in comparing and little point (in my opinion) of giving it any credence.

These types of reviews are easy to spot and are ones I always avoid whenever possible.
There’s something else I’ve noticed with more modern criticism and analysis - and boy is this making me feel prematurely like an old fogey, but going to film school meant studying nearly a century of reviewing styles and analysis so I feel reasonably qualified to make the observation - but nowawdays, it seems that a certain percentage of an audience and critics take films/shows/art as being fully in favor of what it portrays. If a character says or does something racist/sexist/otherwise inappropriate or distasteful, there is a certain segment that will jump to say the creators are endorsing that behavior when more often than not that is obviously not the intention. Instead of seeing those elements as unfair obstacles that the protagonist must overcome, those elements are instead used as evidence that the storytellers themselves are advocating for distasteful behavior.

I think that has to, at least in part, be connected to what you’re saying about personal opinion. Those types of critics and audience members can only view things through the lens of their own opinion and experience and therefore make the mistake that everything happening onscreen represents the personal opinion of how the filmmakers believe the world should be.

Agreed to a great extent... though seems like that writer was not really reviewing the movie as a movie critic/reviewer, but (intentionally) critiquing from a different (supposedly truly Puerto Rican) position/POV addressing the nature (and its failings) of this remake that was (as far as she and maybe most of us were led to believe) advertised to rectify the problematic (social, racial/ethnic) issues of the old -- FYI, quick check of her list of articles on that site suggests she's not normally a movie critic at all...

IF that was the main point of (re)making this movie (and she was apparently led to believe so), then it has failed as far as she's concerned... and she probably has a very good point there... even though we can/might still appreciate WSS (whether the new and/or old) based on whatever (other) criteria we use... It certainly begs the question of whether this remake was needed at all (even though "need" isn't the only or even primary criterium for making any movie of course)...

_Man_
 

haineshisway

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West Side Story (2021)

The 1961 film has been my favorite Broadway musical film adaptation for most of my life. Yes, it’s got problematic casting but we really didn’t think about Natalie Wood not being Puerto Rican when I first saw this in my teens. Over the years I’ve seen it 6-7 times, the last being a TCM big screen showing at the cinema in 2017 or 18.

60 years later Steven Spielberg has taken a risk and delivered his first musical film that in many ways surpasses the 1961 release, it’s a sweeping, fast-paced grand cinematic achievement by a master filmmaker.

Spielberg has made films in all genres, he is incredibly eclectic, he is the greatest American Director of the last 50 years. Another Best Director Oscar should go home with him on Oscar night.

You can tell this is a labor of love for all involved. All the performances are excellent but these are the ones that really drive this film:

- Ariana Debose is electrifying as Anita. She exudes such energy and commands every scene she’s in. Her singing, dancing and acting is impeccable (will win Oscar).

- Debose’s equal is the 17 year old (now 20) discovery playing Maria, Rachel Zeglar (Oscar Nom coming her way too). The camera is in love with her, as are we. With big expressive eyes and a spectacular singing voice her performance is astounding for a first film.

- Mike Feist presents a more desperate, angrier Riff than we are used to but is welcome and matches the grittier look at gang life than the 1961 film could’ve presented. (Oscar nomination to come?)

This adaptation is not a remake of the 1961 film but a closer adaptation to the 1957 stage play with some character back-story updates that enhance the piece, making it less simplistic. It also changes the store owner character of Doc into his widow Valentina providing a role written for the 90 year old Rita Moreno (the original Anita in 1961) This is not a stunt casting, Valentina’s interracial marriage is a story point that counterbalances the Tony/Maria relationship,

A couple of songs are sung by different characters and shift in sequence - giving them a new context. “Somewhere” becomes a plea for racial/class tolerance when sung by Valentina, given her characters backstory.

I was 100% emotionally invested, brought me to tears several times. Not expected when I know what’s going to happen.

Typically the film highlight is “America” (opened up to the streets of NYC here) but THE moment of the film for me was Anita and Maria’s duet “A Boy Like That/I Have a Love”. Sung live during filming it rung every bit of emotion out of me. This scene alone should win Debose and Zeglar Academy Awards.

