MUSIC (12)

D: Sia (Sia Furler)

Hanway / Atlantic / Pineapple Lasagne / Crush (Sia & Vincent Landay)

US 🇺🇸 2020 [released 2021]

107 mins


W: Sia & Dallas Clayton

DP: Sebastian Winters

Ed: Matt Chesse, Curtiss Clayton & Dana Congdon

Mus: Craig DeLeon; Sia

Kate Hudson (Zu), Maddie Ziegler (Music), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Ebo), Hector Elizondo (George), Mary Kay Place (Millie)

Pop singer Sia envisioned this pet project musical fantasia as early as 2015, at the height of her stardom before it eventually went into production in 2017.

Kate Hudson stars as Zu, a reformed drug addict who becomes the custodian of her autistic, non-verbal younger sister, Music, who finds the ability to express herself when she listens to music.

Unfortunately, the film rests on its performances, which are frankly offensive in its depictions, particularly when it comes to the portrayal of autism, insultingly displayed as an unrealistic stereotype that borders on spasticity.  Maddie Ziegler can’t really be blamed for this, as Sia’s authoritarian direction dictated this. However, I would have had far more respect for the young actress if she had told Sia to fuck off and say that the paycheque and screen credit just wasn’t worth it.  The only possible way this portrayal could be more offensive was if the film’s title, and the name of Ziegler’s character, was changed to “Spastic”, or even “Mong”.

There’s a saying that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, but I really don’t think Sia had good intentions when she became involved in this film’s creation. I honestly think she’s conceited enough to believe that her music, even the cack B-side material used in this turd of a film, can cure autism.

Released in early 2021, the film qualified for both the awards season honouring movies released in 2020, where it was deservedly nominated for a Razzie for worst film of the year (“winning” the awards for Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actres and Worst Director).

Regardless of whether it counts as a 2020 film or a 2021 film, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was considered the worst film of the entire decade.


Maddie Ziegler in Music
Maddie Ziegler in Music