Counting Down The Best Modern Musicals - Picturehouse Spotlight

Counting Down The Best Modern Musicals

In the runup to The Greatest Showman's Boxing Day release, Sarah Cook takes a look at the best modern big-screen musicals

Musicals are incredible. They have the power to transport us to different worlds, keep us upbeat with a melodious tune and make us fall in love over again. Through wildly imaginative set-pieces and epic dance sequences, the musical has been delighting us for decades.

Even nowadays we’ve been delighted by toe-tapping and show-stopping numbers in some truly original movies. This continues in the Hugh Jackman led original musical The Greatest Showman.

To celebrate its release, we’re looking at some epic modern musicals.


6
Sing Street
Sing Street
Sing Street

John Carney (2016)

Perhaps not a musical in the conventional sense, John Carney’s plucky eponymous band bring a gusto spirit to their calamitous lives by starting a school band. As the school boys try to navigate the world of divorce, bullies, love and imposing teachers, they pour their emotions into 1980s themed tunes. The film itself has a lot of heart and beats so impossible not to love that’ll you’ll never stop singing Drive it Like you Stole It.


5
Burlesque
Burlesque
Burlesque

Michael Kaplan (2010)

A musical led by Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell, and bloody Cher? Sold. So sold. Yes, the film is cheesy and somewhat trashy. It revolves around the atypical small town girl looking for a big time dream who winds up a cabaret star who can belt out a few tunes. Yes it’s silly, yes it’s dumb, but, no, it does not care. Occasionally you just have to indulge in the preposterous.


4
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Repo
Repo

Darren Lynn Bousman (2008)

Speaking about trashy films, if you are into over-the-top spectacles then this underground cult hit Repo! The Genetic Opera is just for you. Starring Anthony Stewart Head, the film revolves around a distant future where synthetic organs are all the rage but the company who created them can take them back if you default on payments. Ludicrous at best, highly entertaining at worst, Repo! The Genetic Opera is a mash up of steam-punk, heavy rock, opera, and gruesome bloody bits.


3
La La Land
La La Land
La La Land

Damien Chazelle (2017)

The award-winning and ground-breaking film swept us up in dazzling sequences in the stars and twirling jazz numbers. Damien Chazelle followed up his pulsating Whiplash debut with a delicate but no less visceral, La La Land. Pairing up Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling once more, the homage to the classics was a spell-binding affair that helped win Stone an Academy Award.


2
Moulin Rouge!
Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge

Baz Luhrmann (2001)

The world of the Parisian underground is brought to spectacular (spectacular) life in Baz Luhrmann’s decadent show-stopper. The mix of the bright aesthetics of the titular venue in the end of the 19th century with modern music such as Nirvana, Queen, and Elton John electrifies audiences. It helps that Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman are so kinetic as the leading couple in this impossible love story.


1
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Hedwig
Hedwig

John Cameron Mitchell (2001)

Hedwig exploded onto the big screen with a flurry of punk songs and an emotive story. The tale of a German singer who, scorned, follows her ex-lover across America with tales of anguish and woe. Each emotion is captivated superbly in these rage-filled songs and vibrant colour-filled grunge, culminating in one of the most stunning musical endings of all time.


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