Starts Sun 26 Dec at:
Steven Spielberg Gives the Musical Classic a Gritty, Rousing Upgrade. The director makes the 1957 musical his own and stays reverently true to what generations have loved about it
Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” has a brash effervescence. You can feel the joy he got out of making it, and the kick is infectious. Directing his first musical, Spielberg moves into the big roomy space of a Broadway-meets-Hollywood classic, rearranges the furniture (the film’s screenwriter, Tony Kushner, has spiced up the dialogue and tossed out the most cringe-worthy knickknacks), and gives it all a fresh coat of desaturated, bombed-out-city-block, gritty-as-reality paint. He makes it his own. At the same time, Spielberg stays reverently true to what generations have loved about “West Side Story”: the swoon factor, the yearning beauty of those songs, the hypnotic jackknife ballet of ’50s delinquents dancing out their aggression on the New York streets. There are scenes in Spielberg’s version that will melt you, scenes that will make your pulse race, and scenes where you simply sit back and revel in the big-spirited grandeur of it all. More
Another newcomer having a great day is Latina Rachel Zegler, who won best actress for her turn in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story", by the National Board of Review. She is just the second Latina to ever win the category since Fernanda Montenegro in “Central Station” (1998).