How Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ remake danced its way to the Oscars

Women in colorful dresses dance on a New York street.
Ariana DeBose in the movie “West Side Story.”
(Niko Tavernise)

There were, and are still, many questions about Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”

Does it work best as a film? What musical or dance changes would be made? How will its tainted history be dealt with?

Whether they were answered is up to audiences, but Times critic Justin Chang called the film one of Spielberg’s “most exhilarating movies in years.”

Academy members agreed, lavishing the commercially disappointing movie with seven Oscar nominations, including a supporting actress nod for possible history maker Ariana DeBose and recognition for cinematography, costume design, directing, production design, sound and best picture.

Were it to win the big award, it would be the first time ever that a remake of a previous Oscar-winning best picture takes the prize.