HOW MUCH TIME DO WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING GREAT?
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first film as a director is an adaptation of a stage musical that ”Rent” creator Jonathan Larson wrote a few years before dying. We follow his struggle as an aspiring composer in the AIDS era, hoping to earn Broadway’s attention with a futuristic musical, becoming so obsessed with his work that he’s neglecting the people in his life that provide him with love, friendship and (if only he’d pay attention) inspiration. Staged to great effect by Miranda, making this movie an overlong but still very enjoyable show with energetic music numbers, anchored by Andrew Garfield’s joyful, emotional performance.
2021-U.S. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Oh. Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Screenplay: Steven Levenson. Book, Songs: Jonathan Larson. Cinematography: Alice Brooks. Cast: Andrew Garfield (Jonathan Larson), Alexandra Shipp (Susan Wilson), Robin de Jesús (Michael), Joshua Henry, Vanessa Hudgens, Jonathan Marc Sherman… Bradley Whitford.
Trivia: Among the Broadway stars who show up in cameos: Bebe Neuwirth, Joel Grey and Phylicia Rashad.
Last word: “I pushed [Garfield] out of his comfort zone a little bit. He’s singing and he’s playing the piano. But he knew that he wanted to do that. He knew those were ways that he wanted to express himself that he hadn’t had the opportunity to do. And I knew that if he wanted to do it, he could do it, because I just left ‘Angels in America’ [a Broadway revival starring Garfield] thinking, ‘That guy could do anything!'” (Miranda, Remezcla)