Day 257 & Day 258 – The Sound of Music & West Side Story

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Movie Title: The Sound of Music

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 52 min.

Rated: G

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Maria (Julie Andrews) is preparing to become a nun. She lives in a convent in Austria. She is a believer, but she is also flighty and difficult. The other nuns are not sure that she will take to the nunnery and think that she should have some experience out in the real world. She is very young after all and the main thing that she likes about the nunnery is the singing. She could find that out in the world.

She is sent to be the governess for seven children at the estate of Captain Von Trapp played by Christopher Plummer. Captain Von Trapp is a taciturn man that runs his house like a naval vessel. He has removed every enjoyable element from the home and summons the children through a series of different whistles. After his wife died, Captain Von Trapp lost all joy in his life and it reflects in his household. The children are miserable and have driven away the last several governesses quite quickly.

Maria forms a bond with the children and returns joy to the house and ultimately falls for Captain Von Trapp once the stick is removed from his behind. She becomes a romantic rival with The Baroness (Eleanor Parker) who is out looking to increase her fortune. Maria struggles with her faith, but ultimately pursues Captain Von Trapp. They attempt to settle down, but the rise of the Nazis in Austria prevents their continued happiness.

Verdict:

The musical numbers are great and the odds are you know them even if you haven’t seen the movie. They are recycled often in the movie and it does make it tedious at times. It still remains a classic nevertheless. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: West Side Story (1961)

 

Movie Title: West Side Story

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 33 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

West Side Story is about a lot of things. On one hand it is a Romeo and Juliet styled love story focusing on star crossed lovers Maria (Natalie Wood) and Tony (Richard Beymer) who seem like they will never be together with all that trope entails. But, it is about more than that. It is about life in a big city. It is about the ethnic diversification of America. It is about the survival of a new group of immigrants in a hostile land with the added irony that they are already a part of it. It is about what happens to children raised in a hostile environment. It is about the growing liberalism of America in the 1960s. It is about being young and naivete. What makes West Side Story great is that it hits all these topics poignantly and handles them in a highly entertaining package. Yet, it manages to remain a movie that doesn’t dwell in darkness. If West Side Story had been made in the era of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy the grit required would have made this story too depressing to be watchable.

Verdict:

The performances are great. The choreography is impressive. The music is excellent and it doesn’t rely on a lot of reprisals to move the story along. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Sunset Boulevard (1950)

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