Jessica, Preston | March 1, 2021
If you love movie musicals but you feel like you’ve already seen them all, check out our list below. These movie musicals may not have received as much attention as other recent releases like La La Land (2016) and The Greatest Showman (2017), but they all have compelling storylines, memorable tunes, and great performances.
Read on for our favourite recent movie musicals that have flown under the radar:
Anna and the Apocalypse (2019): One reviewer touted this film as “Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land,” which is quite an apt description. A zombie apocalypse breaks out in England, and Anna and her best friend must fight their way back to their high school to shelter with their friends and families. The catchy pop songs are hilariously at odds with the jump scares and other horror movie tropes.
Teen Spirit (2018): Elle Fanning is excellent as Violet, a shy small-town teenager who enters a TV singing competition. The plot is predictable yet fun. The real draw is the stylish musical numbers, mostly covers of pop songs, such as Tegan and Sara’s “I Was a Fool” and Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.” The final song, a cover of Sigrid’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” is breathtaking.
Sing Street (2016): This original movie musical is so good it’s set to become a Broadway musical! From John Carney (the writer/director behind Once (2007)), it tells the story of a dorky Irish teen in the 1980s who starts a band to impress a girl. Even if you are unaffected by the heartwarming story, you will be won over by the original music.
London Road (2015): This unusual movie-musical is an adaptation of the 2011 stage musical of the same name. It tells the true story of an English community affected by a series of murders in the late-2000s. All the dialogue and lyrics were taken verbatim from interviews with the real-life locals.
The Last Five Years (2014): Based on the hit 2002 stage musical, this movie tells the story of a couple falling in and out of love. The twist is that the wife’s story is told from the end to the beginning, while the husband’s story is told from the beginning to the end (the only song they share is at their wedding in the middle of the movie). Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan are fantastic.
God Help the Girl (2014): In this delightful movie-musical, a young woman escapes a Glasgow hospital to form a pop group with a pair of quirky new friends. What the film lacks in plot it makes up for in a charming cast, great hipster fashions, and a seriously catchy soundtrack (care of Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch). Be warned, you may find yourself humming these songs for days.
What is your favourite movie musical? Tell us in the comments below!