I must also point out David Alvarez as Bernardo, he’s excellent but is overshadowed by Debose in most of his scenes. The same happens with Ansel Elgort with Tony. He is wonderful but, overshadowed by Zeglar. I never knew he could sing Ike that!

A marvelous feast for the eyes with cinematography by Janusz Kaminski, a wonderful script by Tony Kushner and Spielberg’s keen eye and shot composition demand this to be seen in the cinema.

Given it was released on just 2,800 screens instead of a wider 4,500, it seems the studio wasn’t fully behind this. It has a 45 day theatrical run planned but was pushed out of the IMAX screens when Spider-man opened a week later, on Dec 17th.

The opening weekend was just $10.5 million, it’s been limping along in theatres for close to 8 weeks and has reached $62.7 million worldwide. With a $100m budget and probably another $50m in marketing the film needs at least $300m to break even.

But, this was never going to be a $300m grossing film. Musicals aren’t huge attractions anymore. The demographics of the largest audience for film is 18-29. WSS appeals to an older audience. I’m 57, my daughter 22, she was the youngest in the audience when we went. Hell even I felt young compared to everyone else!

But, whether a movie is financially successful or not is not indicative of its quality. Anyone looking for an excellent film who doesn’t go see it is missing out.

I guess people just don’t seem to go to musicals anymore - unless it’s full of well known pop songs.

It looks like there’s still a chance - If you don’t go, you are truly missing out.
Whatever one may think of the film, saying it's closer to the stage version is just silly. It is almost completely rewritten by Kushner. Yes, the structure is a bit closer (but not the same) as the stage show, but Kushner keeps Lehman's way of doing America. And no, no nomination for Zegler, and no Spielberg will not be taking home an Oscar. Sadly, my favorite director of the year didn't get a nomination although her film did for best picture. For me, there are a few too many things that rubbed me the wrong way about the new West Side Story. I love Spielberg and he mostly did a terrific job here, save for the final fifteen minutes of the film, which simply do not carry the impact of the original film and that can all be blamed on the way its filmed. I think Kushner IS to blame for most of the things that bother me.
 

darkrock17

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I’m going to say that this version will go home with 2 of the 7 nominations, Best Supporting Actress and Costume Design; won’t be repeating history by going home with Best Picture like the original 1961 did.
 

roxy1927

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vincent parisi
I'd like to see it completely confound expectations and pull an American in Paris win. It would be nice to get another musical out of Spielberg despite it being highly unlikely.
 

Pnochichi

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I was pretty meh on this one. I love the '61 film version as well as the stage productions I have seen. I really didn't care for Elgort in the role of Tony, and it's obviously tough to overcome that in this story. I didn't feel like it was a bad movie, but it just didn't have the magic I was expecting from Spielberg and this story. Maybe it was just that my expectations were too high going in, and it didn't live up to them. Debose was probably the best part of this version for me, so I'd be ok with a win there. I did like Balfe a little better in Belfast, but she's not in the Oscar race, so I'd probably lean Debose in what I think is the weakest acting category this year.

I may give it another try and see if I feel differently without the high expectations going in, but it just didn't capture the magic of musical theater for me in the same way that Tick, Tick...Boom did this year.
 

Pnochichi

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I was also very much not a fan of the decision to not subtitle the spanish. I think it was a terrible choice that also hurt the film.
 

Pnochichi

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I like it as a technique when it represents a character not understanding what's being said, but that wasn't the case here. It didn't make sense to block the audience out of those conversations. We were laughing at the subtitles that said things like "apologizing in spanish." It was like having a movie summarized for me.

It just didn't make sense in game for me. Maybe when they were talking to the jets, dont provide subtitles, but provide them when they are talking to each other. That would have been a much better decision for me. Or don't provide them by default but whe ln you have captions on for English as well the spanish should be there.

Not the biggest problem I had with the film, so more of a nit. I just didn't get the decision.
 

PMF

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Infuriated to learn about an official screener being sold on eBay.
 
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Pnochichi

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That sucks. I know our SAG screeners have watermarks that persist and smaller ones that pop up from time to time during the movie so it would be hard to get rid of them. I suppose you could blur them or something but that would make an already compromised experience even worse.
 

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