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Film Review - West Side Story (2021)


Steven Spielberg has been making movies with defined rhythm for decades now, but he’s never gone all-in with a musical before. Sure, there’s the crackerjack opening of 1984’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” and some sections of 1979’s “1941” certainly feel the beat, but Spielberg has avoided making full contact with a Broadway adaptation. And now he’s finally ready to put on a show, taking on “West Side Story,” with the 1957 Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents creation previously realized in a beloved, Academy Award-winning 1961 Robert Wise film. There’s a lot of pressure on the iconic helmer to do something different with the source material, and he does, offering a grittier, more dynamically shot take on the musical, working to shave off a few layers of staginess to best expose the deep feelings in play. It’s still “West Side Story,” but the “Romeo and Juliet” riff is in good hands with Spielberg. Read the rest at


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