For you music fans, this is a film you will embrace. The rest of you will tolerate it.
The Oscar nominated performance by Andrew Garfield makes this a movie everyone should see. Even if musicals are not your cinematic cup of tea, all of you are likely to be emotionally moved as he plays Broadway Playwright Jonathan Larson.
You watch Larson, who later wrote the Broadway hit Rent, doubt his choice of careers as he finds himself 2 days short of his 30th Birthday in 1990. Working on a play for close to 8 years that appears to be going nowhere, his relationship with his talented girlfriend (a superb Vanessa Hudgens) crashes on the Broadway rocks.
Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is likely to win an Oscar for his song in Encanto, this film functions as an off-Broadway play about the making of an off-Broadway play. Sensing that he will be an old man when he turns 30, Larson feels that he is wasting his life.
Garfield’s singing captures the strength of this film. While the story itself is best described as a hit and miss movie, it nonetheless, captures your heart as you watch Garfield’s Larson’s emotional reaction when he learns that his close friend Michael (an unforgettable Robin de Jesús) is dying of AIDS.
Even if you are not a fan of musical films, this movie is worth hunting down. At a minimum it demonstrates that Andrew Garfield has artistic talent that he was hiding in “Spider-Man” (2012 and 2014).