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RobertMG

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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
Sadly not Rita Moreno? Academy Members goof again!
 

Jake Lipson

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Sadly not Rita Moreno? Academy Members goof again!
Silver lining here:

If Rita Moreno had been nominated, she would have been in the same category as Ariana DeBose. That scenario would have created the possibility that the two could split the vote and allow someone else to win.

With DeBose as the only nominee from West Side Story, admirers of the film will all vote for her. Having a single nominee instead of two increases the likelihood that West Side Story will win in this category.
 

Malcolm Bmoor

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West Side Story (1961) begins with a blast of stereophonic music that had me clutching my head. Is the audience so impressed by science and technique, and by the highly advertised new developments that they accept this jolting series of distorted sounds gratefully—on the assumption, perhaps, that because it’s so unlike ordinary sound, it must be better? Everything about West Side Story is supposed to stun you with its newness, its size, the wonders of its photography, editing, choreography, music. It’s nothing so simple as a musical, it’s a piece of cinematic technology.” – Pauline Kael, Film Quarterly

What ludicrous crass ignorance. And whilst she was clutching her head was she also able to reach the technical conclusion that the sound was DISTORTED??? We know it wasn't but she was so committed to being rude about the stunning presentation that she even saw the word STEREOPHONIC as an insult. If she thought that the cinema she was in was playing it too loud it would have made for a (slightly) more intelligent comment to say so, but she was enjoying her long winded funny stuff.

And this woman was/is regarded as an important film critic.
 

Matt Hough

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The one genre Pauline Kael was particularly off-key in her assessments was musicals. Occasionally, she got it right (Cabaret), but more often than not, she showed how limited her knowledge of music and dance was. I can't remember if it was Fiddler on the Roof or some other modern musical, but she called its score "operetta" which was a ludicrous assessment. She was very lucky that in her real heyday, the 1970s and 1980s, musicals were not in vogue and she didn't have to display her ignorance nearly so often.

And I'm generally a fan of her writing even when I violently disagreed with her opinions.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I’m not really a Kael person, which is almost neither here nor there. What I’ve come to think about her is that she didn’t review films or write about movies, not really. She wrote about herself and her reactions to films she saw.

Today, in my view, Kael’s hyper personalized style has become commonplace in the culture, if not quite in the written form she preferred - there’s no shortage of “influencers” and “personalities” where the attraction is more the person offering the opinion than the opinion itself. There’s no shortage of online video reviews where the creators bend over backwards to score disingenuous points that add up to a testament of how clever they think they’re being. And, much in the way Kael not only plagiarized her Citizen Kane writings on her way to spreading factually incorrect conclusions, there’s no shortage of that style of coverage today either.

For whatever it’s worth, that’s why I tend to think of Kael as an opinion writer rather than a journalist or critic.
 

DarkVader

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Noel Aguirre

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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.
Either women from Passing were better than any of them including DeBose
 

Noel Aguirre

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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.
Cruella should win for costume design bar none.
Those WSS ‘21 were simply vintage 50’s street clothes. A wife beater and jeans is hardly a costume.
 
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darkrock17

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Cruella should win for costume design bar none.
Those WSS ‘21 were simply vintage 50’s street clothes. A wife beater and jeans is hardly a costume.

I never saw Cruella, just a few clips here and there. The remake is very simple in costume design, Maria's dress from the gym dance is the 1961 one just slightly updated.

The only reason I think it may win, is because some of the outfits are brighter than 1961, though in my opinion nothing is going to top Anita's original purple dress that she wore for the roof top dance-off for America.

The actual winner will probably end up being Dune, even though everything in that looks like it was designed by Zack Synder; devoid of all personality and color.
 

Tino

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Available to purchase digitally now for $19.99 in 4K/Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos
 

cinemiracle

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I decided to buy the bluray of West Side Story as it was on special with 20% discount. It arrived to-day.It came with 90 min of extras. I watched the first 30 min and will watch the rest later on. I will reserve my verdict until I have seen the entire film.
 

AnthonyClarke

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I've been judging the musical numbers against the 1961 version and decided that they are both superlative.
The closed-room 'America' in the 1961 version is still compelling and brilliantly danced, but I do love the way Spielberg has opened it up to the streets. So far, almost every number in both movies have their own special strengths for me and it's a delight to be able to switch in-between. The only clear winner head-to-head for me is the 2021 'Tonight -reprise', so brilliantly staged, with its delights including Anita's dirty thoughts in church! Spielberg is brilliant in so much of this film's staging.
One thing that does come through strongly is how wonderful Rachel Zegler's voice is compared to the fairly anodyne Marni Nixon .. usually so capable, but just coming up short in the 1961 movie. Zegler is a revelation. She can act. She can dance. She can sing.
 

david hare

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I agree with all of this. And frankly I don't have problem with Kushner's "dramatizaton" for a newer generation. OF coure the score sounds sensational, and for me it's the underlying genius of the whole show.
 

Jimbo.B

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Since everyone seems to be giving an opinion on this, I may as well throw in my two cents.

I though the new WSS was excellent: wonderful singing, stunning visuals, fine filmmaking…
…but 1961 is art, and that’s the difference for me.
 

cinemiracle

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I finally saw WSS on disc yesterday. There were both good and bad problems with the film in my opinion. The Guy playing Tony was woefully and embarrassingly bland in his performance. He is a great actor as I have seen him in other films. I blame it on the writers and especially the director for his performance . The finale in the original film was a tear jerker. In the new version it was a yawn. Totally emotionless. I thought that the dance at the gym was very overcrowded-barely any room to hold the very large number of people. It seemed that the gangs had a huge number of members and their girlfriends.. Perhaps the dance was open to everyone as we only saw a handful of gang members throughout the rest of the film. There is a scene near the finale whereby one guy said (after the killing of Tony) that Tony and Maria had only met' ' last night' at the gym. Surely several days had passed since the gym meeting as they did go out together. I may be wrong but will check it out later later. Two scenes were stand-outs. The 'cool boy' and the 'gee officer Krupke" Both were amazing. The gang was locked it the police station whilst the police went out on other business. Surely the police would not do this in real life? No sooner than when Maria heard that Tony had killed her brother, she hopped into bed with him. So Maria preferred sex to mourning her murdered brother? With the exception of the actor playing Tony, the rest of the cast were superb. Not a memorable film in my opinion. I can't see it being spoken about in 5 years let along 50 like the original, which was a classic..
 

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