Music (M) - 107 minutes
Updated: Jan 12
A decidedly quirky drama cum musical, Music marks the directorial debut of Sia, who co-wrote the screenplay (with Dallas Clayton), based on her own short story, and penned the songs that are prominent throughout.
Music (Maddie Ziegler, Sia’s friend and creative muse since 2014) is on the autism spectrum and is never parted from her headphones through which she constantly listens to – you guessed it – music.
She hardly speaks, but is much loved by her grandmother, Millie (Mary Kay Place).
Music is used to a very specific routine and as long as that is adhered to she is fine (otherwise she is prone to insecurity and tantrums).
Millie has worded up friends and neighbours to ensure she is watched closely when she goes on her daily walks.
But one day, Millie’s house of cards comes tumbling down and grandma is no longer in the picture.
Instead, Music's newly sober, drug dealing half-sister, the free-spirited Zu (Kate Hudson) – somebody who hadn’t been around – enters the fray.
Zu is quite a piece of work and is totally out of her depth.
Thankfully, a caring neighbour, Ebo (Leslie Odom Jr), has kept a close eye on Music and knows what to do.
Zu’s life is a bit of a train wreck and she dreams of a piece of paradise abroad.
Generally, she is an up character in spite of her irresponsible ways, which see her on probation after being locked up.
She takes a shining to Ebo and he to her, although he is harbouring a few skeletons in his closet.
Meanwhile, Music needs round the clock looking after.
Music is a story about the title character and those that populate her life, with Zu as much the focus of attention as Music.
A series of peppy and often bizarre music and dance videos involving the principal characters punctuate the narrative arc.
Colourful though they are, I am not convinced they add much.
In fact, you have to suspend belief to get the most out of Music for you could easily pick holes in the script, which deals with finding your own voice.
The actors are a delight and make the most of their respective roles.
Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler light up the screen.
Their smiles are infectious. With an upturned lip the world is their oyster.
Leslie Odom Jr brings a quiet dignity to the piece.
Hector Elizondo displays deliberate restraint as landlord George, who in spite of his neutral exterior presents as sympathetic.
My mind tended to drift every time another song came on and the storyline tends to jump about, but the work is well meaning, even if it is a film only for selective tastes.
Rated M, Music scores a 6½ out of 10.