Musical films are a joy to watch, mainly due to the poetic diction and songs used to convey a range of emotions on the big screen. Plus, drama adds to this kind of music, making it more enjoyable when the actor’s words are set to music.
Classic musicals have been a staple in Hollywood for decades and continue to be one of the most important genres in 22nd century films.
More recently, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world inside, many found unprecedented pleasure in a musical that is being hailed as one of the best films of 2020. Airing on Disney +, Hamilton came packed with outstanding performances, melodious vocals, awesome cinematography, sublime direction and unforgettable music.
Based on the multi-award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, Hamilton told the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States.
Starring Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, the film garnered huge critical acclaim and accolades such as a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (pre-recorded).
Likewise, 2021 saw singer-songwriter Camila Cabello enchant audiences with Cinderella – a musical film adaptation of the classic fairy tale from centuries ago. The popular enough Dear Evan Hansen was also a musical that entertained fans of the genre.
There are more musical films coming this year and in 2022. One of them is Cyrano, whose trailer has already got everyone talking about its cast, costumes and cinematography.
Cyrano is originally based on the 1897 coin Cyrano de Bergerac, written by Edmond Rostand. Film writer Erica Schmidt previously adapted the play for her 2018 Off-Broadway musical of the same name.
The 19th century tragedy concerns a man, Cyrano, who has an unusually large nose, making him believe he is unattractive. An accomplished swordsman and equally gifted in poetry, Cyrano is in love with Roxanne but is unable to confess his feelings to him because of his inhibitions on his appearance. However, when Roxanne and a young soldier named Christian are drawn to each other, Cyrano decides to help the soldier with poems to woo the lady.
For the film directed by Joe Wright, the character of Cyrano was reimagined as a dwarf. The inimitable Peter Dinklage holds the title role.
Roxanne is played by Haley Bennett, who has films such as The girl on the train (2016) and The devil all the time (2020). Kelvin Harrison Jr. is a Christian. He is best known for his work in It comes at night (2017) and The Chicago 7 trial (2020).
Cyrano was screened at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021. It will be released in the US on December 31, 2021, followed by other countries in the coming months.
Critics after the TFF screening praised Cyrano for his performances, his music and his costumes. He is widely regarded as a major Oscar contender.
tick, tick… BOOM!
Marking the debut feature by acclaimed performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, tick, tick… BOOM! is based on the semi-autobiographical musical of the same name by the late Jonathan Larson.
The musical film will have a limited theatrical release on November 12, 2021 and will be followed by its Netflix release on November 19.
“On the verge of turning 30, a promising theater composer navigates love, friendship and pressure to create something big before time runs out,” the film’s synopsis read on the streaming platform.
Andrew Garfield plays composer Jonathan Larson. In a trailer for the film, Garfield is shown grappling with both personal and societal pressures, while experiencing a range of emotions before finding the musical note he was looking for.
Other actors include Alexandra Shipp as Susan, Vanessa Hudgens as Karessa, Robin de Jesús as Michael and Joshua Henry as Roger. Jonathan Larson has been credited as a composer.
West Side Story
West Side Story is based on the critically acclaimed 1957 musical of the same name. It is one of the most anticipated musical films of this year, not only because of its established reputation, but also because it is the first musical comedy directed by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.
Although filming ended in 2019, the manufacturer, Disney, was unable to release it on its scheduled time slot on December 18, 2020, due to the pandemic. Its release is now scheduled for December 10 of this year. The new date marks the 60th anniversary of the 1961 film version of West Side Story.
The story follows Tony and Maria, who are linked to the leaders of two rival gangs by blood or friendship, in New York City in the 1950s. Cursed lovers must work around the tensions between the gangs that would impact their fates.
Tony is played by Ansel Elgort while Rachel Zegler plays Maria. Other cast members include Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, and Mike Faist. Leonard Bernstein’s original score was used in the film.
West Side Story will be available to stream on Disney + 45 days after its theatrical release.
Encanto is a fantastic animated Disney tale about magic, music, comedy and lots of adventure. The story takes place in Colombia in South America, where a family lives in an enchanted house, which has given each of the members a unique gift like superhuman strength and the ability to speak to animals, among other qualities.
However, the only member without a gift is Mirabel Madrigal. One day, strange things start to happen in the house. As the gifts begin to disappear, Mirabel takes the initiative to “save the magic”.
Stephanie Beatriz, who is best known for playing Rosa Diaz in Brooklyn nine-nine (2013 — present), voice Mirabel. Others lent their voices to the cast, including John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow and Angie Cepeda.
One of the long awaited musical films, Encanto is scheduled for November 24, 2021, in the United States and other countries. It will be released in more countries over the next two days. The film will air in theaters for 30 days before being available to stream on Disney +.
The music is by Germaine Franco, who is the first Latina composer in the musical branch of the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences and is best known for her score of coco (2017) and Dora and the lost city of gold (2019).
After Stephen Daldry left the project, director Jon M. Chu of the Crazy Rich Asians fame has taken over the reins of this American musical feature film, which is a prequel to the classic 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.
Bad is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, which stands out for being one of the oldest on the circuit. The Broadway version itself is based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire titled “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West”.
The book and musical take a revisionist take on Elphaba or the Wicked Witch of the West. Set at a time before Dorothy’s arrival in Oz, it focuses on the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda, or The Good Witch, and how they became arch enemies.
Discussions about a film adaptation have been ongoing since the Broadway version opened in 2003. The casting for the film, one of the longest awaited musical films, has yet to be finalized. Due to the pandemic, Universal Pictures has pushed the film back from its scheduled December 22, 2021 release date and has yet to announce any further.
The animated musical is a sequel to the 2016 commercial blockbuster film To sing.
With the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton, among others, Sing 2 tells the story of Buster Moon, a small town theater owner who brings his team of singers to a mega-city to perform at the famous Redshore City Theater.
However, for the show to be a success, he must find reclusive rock legend Clay Calloway (voiced by Bono) and make sure Buster doesn’t end up on the wrong side of ruthless wolf theater mogul Jimmy Crystal ( voiced by Bobby Cannavale).
Universal will be released Sing 2 December 22, 2021.
This Musical Fantasy is the sequel to the 2007 film delighted (photo), which is one of the best musical films of the past decade. Like its predecessor, Disillusioned, too, is part of the animation and live action.
Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey return as Giselle and Robert Philip respectively. Giselle and Philip have been married since the events of delighted.
When the going gets tough for the couple in the community they live in, Giselle’s wish for a perfect fairytale life puts her family and her Andalusian land in trouble.
The music for the film is by Alan Menken, and it is directed by Adam Shankman. Disillusioned will be released in 2022.
Heroes and Featured Images: Courtesy of Peter Mountain – © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved. / IMDb