The 10 Best Performances in Musical Movies, According to Reddit

Movie adaptations of musicals can be a mixed bag. While musicals like In the heights and Everybody’s talking about Jamie conquered the crowds of moviegoers, others, like Dear Evan Hansen, eventually waded into theaters. A musical film lives and dies by its cast, especially when it comes to the discerning gaze of fans of the genre on Reddit.

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Some performances see the actors go above and beyond in an effort to win over skeptical audience members. While some manage to steal the show this way, like Billy Porter in Cinderella, others put on divisive performances that risk turning audiences off altogether.


Will Smith – Aladdin

Will Smith Blue Genie Aladdin Movie

When Will Smith was first announced as the Genie in Disney’s live-action version Aladdin, most fans were left puzzled by the odd casting choice. After seeing the movie, however, most fans changed their minds about Smith’s genius. As editor u / Cybernetics343 best put, “It’s a good thing the Genie is raising because he was wearing this whole movie.”

With his signature charm and a few new jokes, Will Smith turns his version of the Genie into a lovable character without attempting to copy Robin Williams’ original. While the reception to the rest of Aladdin was lukewarm at best, fans viewed Smith as the film’s unanimous highlight.

Billy Porter – Cinderella

Billy Porter Cinderella

As one of the most cited characters of 2021 Cinderella, Billy Porter’s Fab G stole the show with a spectacularly over-the-top performance. Even Reddit wasn’t immune to Porter’s charms, with u / _Patronise_Idiots_ conceding that “you would have to work hard enough to do [Porter] NOT fabulous. “

The only thing that worked against Porter was his lack of screen time, as the Fab G only appears in one scene in the entire movie. Even then, their appearance is the highlight of an otherwise fairly tame musical film.

Rebel Wilson – Cats

Many who have seen the infamous Cats think the musical really isn’t as bad as people think it is, but most concede that Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots has gone too far. While recounting their problems with the film, u / Clbull made a special mention to Wilson and how his performance was “obnoxious”.

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Flanked by a chorus of horrific CGI mice and cockroaches with childish faces, this Jennyanydots is a far cry from the character iteration of the original musical. But when combined with his propensity for bad puns, many felt Rebel Wilson’s performance was the weakest link in a film full of weak links.

Joël Gray – Cabaret

In the original Broadway production of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, actor Joel Gray originated the role of the seedy master of ceremonies of Kit Kat Klub. He reprized the role for the film adaptation, and Redditor u / DTX120 noted him as a highlight, describing him as “a flamboyant, outrageously sexual character, always in makeup”.

Joel Gray’s host provides biting commentary on the growing fervor of fascism in 1930s Germany and performs alongside Liza Minelli in the film’s famous song, “Money.” Alan Cumming continued to play the master of ceremonies in future covers of the series, making the character even more outrageous and exaggerated.

Chris Pine – In the woods

An image of Chris Pine dramatically singing

In the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim In the woods, Chris Pine plays a female version of Prince Charming from Cinderella. Pine fans Star Trek, including Redditor u / dark sun, look at In the woods and “were struck by how the entire performance of William Shatner Chris [was]. “

Indeed, Chris Pine seems to block it throughout the film, copying Shatner’s famous stunted line delivery in parts of the film. He even rips his jacket during his flagship song, “Agony”, as he laments his inability to seduce Cinderella.

Paris Hilton – Repo: The Genetic Opera

Paris Hilton in Repo The Genetic Opera

While Paris Hilton is well known for her reality TV shows and celebrity cameo in Supernatural, few people know she was in a musical movie. Reddit however hosts many fans of the cult film Repo: The genetic opera, with many of them fondly remembering Hilton’s performance as villainous Amber Sweet.

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As Hilton delves into her perception of audiences as a conceited and spoiled heiress for her role, she would have been much nicer on set. In fact, Redditor u / cutiepatootieadipose shared the fun fact that “most of the clothes her character wears are actually hers.” mentions that Hilton even brought 10 suitcases of her own clothes to help style her character.

Gerard Butler – The Phantom of the Opera

Gérard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera

Gerard Butler’s point of view The Phantom of the Opera is a very controversial topic in musical theater spaces, with people questioning whether his performance was acceptable or not. Editor u / Azure_phantom, who opposes Butler’s performance, declared him “too good to be a” grossly disfigured “monster like the ghost is meant to be.

Thanks to his facial prostheses, the Gerard Butler Phantom’s facial differences are rather subtle and more akin to a mild outbreak of psoriasis or an allergic reaction than complete disfigurement. As a result, the ghost’s anguish seems somewhat exaggerated and lessens the intensity of its revelation.

James Corden – The Ball

Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma + James Corden as Barry in The Prom

Last year, James Corden was at the center of controversy for his performance as gay actor Barry Glickman in Prom, which many viewers saw as playing on the stereotypes of gay men. While discussing the debacle on Reddit, an unknown Redditor observed that Barry Glickman’s role is multifaceted and that “James just doesn’t have the nuance as an actor to do it.”

As Barry begins the film as a flamboyant, self-centered performer, the story later reveals that Barry’s personality is a facade for his own insecurities and inability to be proud and proud as a young man. Without the lived experience of being gay, Corden misses the mark and instead turns into an offensive one-note performance.

Ben Platt – Dear Evan Hansen

While Dear Evan HansenThe titular protagonist takes some morally questionable actions throughout the film, it’s clear that Evan is at least meant to be sympathetic. But some members of the audience believed Ben Platt’s retaliation against the character had fallen flat in more ways than one.

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Editor u / holephilosophy commented that Platt, in his sad moments, “looks like he swallowed a bee,” and it’s hard to disagree with the comparison. While stage actors are more used to performing in front of distant audiences, Platt’s portrayal of a teenager with social anxiety can sometimes look more like a caricature than anything else.

Maddie Ziegler in “Music”

Music Maddie Ziegler sia featured backlash casting

Sia’s first film Music is making headlines for all the wrong reasons about his treatment of people with autism. In dissecting lead actress Maddie Ziegler’s performance, Redditor u / Rinne420 points out that the main character falls into problematic tropes, naming “the huge forced overbite, messy clothes, etc.” as “symptoms” of the neurological and / or developmental disorder.

Reddit consensus seems to be that to watch Music is an uncomfortable and disturbing experience due to the film’s condescending tone towards autism. Ziegler’s performance looks less like a sensitive vision of a young woman with autism than a mockery of a high school bully.

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