West Side Story ★★★★

2020 Challenge: 181/100 

One of the best looking films ever made. 

West Side Story is extraordinary. Wise and Robbins paint in the corners; this film utilizes the screen to it’s maximum potential. They’re not concerned with making a story about street gangs feel gritty and “realistic.” Everything is heightened, from the production design, the directing, and the colors my goodness the colors. Except for La La Land, and any Wes Anderson, I don’t think I ever seen a film use color as a storytelling device more effectively. Okay maybe Vertigo too but that’s beside the point. It’s striking, inventive and full of originality. Every frame is rich and textured, perfectly lit and always beautiful, aided by the smooth direction. The film, despite being a tad whitewashed, manages to tackle some important political commentary as well. The definition of cinematic. 

However, the two leading performances are unfortunately the worst in the movie. They’re not bad, just compared to everything else in a
movie that goes above and beyond, it’s kinda disappointing. That being said, this thing is great! Really curious to see what Spielberg will do with it.

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