West Side Story ★★★★½

“I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty.
 I feel pretty and witty and bright!”

Based on casting alone, this movie had all the ingredients to be a box office disaster. Look at some of their dubious casting decisions. The lack of Latino people in the cast, Natalie Wood as Maria, a Puerto Rican girl and darkening people skin are some of the most egregious examples. 

But somehow, someway, this movie adaption of the Broadway production works wonderfully including the character of Maria. The story, the songs, the choreography but more specifically, the performances, are what made this movie, one of the best movie musicals of all time.

Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer are great in their roles of the star-crossed lovers, Maria and Tony, but is Rita Moreno that absolutely shines in her role of Anita. 

Making a movie adaptation of Broadway show is very tricky. We have seen that music and lyrics are not enough to entice people to watch it, see Cats, as the latest example, 

That’s why is such joy watching a movie like “West Side Story” and see that it’s still relevant after all these years.

“Life is alright in America,
If you’re all-white in America,”

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