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West Side Story [Video Review]

Steven Spielberg West Side Story ReviewDefinitely not a copy and paste job but there is indeed an air of familiarity that moves beyond the creative casting of actress Rita Moreno. Perhaps a musical thinly disguised as film history re-adjustment and updated version of the Broadway musical, Steven Spielberg updates a classic text by making cosmetic changes – not in terms of dance numbers or era technicolor shimmer, but by the way of ethnic and gender representation. This West Side Story is very much aware of Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise’s version – and perhaps it is a conversation (sans subtitles) between the two films where one “autocorrects” the underpinnings of marginalization. Here is Nicholas Bell’s review:

Film Credits:
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Kevin McCollum.
Executive producers: Tony Kushner, Daniel Lupi, Rita Moreno, Adam Somner.
Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Tony Kushner.
Camera: Janusz Kaminski.
Editors: Sarah Brosher, Michael Kahn.
Music: Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim.
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Rita Moreno, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, Josh Andrés Rivera, Iris Menas.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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