Rachel Zegler’s Maria is wonderful and one should expect to see a lot more of her in the future, but Ansel Elgort unfortunately pulls out a Tony that is simply adequate. He shines brightest any time he sings or dances, and manages to make the song Maria (by Stephen Sondheim’s own account not a great song) feel lovely and moving. And while he’s definitely believable as a lovesick boy who is head-over-heels for Maria, he’s less convincing in his heavier, more emotional scenes. This is most apparent in any scene, and there are many, where he acts opposite Rita Moreno. But among the gorgeous costumes, incredibly detailed sets and vibrant cast, it doesn’t much matter that he can’t believably cry on cue. You’ll still be moved by the glimmer of hope that is Tony and Maria’s love, which ultimately fades to darkness.
PureWow Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
West Side Story has such a long history of love and success because it is, above all else, a phenomenal musical. Spielberg maintains all the most-loved aspects of the original, pleasing die-hard Broadway fans, while deepening the characters and the world they live in. It has its flaws but overall it is a stunning film (particularly the costumes) that’s well worth watching and is sure to be a popular pick come awards season.
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