IN THE HEIGHTS
Director: Jon M. Chu
2021, USA, 143, PG-13
Screenwriter: Quiara Alegría Hudes, based on the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes.
Cast: Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Jimmy Smits.
Treat yourself to the spirit-recharging movie of the summer on the big screen, by the director Jon M Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) and the genius songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton). Just like West Side Story, Fame and Saturday Night Fever, it was filmed in New York City, capturing all of its energy and aspirations. New star Anthony Ramos plays Usnavi, a bodega owner, in Miranda’s childhood neighborhood in upper Manhattan. The plot loosely follows the love stories of two couples: Usnavi and Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), a would-be fashion designer; and Benny and Nina, a taxi dispatcher and a financially strapped Stanford student (Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace). But it’s the Heights community (and its music) that is everything, with its mix of Latino immigrants who believe in the America Dream even while they struggle to make it a reality.
“Magical and euphoric…It leaves you so grateful that someone kept the lights on and preserved the honey-sweet vertigo that sweeps over your whole body when you sit in a dark room and surrender to a good musical.” – David Ehrlich, Indiewire.