Continuing the countdown of my favorite 2021 movies…
Best Films of 2021
#3 – West Side Story
I’m not a fan of the original West Side Story, something I discovered when watching it as part of my AFI Movie Musicals series in 2020. I don’t know if that made me a harder or easier target for this new take on the source material, but I came out of it convinced I’d seen a new classic.
This movie is such a visual and audio treat from the first bravura shot to the last. Nobody knows how to position and move a camera like Steven Spielberg, and it’s a treat to see him finally try his hand at an epic musical.
With one epic musical directed by Robert Wise under my belt, I turned my attention to another.
West Side Story, with songs by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, adapted for the screen from a classic stage musical, inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, winner of ten Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, #2 of AFI’s list of the greatest musicals of all time… and, sadly, a major disappointment.
This is a case of a movie that simply hasn’t aged very well.