Former President Barack Obama has given his official seal of approval to Steven Spielberg’s woke box-office disaster West Side Story, naming it as one of his favorite movies of 2021.
In what has become an annual Obama tradition, the 44th president tweeted a list of his top movies of the past year. And as usual, the list is a precisely calibrated mix of indie darlings, prestige foreign titles, and woke Hollywood fare — all seemingly designed to further ingratiate him with the elite tastemaker crowd, as if their political fealty was ever in doubt.
Also on Obama’s list was another woke box-office bomb, the #MeToo medieval drama The Last Duel, starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Next up are my favorite movies of the year. Each of these films tells a powerful story, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. pic.twitter.com/peFGiaTvby
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 16, 2021
West Side Story, adapted from the classic stage musical, has been a resounding box-office flop, grossing a paltry $10.6 million on its opening weekend, well short of already-depressed forecasts of between $12 million to $17 million. The movie, which reportedly cost close to $100 million to make, drew widespread backlash for its lack of English subtitles during Spanish-language scenes, a deliberate choice Spielberg made to not give “English the power over the Spanish.”
Actress Rachel Zegler further alienated audiences by shaming Americans who don’t speak Spanish.
Spielberg was one of Obama’s biggest Hollywood donors. In one instance, the filmmaker gave $1 million to the Obama super PAC Priorities USA in 2012.
The mainstream media has aggressively promoted West Side Story with an endless run of puff piece, with many critics declaring it one of the best movies of the year. In the wake of its box-office failure, they are now pointing fingers, with some blaming the fact that the original musical was written by four white, Jewish men.
Barack Obama also picked two Netflix movies for his list, both directed by women — the Jane Campion western The Power of the Dog, and Rebecca Hall’s racial drama Passing. The former president has a production deal with Netflix, where he and the former first lady Michelle Obama are producing documentaries and scripted series.