Musical Movies

They may not be for everyone, but I am a massive fan of musicals, as anyone who has been unlucky enough to hear my shower singing will know. As such, I feel it my duty to share the fabulous and wonderful world of movie musicals with anyone who wishes to read this, hoping the self-selecting nature of readership will mean my recommendations will be acted upon.  

Mamma Mia 

8/10, available on Netflix 

Okay, I’m going to momentarily break my stage-to-film adaptation rule for this one. It is unlikely anyone choosing to read a review of movie musicals has not seen this classic, however, as far as movies you can watch over and over again go, this one is fantastic. Based on the greatest hits of ABBA, it is impossible to not sing along and occasionally have a small boogie. The storyline isn’t the greatest and Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper aren’t the best actors, but these faults aren’t deal-breakers. The film is funny, lighthearted and fun to watch. For a feel-good movie musical there is little else I could want.  

Moulin Rouge 

7/10, available on Disney + 

I love this film and forced my flatmates to watch it with me. The only response I could get from them is “What did I just watch?”. This question sums up the film quite well – it’s very busy, fast-paced and can leave the audience feeling dazed by what they’ve just witnessed. So far, I haven’t made the film sound brilliant, but I can promise it is worth watching. As the film in Baz Luhrman’s ‘Red Curtain’ Trilogy that represents music, it celebrates the best and greatest songs of the half century leading up to its release. It rejuvenates these songs, almost brightens them, so that they, in turn, can reflect the glitz of the Moulin Rouge in bohemian Paris. Besides, if its dedication to putting music at the centre of a film doesn’t convince you to watch it, perhaps the novelty of watching Jim Broadbent trying to do the Can Can will.  

Singin in the Rain 

9/10, available on BBC iPlayer 

This is my favourite movie musical. A true classic, the film follows a movie star, a would-be actress and a musician as they try to keep up with the introduction of sound to previously silent movies in 1920s Los Angeles. Being a Gene Kelly movie, this film is filled with tap dancing that looks incredibly effortless and beautiful. The songs are also catchy without being annoying. The storyline is impossible not to laugh at, from Gene Kelly jumping into Debbie Reynolds’ moving car to elocution lessons that end in a tongue-twister becoming a song. I can’t watch this film without smiling and humming the tunes for the rest of the day, which is in itself proof of its quality as a movie musical.  

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