Music: Film Review

Music

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Sia‘s directorial debut Music already thanks to the controversy over her casting Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teen. When the backlash first began late last year, Sia urged people to wait and see the movie before judging it and now I’ve done just that, I can tell you everyone was spot-on with their criticism back then. 

Sia’s longtime muse and regular music video star Ziegler stars as Music, a largely non-verbal teenager who has been raised by her grandmother Millie (Mary Kay Place), with some help from neighbours George (Hector Elizondo) and Ebo (Leslie Odom Jr.). When Millie suddenly passes away, recovering addict Zu (Kate Hudson) is forced to become her younger sister’s guardian, which is a recipe for disaster because she can barely look after herself, let alone a teenager with complex needs. 

Sia has insisted that she had good intentions when she made this movie and I’m sure she didn’t set out to make a film that is offensive to the very community she’s trying to spotlight. Casting Ziegler as an autistic character was a misguided decision in itself – yes, it’s been done in the past (Rain Man and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape spring to mind) but this is 2021 and times have changed – but what makes it even worse is the depiction of the character. Ziegler’s mannerisms are exaggerated and like a caricature of an autistic person; Music never feels like a real human being. 

And what’s even worse (yes, really) is that Music (the person) isn’t the star of this film, even though she’s the title character. You go in expecting her to be the lead and it starts off that way, but she is pushed aside once Zu comes into the picture. Her story is lost in favour of Zu’s redemption arc; her getting her s**t together, learning how to step up and be a responsible adult, and find love. Music fades into the background more and more and becomes a supporting character.

But the issues don’t stop there. The movie is littered with these fantasy musical sequences that are colourful, vibrant, and highly stylised and serve as Music’s daydreams, yet they offer no real insight into her mind. I’m a big fan of Sia’s music so I liked most of the songs and the contemporary choreography was interesting to watch but they made no sense within the context of the rest of the film. It was originally conceived as a straightforward drama and then it became a musical and that doesn’t surprise me because it feels like two very different films have been squashed together. A serious gritty drama about an addict’s recovery doesn’t gel with a series of surreal music videos! They also interrupt the flow of the narrative and don’t add anything to the story or push it forward, they’re basically just pointless musical interludes. They were the highlights of the film for me, but they made absolutely no sense.

I don’t want to place any blame on Ziegler because she was 14 at the time of filming Music and it’s unfortunate that she was cast at all. Given the dance sequences, I can see why Sia hired her go-to dancer, but casting a neurotypical actor as Music was a bad call. Hudson doesn’t do a terrible job yet I’m still baffled about her recent Golden Globe nomination for this, it wasn’t nomination-worthy in my book. Odom Jr. is the kind and compassionate Ebo, who is given an unconvincing romance storyline with Zu, while Ben Schwartz plays Zu’s employer – she sells his drugs to clients such as Evelyn (Juliette Lewis) and “Popstar Without Borders”, played by Sia in a mind-boggling random cameo. But everyone is done a disservice by the script, which only offers up one-dimensional characters. 

Sia once opened up about the difficulties in the editing process for Music, which took over three years, and that’s pretty clear too. The film is a mess, the different tones don’t fit, it’s a mishmash bundle of scenes, and Kathy Najimy is in the credits even though her part has been reduced to us seeing the back of her head. Following the Globe nominations, during which Music was inexplicably nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Sia apologised and said the restraint scenes in the film would be removed and a warning label would be added – this was certainly not the case for the copy I watched. 

I don’t recommend watching Music. It’s offensive, tone-deaf, misguided, not to mention poorly made. 

Available on digital platforms from Monday 15th February

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Golden Globes 2018: Best & Worst Dressed

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that the actors and actresses attending the Golden Globes last night wore black to support the Time’s Up movement. Here are some of my favourite looks of the night.

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SAG Awards 2017: Best and Worst Dressed

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Last night it was the Screen Actors Guild Awards. You already know about the winners (see here) so now let’s look at the fashion.

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Deepwater Horizon: Film Review

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It’s hard to believe this happened five years ago but I’m sure we all remember reading about the massive explosion at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and its devastating impact on the environment. Despite it being thought to be the largest marine oil spill in history, I never knew the name of the rig or anything about its explosion or those who died so new disaster movie Deepwater Horizon sheds light on that side of the story and gives us a blockbuster-style retelling of what went down.

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Top Films for September

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How is it September already?! I can’t believe it’s here but there is an impressive slate of films heading your way this month, so I had to expand my usual five-six recommendations to eight and I could have even included more. There is THAT much cool stuff coming up.

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Golden Globes 2016: Best & Worst Dressed

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Now I love me some fashion, and after a sad day like today I need to distract myself by looking through the red carpet outfits from the 2016 Golden Globes Sunday night.

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People’s Choice Awards: Best & Worst Dressed

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Yay! Awards season is officially back. It all kicked off last night with the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles. You can find out all the winners here – but let’s be honest, these things are just as much about the red carpet style!

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Met Ball 2015: Best & Worst Dressed

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Forget the Oscars, forget the Grammys… The Met Ball is officially the biggest night on the fashion calendar because it is ALL about the red carpet. Nobody really cares about the fundraising that happens inside! So many stars attend and they go all out with the fashion and their bold choices really divide opinion. This what red carpets should be about! So much to discuss and debate over.

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Big Pics: Bruce Willis, Justin Bieber & Ed Sheeran

Bruce Willis

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Check out Bruce enjoying a day out at Disneyland, California with wife Emma and daughter Mabel.

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Justin Bieber

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What the heck is Bieber wearing?! Why do Chanel make them?!

Tiffany & Co party 

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The stars turned out for a Tiffany & Co event. Perhaps there was a sweet goody bag?! I love Kate Hudson’s dress but Carey Mulligan’s jacket is very odd. I love Michelle Williams’ hair.

Victoria Beckham

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Victoria celebrated her 39th with a tasty-looking chocolate cake. I wonder if she had much of it!

Ed Sheeran

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I am LOVING this pic! Ed looks so cute in this Lego costume.

One Direction

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Check out the movie poster for the upcoming One Direction movie. I think it’s a crap title to be honest, but I will still watch it!

Kate Hudson: “Two months later I was pregnant”

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Kate Hudson revealed that her relationship with Matt Bellamy was going along nicely, they were having lovely dates…until she fell pregnant two months later.

Speaking to Elle magazine, Kate said: “It was all very old-fashioned and proper and we went on lovely dates, but two months later I was pregnant.”

The accidental pregnancy could have broken the new couple yet the 33-year-old actress and Muse frontman are still going strong today and hope to get married in the future.

“I knew it would take a strong man to deal with it. You know that with a relationship things can go either way when you have a child. Everything becomes a big decision. He was there and that was that, but things happen for a reason. Now it’s three wonderful years later.”

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I can’t believe it’s been three years already! The couple had originally planned to do things the old-fashioned way, so marriage is still on the cards from them. They have been engaged since 2011 and divide their time between the US and UK. Their son, Bingham, will become two in July. 

Kate explained: “We will get married. I do think it’s important but we have no plans. [her other son] Ryder wants a party. For me it’s not the legal part that is important, it’s what it means to the family.”

Hudson has been married once before to rocker Chris Robinson. They were married for six years and had a son together named Ryder, who is now nine.