West Side Story

West Side Story ★★★

Wise's original remains so achingly modern, especially formally, and this just feels entirely safe. A lot of the impact of the music is dulled by Spielberg's elegant long takes. Obviously that's his style but here it lacks a certain rhythm and impact generated by the right cuts. Still, lots of choices here...this isn't simply a cover version. The reshuffling of some of the numbers is productive and the more contemporary representational aspects are certainly welcome, but there's no grit, no emotional urgency.

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