This morning Variety‘s Marc Malkin reminded the industry that “recorded stage productions are not eligible for consideration.” That’s straight out of the AMPAS rulebook, and so you can forget Hamilton as a Best Picture contender.
The fact that the Disney Plus filmed version was watched by nearly everyone over the Independence Day holiday weekend will have to do. That and the fact that it’s won 11 Tonys, a Pulitzer and a Grammy.
Hollywood Elsewhere watched the Disney Plus Hamilton a couple of nights ago, and my basic reaction was to agree that 18th Century hip-hop is indeed a thing to submit to, revel in and cheer as far as it goes.
Hamilton is five years old now, but it was the first high-impact show to afford POCs strength and dominance in a reimagined historical narrative. Many films, plays and streamers followed in its conceptual wake. A brilliant gimmick slash concept, and certainly vigorously staged, inventive, dynamically conceived, excitingly choreographed. So yes, it’s quite the capturing of the late Obama zeitgeist.
But thank God for the subtitle option. I caught a phrase here and there, but I’m glad I saw it with subtitles because at least I understood every line and phrase. If I’d paid $400 or $500 to see it on stage at Manhattan’s Richard Rodgers theatre, I would have followed the general drift but missed 60% or 70% of the particulars.