10 Best Musical Movies

Who doesn’t love musicals? They’re one of the most fun genres to watch, and there are so many great ones that it’s hard to pick the best. But today we at BFS tried to do just that, as we talk about the 10 best musical movies.

  1. West Side Story

This is a musical about modern Romeo and Juliet with so many amazing musical numbers. A tragic story, but a visual masterpiece that is an amazing example of a Broadway musical translated into a movie.

2. The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is the most classic musical there is. Starring the beautiful Julie Andrews this is undoubtedly a timeless work of art with so many classic songs like “My Favorite Things” and “So Long, Farewell”.

3. Chicago

This movie stars some bad ass ladies, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger, has so many unforgettable numbers it is almost impossible to pick your favorite song, and showcases some truly dazzling costume design. This movie is so good it even won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2003.

4. Gigi

With a beautiful romance and that Old Hollywood charm, this musical is hard not to love. Not only did this movie win the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1959, but it also broke the record at the time for most Oscar wins by taking home 9 awards that night.

5. La La Land

La La Land is the newest one on the list, yet the magic it brings to the screen makes it feel like a classic. Between the amazing music, stunning cinematography, and all of those nods to Old Hollywood, La La Land is one of the most beautiful musicals to date.

6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

This movie is the original cult classic. It has one of the biggest cultural influences of any of the movies on this list. And between the rocking music, the iconic costumes, and the entrancing story, this is the kind of movie that still has people dressing up and throwing stuff at the screen to this day.

7. An American in Paris

An American in Paris is one of those Old Hollywood classics that you just gotta love. It stars the Hollywood legend himself, Gene Kelly, and won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1952.

8. Singin’ in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain is a timeless romantic comedy set in Old Hollywood. It brought us so many iconic scenes, including the titular song and rain sequence of “Singin’ in the Rain”. Its undeniable charm is what keeps us loving it over 60 years after it came out.

9. Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is one of those musicals that you just can’t help but dance to. With a star studded cast and its beautiful Greek scenery, this is one of those fun filled movies that you can watch over and over again. It also has a sequel coming out this year, and I don’t know about you, but we at BFS are counting down the days until that comes out!

10. The Wizard of Oz

Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Wizard of OZ is a large part of movie history. It also features so many classic songs like “Over the Rainbow” and has one of those unforgettable stories that everyone knows about.

 

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‘Alex Strangelove’ Tells a Touching Coming Out Story

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Happy Pride Month everyone! This month we have seen an outpouring of celebration and support for the LGBTQ community and it seems Netflix has joined in with its release of Alex Strangelove.
Alex Strangelove follows the sexually confused high school senior Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny). Alex has been with his girlfriend and best friend Claire (Madeline Weinstein) for a while and after the prodding of his friends he decides to rent a hotel room and finally lose his virginity to her.

Soon after he makes these plans he meets a guy named Elliot (Antonio Marziale) at a party. As Alex and Elliot and the day he plans to lose his virginity to Claire get closer, Alex begins to question his feelings and his sexuality.

Alex Strangelove is a sweet and intricate coming out story with more layers than your average coming out movie. As the movie progresses, we see that Alex’s struggle with his sexuality stems from not only an inner struggle to admit to himself that he’s gay, but also past experiences with bullying.

This movie is different from other recent coming out movies like Love, Simon in the sense that Alex’s struggle lies mostly within himself and figuring out his sexuality, and less on how people will perceive him.

I really appreciated how this movie focused on the high school kids’ perspectives and didn’t go too much into bringing the adults into the story. I think it contributed to the authentic feel of the movie.

This was a conscious choice by director and writer Craig Johnson who has been trying to get this movie made for ten years, but hasn’t been able to because there wasn’t a big adult role to attach a big name to.

This movie did a lot of things right. It felt authentic and real which really brings you into the story. It could have so easily have fallen into the realm of clichés, but it didn’t. It stayed true to itself and its purpose and gave us an adorable yet, engaging story to watch.


My Rating: 83%

Acting: 3/4

Cinematography: 2.8/4

Story: 3.5/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

 

‘Walk the Line’: Music, Addiction, and Forbidden Love

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

For today’s Time Warp Tuesday, we will be taking a look at one of the greatest musical biopics of all time (and my favorite film) Walk the Line.

The film follows the ‘Man in Black’ musician, Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), and his musical career. Along the way, he finds love in his childhood crush and longtime singing partner June Carter Cash (Reese Witherspoon) but with the highs comes the lows. The audience is exposed to Johnny’s demons and faults. We learn about his battle with drugs and alcohol and his affair with June despite being married to his wife Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin). He suddenly becomes his own villain and becomes stuck in a cycle of addiction and infidelity.

Walk the Line went on to win multiple awards including Best Actress at the Academy Awards. What made this film so great was, in fact, the acting. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon quite literally embodied the souls of Johnny and June Cash. It’s almost like watching a documentary of the famous duo because of the actors’ nearly identical performances. When someone, with hardly any musical experience, can replicate every voice inflection, facial expression, and body movement of a famous musician’s performance then I think it goes without saying that they deserve the highest praise possible.

