Tag Archives: movie musical

FILM REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Few can deny the timeless appeal of the original Mary Poppins. Led by the legendary Julie Andrews in her feature debut, the 1964 classic boasted a much-loved soundtrack by the Sherman brothers, some of the most memorable dance sequences ever seen on screen, and of course, animated dancing penguins. As portrayed in 2013’s Saving Mr Banks, Poppins’ creator, P.L. Travers, was pursued by Walt Disney for the rights to the film for over twenty years, and was not at all happy with the end product when it did eventually come to fruition. Travers rejected the concept for a film sequel in the 1980s, and acquiesced to the stage musical adaptation (which premiered in 2004, eight years after her death) on the grounds that no one from the original film – the Sherman Brothers in particular – be involved. Fast forward to 2018, a whopping fifty-four years since the original magic, and Poppins is back on screen. The sequel was approved by Travers’ estate but one can only assume she would not be thrilled; the penguins are back and they’re dancing on her grave. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)


La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

Writer/director Damien Chazelle first came to our attention with Whiplash in 2014. That film, about a jazz student’s sacrifices in the pursuit of success, was my favourite film of the last five, if not ten, years. I’m yet to come across someone who did not like it (and if that person does exist, what the hell is wrong with you?) With similar themes to Whiplash, La La Land follows struggling actress Mia (Emma Stone) and struggling jazz artist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they find love and try to follow their dreams. But with ambition comes sacrifice, and underneath the surface of 1950s-inspired fantasy is 2016’s reality (no, not the disastrous political situation but the average LA artist’s reality). Continue reading FILM REVIEW: La La Land

FILM REVIEW: London Road

London Road (Rufus Norris, 2015)

Tom Hardy in a musical. I AM SOLD. But hold your horses, musical fans. This is not your typical musical and Tom Hardy is in just the one scene. But it’s worth checking out for its sheer originality. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: London Road

FILM REVIEW: The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years (Richard LaGravenese, 2015)

After what seems like an eternity, musical theatre fans finally have the chance to see the long-awaited film adaptation of the Off-Broadway hit, The Last Five Years. After playing a very limited release in the US, it arrives in Australia almost five months later with little fanfare. Only the most devout fans will even be aware of its existence, but maybe that’s for the best. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Last Five Years

FILM REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 (Elizabeth Banks, 2015)

They’re back, pitches! After the success of television’s Glee and 2012’s Pitch Perfect, choirs and acapella groups have moved from their lowly position on the hierarchy of cool to, well, just a smidgen higher. Misfits achieving their musical dreams have struck a chord (so to speak) with audiences, paving the way for this highly anticipated sequel. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 2

FILM REVIEW: Into the Woods

Into the Woods (Rob Marshall, 2014)

Musical lovers, rejoice! At long last Into the Woods is here (a full two bloody weeks after the US I might add) and it is as exquisite as we could have hoped. There are a few changes from the stage musical though these seem to be minor. As I’ve only ever seen an average university production of the musical which I have tried to forget, I wasn’t too bothered by these changes, though I can’t speak for its biggest fans. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Into the Woods


Annie (Will Gluck, 2014)

Music teachers the world over probably met the news of the latest Annie film release with trepidation. WILL WE NEVER STOP HEARING THAT SONG ABOUT TOMORROW? And musical theatre lovers like me feared for the worst because Will Smith was producing and threatening to make it ‘contemporary’, which seems to be code for ‘we are going to shit all over this classic in an effort to appeal to Gen Z-ers who don’t know better’. It threatened to be heinously unbearable, but luckily it wasn’t all bad. But it certainly had its flaws. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Annie

FILM REVIEW: Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys (Clint Eastwood, 2014)
clairestbearestreviews_filmreview_jerseyboys_posterJersey Boys is one of Broadway’s greatest success stories. The jukebox musical opened on the Great White Way in 2005 and won four Tony Awards, including best musical and best actor in a musical (John Lloyd Young). Nine years later, it continues to play eight performances a week to packed audiences, making it currently the thirteenth longest running musical on Broadway. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Jersey Boys

FILM REVIEW: Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith (Dexter Fletcher, 2013)

George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas & Freya Mavor
George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas & Freya Mavor

There aren’t many movie musicals these days that aren’t a) well-known Broadway smashes (Les Misérables, Mamma Mia), b) animated films (Frozen, Tangled), c) crap remakes of 80s dance films (Footloose, Fame), or d) amazingly bad telemovies (Lovestruck: The Musical). Sunshine on Leith is thus somewhat of a refreshing change.

Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Sunshine on Leith