Just in case you haven’t noticed, the Hollywood film musical is bordering on comatose right now. The genre’s last legitimate, high-profile, live-action incarnation was Tom Hooper Les Misérables, which, despite…
If there’s a musical that makes you think less of the musical genre, it’s Hello, Dolly! Extravagant, pompous, shriekingly shallow and has a terribly miscast Streisand. No wonder why it bombed and sealed the death of musicals circa 1969.
This is Streisand’s central, magnificent show through and through, eclipsing anything and anyone in Funny Girl. It’s a musical/comic masterstroke, elevating an otherwise formulaic film about a star’s rise-and-shine, William Wyler’s first and only musical in his entire formidable filmography.
What promises to be a bombastic musical with a shamanic alignment of megawatt star-power ends up with barely a bang. Rob Marshall’s Nine, despite of its lavish, slick production, gorgeous cinematography and art direction that oozes with 60’s retro chic, is a film of misfired ambitions. Far from Fellini’s original 8½, this is a mediocre, passable, if not entertaining, affair.
An exquisitely, eloquently made nouvelle vague musical. Where Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg is a love song to lost love and broken dreams, his follow-up Les Demoiselles de Rochefort is a hopeful chanson to love found and regained where characters cannot help but sing their hearts out. This is French film magic.