Along with the musical talent they possess, Phoenix and Witherspoon’s chemistry is both undeniable and honest. Johnny and June had an intense bond that caused him to lose control and hurt June and Johnny’s wife Vivian in the process. This flawed love story is portrayed with the same fierceness it possessed without watering down the moral imperfections. It isn’t the ideal romance that you see in most films, but this also is not a romance – it’s a drama. And that genre leaves all of the ugly parts in.

One of those ugly parts is Johnny’s drug addiction, and the performance that Phoenix gives is too good to not give an Oscar to. As I said before, Johnny becomes the villain in a story where he was the protagonist and his rehabilitation isn’t a pretty one. But Phoenix’s transition between all of them were nearly flawless, and he was able to portray one’s real experience of addiction. He showed the dark side of a man who was once on the top of the mountain and suddenly fell into his own personal hell. (I’m sure you thought I’d make a ‘Ring of Fire’ pun, but that’d be way out of context)

Walk the Line is one of those movies that will never leave your mind after one watch and questions whether fame and fortune is worth the hurt.

‘When We First Met’ Is Your Typical Romantic Comedy

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Netflix has released many original movies this year, one of which being the romantic comedy When We First Met.

When We First Met tells the story of Noah, played by Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect, Workaholics), who is in love with his best friend Avery, played by Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch). Upset that the love of his life and best friend is about to marry another guy, Noah finds himself in the bar him and Avery went to the night they met. He gets into the photo booth at said bar, and it ends up taking him back in time to three years ago when the pair first met.

Noah then gets stuck in this loop of traveling back in time to figure out how he could change what he did to make Avery end up with him and not some other guy.

When I explain the plot I know it sounds totally ridiculous, and it is, but it does have a twist that you wouldn’t expect. I won’t spoil what it is, but I do think that twist is the most redeeming quality of the movie.

The plot of this movie is pretty typical with the whole friendzoned element, but at least it does something different with it.

Although this is not the funniest romantic comedy I’ve ever seen, I do honestly like the story. I found it entertaining. It did just what I wanted it to when I decided to watch it which was to provide me with 97 minutes of pure entertainment without having to think too much.

The acting in this movie is certainly nothing to rave about, but Devine is naturally a funny guy so that definitely works in the movie’s favor. But this isn’t meant to be a serious movie so lovable actors that can play the roles they’ve been given is really all you need.

Is this movie groundbreaking or Oscar worthy? No. But it wasn’t meant to be. It fulfills its purpose and that’s good enough for me.

Overall, if you’re like me and have a guilty pleasure for cheesy rom coms then grab yourself a bucket of popcorn and have a nice night in. However, if you’re looking for a serious movie with jaw dropping acting and some kind of commentary I would skip this Netflix original.


My Rating: 68%

Acting: 2.8/4

Cinematography: 2/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3/4

 

Wandering ‘On Chesil Beach’

By Therese Gardner, Edited by Anthony Peyton

On Chesil Beach is a beautifully frustrating film adapted by Ian McEwan based on his novel of the same name that follows a young couple during the summer of 1962 as they explore life as newlyweds.

It is mid-summer when Edward (performed by Billy Howle) and Florence (performed by Saoirse Ronan) have just been married and are spending their honeymoon at Chesil Beach. The first scene follows the young couple as they take a leisurely walk along Chesil Beach holding hands and appearing seemingly in love until they return to the hotel and things begin to fall apart.

It becomes clear that both Edward and Florence come from vastly different backgrounds as they desire different things and have opposite expectations for how things should be as a married couple. This difference in expectation is first alluded to when Edward wishes to consummate the marriage while Florence does not wish to, as she is fearful of what may happen. As the movie progresses, the tension present between Florence and Edward only seems to magnify as Florence becomes more frustrated, even slightly angered and Edward becomes more passionate.

Just when Edward and Florence are about to consummate the marriage, Florence makes clear she is still not interested and becomes further frustrated with Edward for being insensitive to her needs. While McEwan lacked in effectively exploring the reasons for Florence’s anxiety, Ronan gave an incredible performance that allowed the audience to understand Florence on a deeper level.

Even though McEwan directed this movie based on his own novel, the film did not appear to fully explain the details necessary for understanding both Edward’s perspective as well as Florence’s perspective in a manner that the novel would have. This is partly due to the fact that a film can only be so long and is not able to explain the brevity of a story.

McEwan definitely struggled to fill in the hidden details and rushed the film by focusing largely on the beginning of their marriage and then suddenly skipping ahead to a few years later when Edward and Florence are older. There is a lack of consistency and authenticity with the details McEwan decided to include and the details he decided not to include. Despite the discrepancies between the novel and the film, it was still a poignantly beautiful, yet fragile film that I highly recommend for others to watch.


My Rating: 83.1%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 2.5/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4