Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical In The Heights was been released on the big screen in the UK on Friday(18 June).
The musical is the brainchild of the Hamilton creator, with the movie adaptation directed by Crazy Rich Asian’s director Jon Chu, and tells the story of Usnavi, Nina and Benny and the Washington Heights community in Manhattan.
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Here’s all you need to know about In The Heights the film.
What is In The Heights about?
In The Heights tells the story of several characters living within a corner in Washington Heights in Manhattan. The film centers around Usnavi, a bodega owner who dreams of returning to his native Dominican Republic. He is even more driven by the prospect of inheriting his grandmother’s fortuner.
The film also focuses on Nina, who has just returned home to Washington Heights after finishing her first year of college.
In The Heights tells the story of a community discovering what the true meaning of home is, and how one winning lottery ticket can change the fortunes of people’s lives forever.
Who is in the cast of In The Heights?
Usnavi is played by Anthony Ramos. Ramos will be most known for his split roles as John Laurence and Philip Hamilton is the musical sensation Hamilton.
Ramos has also played the role of Usnavi in a stage production of In The Heights.
The role of Nina is played by Latin Grammy nominee Leslie Grace. Grace is making her global film debut alongside Mexican actress Melissa Barrera, who stars as Vanessa.
Daphne Rubin-Vega stars as beauty salon owner Daniela. Rubin-Vega was the Mimi in the musical Rent’s original Broadway run. She appears alongside Orange is the New Black actress Dascha Polanco, as Cuca.
Stephanie Beatriz plays local hairdresser Carla. Beatriz is best known for her role as tough cop Rosa Diaz in the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Jimmy Smits, from NYPD Blue and Star Wars, stars as Kevin Rosario. The role of Benny is played by The Walking Dead actor Corey Hawkins.
Lin Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical and played Usnavi in the Broadway production, will appear in the movie as the Piragua man.
Christopher Jackson, best known for his role as George Washington in Hamilton will make a brief cameo as Piragua man’s rival Mister Softee. Jackson also played the role of Benny in the musicals original broadway cast.
When is In The Heights UK release date?
In The Heights was released in UK cinemas on 18 June 2021.
A selection of cinemas across the country are also offering exclusive early screenings before the nationwide release date.
How to watch In The Heights in the UK?
The first place to see In The Heights film in the UK will be at the cinema.
In the US, the film will be released on streaming service HBO Max simultaneously with its theatrical release. However, the production company Warner Brothers announced this won't be the case for the UK.
What have the critics said about In The Heights?
In the Heights has been met with positive reviews from the critics after its opening weekend.
Justin Chang for the Los Angeles Times praised the movie’s scale saying: “At nearly two-and-a-half hours and with a terrific ensemble of actors singing, rapping, dancing and practically bursting out of the frame, ‘In the Heights’ is a brash and invigorating entertainment, a movie of tender, delicate moments that nonetheless revels unabashedly in its own size and scale.”
Kate Sánchez for the website But Why Tho? said the film is the “most stunning example of Latinx joy I have ever seen on screen”.
She added: “I can talk about how I was Nina, in a place where everyone thought I didn’t belong, and how that fueled my imposter syndrome. I can talk about how the film’s most touching number isn’t one that comes from sadness, but instead, one calling for Latinx folks to raise our flags, to own our identities, and feel joy and strength with it. I can write about all of those things and somehow I would still not be able to capture the power and the beauty of ‘In the Heights.’"
Leah Greenblatt called the film “revolutionary” in her review for Entertainment Weekly. She said: “For all its rich tapestry and radiant ingenues, it’s that casual centering of so many marginalized voices that makes the movie feel, in its own way, revolutionary: a Technicolor marvel as heady as Old Hollywood, and as modern as this moment.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney praised the film for its portrayal of marginalised communities. He wrote: ““The movie glows with an abundance of love for its characters, their milieu and the pride with which they defend their cultural footprint against the encroaching forces of New York development that continually shove the marginalized further into the margins.”