West Side Story (2021) Film Review A+


“West Side Story” is Steven Spielberg’s Triumph!


West Side Story

I adored the new “West Side Story”! Even though I wasn’t a massive fan of the original movie, Spielberg directed this one so smoothly and entertainingly. It’s his most enjoyable movie since “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” There’s no fuss, just one great scene flowing into another as the immortal Bernstein/Sondheim score transfixes us. And what a stunning cast! They out-perform the original with breathtaking choreography by Justin Peck that transcends Jerome Robbins’ more balletic style. Shout out to Mike Faist, the leader of the Jets, for his outstanding physical performance. Maria, as portrayed by Rachel Zegler, is an angel from heaven. The scene where Tony and Maria first see each other in the dance hall is pure magic and cinematic gold. Although Ansel (Elgort) is a little dull, his beautiful singing more than makes up for this.

West Side Story

Ariana DeBose’s portrayal of Anita is brilliant and stands out in the film. She even surpasses the Oscar-winning Rita Moreno as the original Anita. Moreno’s compensation is that she’s also in the movie, playing a part created specially for her by the writer Tony Kushner. She even gets to sing a gorgeous rendition of “Somewhere,” which, I think, may have been the movie’s only mistake since it takes away a crucial moment from Tony and Maria. Overall, however, this is exceptional filmmaking and highly recommended.

Streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney +, YOUTUBE


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