14 thoughts on “Wow, West Side Story (2021)!

  1. Will probably get to it eventually. It was my era; (Ft Lauderdale High, class of ’58) What I remember mostly was girls in sundresses with spaghetti straps, or tight-fitting skirts (called Sloppy Joes) tighter sweaters, ballet flats, short shorts, motorcycle boots and saddle oxfords. I mostly wore black shirts and black jeans.

  2. The costumes were great! But the film isn’t really an improvement. Maria and especially Anita were fantastic! I hated and didn’t care about Tony… wasn’t impressed with his singing. And it looked to me like the Sharks could beat the shit out of the Jets with ease. I liked the characters speaking Spanish. But Rita Mareno’s character didn’t seem believable to me. I don’t think either gang in this gritty realistic production would accept her.
    But mainly I miss Jerome Robins. His choreography was integral, really infused into the action. The new choreography (which ain’t bad) and indeed the songs, look more inserted into a gritty straight play than part of a whole. My favorite number from the 60s film is “Cool”, in the garage with the Jets and their girls. Spielberg turns it into a 2nd Ammendment number. I hated that!
    OK, I’ll stop… but you see… the film has great stuff and not so great stuff all mixed together, just like the 60s version (although different stuff). It’s certainly entertaining and worth seeing, but not necessarily an improvement.
    Again… the costumes were great!

    1. “The new choreography (which ain’t bad) and indeed the songs, look more inserted into a gritty straight play than part of a whole.” This is my main criticism of the movie, and I agree with you about Valentina and Tony (I think that character was miscast). But I was happy to see a backstory (even if slight) for Riff, Chino, and Tony, and placing the movie directly into the context of urban renewal gave it an urgency the original didn’t have. In the original play, Cool was sung in the drug store before the rumble was set up. While Cool in the first movie is a classic, I though it worked here better than the timing in the play. I love the costumes even more knowing Tazewell’s reasoning.

    2. I agree with you on pretty much everything. While I appreciated some improvements, I thought as a whole it felt flat. As a musical, it really didn’t cohere together. And the desecrationof “Cool,” which is one of my top 5 musical movie numbers, ruined so much of the movie for me. I felt pretty much all the Jets were bland and miscast. The Tony prison-redemption backstory was so unbelievable to be laughable, and they kept bringing it up! So a few improvements but not a better overall movie.

      1. Agree with all of the above, plus as a hearing-impaired person I was not pleased that the Spanish was not subtitled in the captioning!

  3. I liked this update better, if only because the street dancing was marvelous, this Maria can act, and Rita Moreno can, too. The costuming brought it all together.

  4. I simply ADORED the costumes so much from this film. It added a lot of dimension to me and helped me identify a lot about the characters even from the very beginning. My mother’s family immigrated from Colombia to Queens in the 1960s and seeing how the Sharks/Puerto Rican community where more dressy was so realistic to me. Some of Bernardo’s outfits reminded me of what my Abuelo would wear back in the day too. Even the difference of having the Jets belt their jeans at their natural waistline instead of higher up like the Sharks was chef’s kiss.

  5. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of musicals at all. I’m just the wrong audience for it haha. Telling people my few favorite musicals always raises eyebrows. I’m not a fan of the 1961 film and this version was mostly just alright to me.

    That said, I stuck with it for Ariana DeBose. I’m so glad a lot of the film’s buzz revolved around her and couldn’t be happier for her success. She’s brilliant all around. You made the right call, Academy.

  6. During the “America” dance number when Anita and her girls are all dancing and using their full crinoline-lined skirts for effect you can hear them snap/fwoosh – like how you hear fresh sheets when you ‘throw” them out – such a great effect!

  7. I loved it and went to see it on a big screen with not much expectation. It’s not my favorite musical (probably since I was in a mediocre high school production) and I’m not a huge fan of the original movie. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, especially the choreography and costuming; also, it’s brilliantly staged and shot. Ansel Elgort was my least favorite of the leads and I’m not convinced by transforming the Doc character, though I understand why they wanted to include Rita Moreno. And I do think that Mike Feist was robbed of an Oscar nomination. Would have also been happy to see David Alvarez nominated for Bernardo also.

  8. Did not love the remake. The original is one of my favorite movies. I was excited for the remake though because my one issue with the original was the casting of white actors as Puerto Ricans complete with the face paint and fake accents.
    But while the casting was fabulous it fell flat in other ways. I think they did an amazing job with the Sharks (and girlfriends) wardrobe, hair, and makeup. But the Jets all look like they just came out of some hipster barbershop in Williamsburg and decided to host a sorta 50s themed party.
    Also the Sharks big musical number was outstanding, but the Jets 2 big numbers, Cool and Dear officer Krupke were so lackluster. Moving Cool to a different part of the movie took away something and I’m pissed the girls weren’t in it. And Tony was so miscast I wanted to puke.

  9. I saw part of the reboot/remake of the film on my computer, which re-enforced the fact that the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story is the real deal for me.

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