I found a list of my top favourite 50 albums I’d made back in 2008, and I thought it would be fun to revisit and update. More than half of my picks remained the same, so my musical tastes haven’t undergone a dramatic change in the last ten years. Organising the albums in the exact order of preference is too much headache, so after the top two it’s a loose list.
As I’ve mentioned in some other reviews, musicals are not really my cuppa, so if you bring up a classic movie musical chances are I haven’t seen it. Same went for this 1972 film directed by Bob Fosse; the only two things I knew about it was that 1) it starred Liza Minnelli and 2) it’s set in Weimar era Germany, at the time when the Nazi Party was on the rise. After watching the film, I can happily add one more musical I really like to my short list. Maybe my issue is more that I don’t care for the wholesome happy musicals?
Solid if not quite spectacular effort from Disney. If nothing else I’m happy that I watched it at the cinema, because this movie really is exceptionally beautiful – and that’s saying a lot because complimenting an animated film on visuals is like complimenting big blockbusters on special effects: what doesn’t look great, these days? Yet the Polynesian-inspired world of Moana really does feel special and magical, or maybe it’s just that I can’t watch gorgeous tropical scenery and not think, I need a holiday and I so want to be there.
Hi I’m a joyless McKilljoy who thought that La La Land was just ok.
I should probably preface it by saying that I’m not the biggest lover of musicals, an odd Chicago or Grease aside, and the old-school musicals in particular leave me cold, so a modern-day homage to the musicals of the 40s and 50s was never going to be an automatic sell for me. But I can still appreciate those older movies’ earnest, unabashed romanticism and I can hum an odd tune or two from many of them, whereas I found the music in La La Land instantly forgettable save for the low-key main theme with its simple but catchy piano riff. Also, while Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are both gorgeous and have a genuinely great chemistry, as singers they don’t rise above adequate. It’s a bit ironic that my favourite musical moment of the film happens when Gosling’s character is performing with his sellout pop-jazz band and the movie hands the microphone to John Legend, who can well and truly sing.