April 15, 2010
Julie's in fine form and some of the production numbers, especially Jenny, are eye popping but it's just too long.
April 30, 2007
My favorite Julie Andrews musical, it's an epic, it's a bit longer than LOTR, and as the main review says, she's on screen all the time. This movie shows off her many talents, faces, voices, and dance moves. But the best of all is when she does the Saga of Jenny. This movie will make you gay, or a lesbian depending on your sex.
March 19, 2011
An early favorite. I love the songs and Julie Andrews of course.
September 14, 2004
The first time I heard of [i]Star![/i] it was in one of the first issues of [i]Entertainment Weekly[/i] featuring the biggest turkeys of all time. The art they used to illustrate the film was Julie Andrews flanked by two sequined dancing devils. This looked odd to me. Of course, if someone had merely explained that the photo was of a production number from the circus dream sequence of [i]Lady in the Dark[/i], I could have avoided years of confusion.
Anyway, because of this article I put off watching [i]Star![/i] until a couple of years ago. But I liked it. And I still liked it when I watched the DVD this afternoon. Julie Andrews plays Gertrude Lawrence wonderfully and Robert Wise certainly knows how to direct musicals. The movie is pretty long at 173 minutes, and it could easily lose 20 minutes without detriment, but it's still a very enjoyable muscial biopic. So why did it fail on such a grand scale? The easy answer is that Julie Andrews's fans didn't want to watch mary Poppins/Maria von Trapp drinking and cursing and being a bitch. But that's too easy.
I think what often gets overlooked is that [i]Star![/i] has essentially the same plot as [i]Funny Girl[/i], 1968's other big musical biography. (Granted, every musical biopic has the same plot, but I digress.) Both Gertie and Fanny grew up poor, started small in the business, got rich and went broke. However, Fanny Brice was a very american star from New York who began her career in nightclubs and it's possible that [i]Star![/i] was a little too British for Yankee tastes. Also, [i]Funny Girl[/i] had pre-sold name recognition due to its Broadway success. And its Broadway star. And this was Barbra's film debut. Good as she was, Julie Andrews was old news by 1968.
But [i]Star![/i] shouldn't be overlooked. It's a tour de force for Dame Julie and deserves a place on the shelf with [i]The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins[/i] and [i]Victor/Victoria[/i].