How ‘West Side Story’ could make Oscar history (even more) E! News UK

Few films have won more Oscars than the 1961 musical “West Side Story” which won 10 trophies, including Best Picture and a Supporting Actress Award for Rita Moreno.

Now, six decades later, could “West Side Story” and Moreno pull off the same feats again?

On paper, it seems absurd to imagine that Steven Spielberg’s new big-screen take on Hardware, in theaters Dec. 10, could win the Best Oscar. Only one remake was awarded for the best picture: that of Martin Scorsesedepartured ”(2006), adapted from the Hong Kong crime thriller“Hellish affairs”- and no remake of a previous Best Picture winner has even been nominated in that category at the Oscars. (The cast members said it wasn’t a remake but just a new adaptation of the musical; moviegoers will always consider it a remake.)

But now, after an enthusiastically received premiere in New York this week and a strong explosion of initial Comments, I’ve come to think that “West Side Story” can handle what was previously impossible. Here are three reasons.

After low-budget drama “Nomadland” swept over last season’s muted Oscars, I think voters will be eager to crown a more traditional audience. While films like “Belfast” and “King Richard” certainly fit this bill, they cannot hold a candle to the scale and grandeur of “West Side Story”: in layman’s terms, it is. the biggest competitor who could actually win – sorry, “Dune” – and his very presence fills a power vacuum that lingered at the top of this race.

Spielberg has always shown a sense of musical timing in the way he blocks and directs action movies, but the 74-year-old never tackled a feature length song and dance until now, and the results are impressive: Choreographed by Justin Peck and edited by Michael Kahn and Sarah Broshar, this “West Side Story” marries old-school sweep to a new Tony Kushner storyline that further contextualizes the themes of the history of gentrification and racial conflict.

This time around, the dance battles between the gangs – the White Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks – take violence out of the realm of the hypothetical, adding even more bloody stakes to Tony’s (Ansel Elgort) and Tony’s Romeo and Juliet romance. María (Rachel Zegler), who come from rival factions. And unlike the original film, which put several white actors face-to-face brown, this take on “West Side Story” has a more authentic cast and even allows María and the Jets to converse often in unsubtitled Spanish, a bold choice that works because the themes are so obvious.

It’s the best kind of remake, something that feels both classic and refreshed. And you shouldn’t underestimate how enjoyable it is to watch something so important on the big screen. (Coming out of my press screening, I heard a critic exult: “It’s a movie!”)

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How ‘West Side Story’ could make Oscar history (even more) E! News UK