Music, the feature-length directorial debut from musician Sia, is one which has had complaints about the fact that the the titular lead character is on the autistic spectrum, but the actress – and long-time Sia collaborator – playing her, Maddie Ziegler, is not. Well, if you saw the 2018 movie Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson played a security guard with one leg removed at the stump. However, he is not in that position in real life.
Then again, a lot of the complaints about this new film came from Rotten Tomatoes where it was review bombed. And, quite frankly, the users on that website are a bunch of fucking idiots. The same has happened on IMDB, too. The trouble with these user reviews scores is that they’re not required to watch the film before they mash their palms on the keyboards. It’s like the trolls who downvote a video on Youtube, without being required to give a reason.
Back to the plot, and Music’s mother, Millie (Mary Kay Place), collapses and dies, so it’s down to half-sister Zu (Kate Hudson – Deepwater Horizon) to step in and help, but she is hardly a model citizen, given her propensity to fail to hold down a normal job, so spends most of her time buying prescription drugs from Evelyn (Juliette Lewis – I Know This Much Is True), and selling them to her regular clients, including Sia in a cameo.
However, she’s going to have to get herself together, since her late mother wrote a guide which describes everything Music – so-called because she walks around with her headphones permanently attached to her head – gets up to in the course of a day, along with what she is allergic to, etc. Courtesy of neighbour Ebo (Leslie Odom Jr – Murder on the Orient Express) – who teaches boxing to youngsters, we learn that the girl has ‘audio filtering’, so can even hear whistpering two rooms away, as her hearing is so sensitive. Plus, she sometimes hears something now, can take up to three weeks to process it, and then responds.
From time to time, it breaks into a song and dance routine like an episode of Scrubs, but in this case, they’re all in the bizarre style of a Sia promo video. For me, these blend in incredibly well. I’m generally not a big fan of musicals, but even for those who are, aren’t we living in a time of musicals after rubbish like The Greatest Showman and the lacklustre Mary Poppins Returns?
Along the way, there’s endless flirting between Zu and Ebo. You’re just waiting for something to happen, but will it? Plus, there’s a cameo for Henry Rollins as one of the neighbours in the apartment block, and Hector Elizondo, who was in The LEGO Batman Movie, but I mostly remember from Chicago Hope as Dr. Phillip Watters, is building manager George, and it’s nice to see him again.
Overall, I wasn’t expecting much from Music, but it’s a surprisingly upbeat watch. It’s also a shame that while the credits state the film is optimised for showing on IMAX screens, all the cinemas are closed. It would be interesting to see this one on the huge IMAX at Vue Printworks Manchester, the third biggest IMAX in Europe.
Running time: 107 minutes
Release date: February 15th 2021
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Producers: Vincent Landay, Sia
Music: Craig DeLeon
Music: Maddie Ziegler
Zu: Kate Hudson
Millie: Mary Kay Place
Ebo: Leslie Odom Jr
Nassir: Braeden Marcott
Felix: Beto Calvillo
Abel: Blair Williamson
George: Hector Elizondo
Police Officer: Eric Davis
Evelyn: Juliette Lewis
Evelyn’s Mom: Kathy Najimy
Popstar Without Borders: Sia
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.