In two major streaming productions, two US shooting stars deliver a magical remote vocal duel this Friday: Disney + celebrates Billie Eilish in the concert film “Happier than ever”, and Amazon Prime makes Camila Cabello the heroine of a “Cinderella” musical.
Stuttgart – What good are the two films with Billie Eilish and Camila Cabello that are now starting on Disney + and Amazon Prime?
Happier than ever
Is that really Billie Eilish, who is driving in a Porsche convertible through the Hollywood Hills and to all the locations that made the dream factory famous? Is it really she who at night on the rooftop of the Roosevelt Hotel gazes lost in thought at Los Angeles glistening peacefully in the valley? Or is this blonde cartoon character hiding Lana Turner, Grace Kelly or Marylin Monroe after all?
Disney’s “Happier than ever: A love letter to Los Angeles” wants – the subtitle suggests – to be more than a concert recording. The film, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Patrick Osborne, meticulously follows the dramaturgy of the Billie Eilish album “Happier than ever”, which was released in July, and shows the songs in their live implementations in the same order as on the record. But in between there are precisely those scenes in which an animated film Billie explores Los Angeles and no longer looks like a manic-depressive teen superstar, but like one of the lascivious and melancholy divas from Hollywood’s golden age.
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But that fits wonderfully with the high-quality songs that the 19-year-old sings in the Hollywood Bowl sometimes with her brother and producer Finneas and sometimes with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel: Because pieces like “Getting older”, “ Billie Bossa nova ”or“ My Future ”, performed by Billie Eilish with a beguilingly mature, dark timbre, no longer sound like stubborn teenage rebellion, but rather like the Great American Songbook, like the glamor of old Hollywood.
Happier than ever – a love letter to Los Angeles. From this Friday on at Disney +
Cinderella is now a hobby tailor who would rather open a fashion boutique than marry the next best prince. The fairy godmother is a butterfly man who waving his magic wand about. And everyone in this fairy tale world seems to have a great talent for singing, when mice, stepmothers or courtiers open their mouths, there is always music in the air – only when Pierce Brosnan, who after all plays the king in this new edition of “Cinderella”, is the singer tries, the musical machine sneakily does not play along and leaves him croaking to himself.
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This candy-colored new version of Grimm’s fairy tale is not suitable for the new “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella”, even if the Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello (“Havana”) as Cinderella has copied some of the cute rebelliousness of the Czech fairy tale film adaptation. Despite stars like Idina Menzel as a stepmother, Billy Porter as the fairy godmother and James Cordon as the enchanted mouse, that would be too much to ask.
Still, the second half of Kay Cannon’s film turns out to be too harmless even for fairytale musicals. The only thing that saves you from it is the soundtrack, which in addition to effective original songs (“Millions to One”) contains many reinterpretations of pop hits – such as Madonna’s “Material Girl”, Queens “Somebody to Love” and a ludicrous mash-up from “Seven Nation Army ”from the White Stripes and“ Whatta Man ”from Salt-N-Pepa.
Cinderella. From this Friday on on Amazon Prime