Lin-Manuel Miranda Gets Away With it Again with ‘Vivo’

A grab-bag of Cuban stereotypes from the woke era’s favorite entertainer

The second half of this year was meant to be a triumphant return for Lin-Manuel Miranda, but the results so far have been mixed. Hamilton opened up with the rest of Broadway last week, but has suffered poor returns. So it’s not terribly surprising that the Broadway League announced ahead of time they would not publish grosses for any shows this season. Hollywood set the film adaptation of Miranda’s In The Heights to be the big musical tentpole release of the summer, but it fell afoul of a controversy regarding actors with light skin playing its Afro-Latino characters. Though critics and fans alike received it warmly, In The Heights hasn’t even earned back its budget at the box office.

Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

The main bright spot for Miranda has been the animated Netflix film Vivo, which features Miranda as the voice of the titular kinkajou. Vivo has had fairly robust numbers on Netflix according to FlixPatrol–but as usual, a lack of detailed data makes the movie’s real streaming success difficult to gauge.

Lin-Manuel Miranda may not be as popular as you might think. To a certain type of person, he’s the most important creative American alive, but typical consumers have never heard of him. Relatively few people have actually seen Hamilton, but some of the most powerful people in this country, both in entertainment and politics, number among its greatest fans. In one particularly notorious case, Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum saw his campaign implode in 2018 in part because of a bizarre scandal where he illicitly accepted Hamilton tickets as a de facto bribe.

Miranda is in many ways the perfect encapsulation of the current woke era of popular culture. Hamilton is a musical about founder father Alexander Hamliton, but rapping people of color play him and his contemporaries. Despite the uncomfortable relationship the founding fathers had with slavery, the musical avoids discussing the topic at all to instead present them in a largely positive manner. This is a stark contrast to 1776, a musical which fifty years ago very bluntly critiqued the hypocrisy of nominally anti-slavery conventional delegates who benefited enormously from the slave trade.
Miranda’s work improves the visibility of minorities in popular culture without actually doing anything to address the underlying premises that led to their being invisible in the first place. This was the great irony of the In the Heights controversy. Despite aiming to be a celebration of Afro-Latino culture, the target audience was still quite clearly the older, whiter, show tunes-loving crowd. It’s not that big of an audience to begin with–but it’s one that likes to feel it’s that they’re engaging in cultural appreciation. Which by design, makes them not racist.
A Cuban stereotype of the soul

Which brings us to Vivo. Unlike the other two Lin-Manuel Miranda projects mentioned here, it’s not fair to call Vivo an exclusively Lin-Manuel Miranda-esque joint. He voices the title character and wrote the lyrics. But In the Heights libretto author Quiara Alegria Hudes wrote the story. Along with a white guy. And couple of other white guys directed the movie. But with Lin-Manuel Miranda front and center, with Cuba-inspired songs and storyline, a surface impression of Vivo definitely doesn’t give off the vibe of a typical animated movie.

But Vivo is surprisingly inaccurate. It depicts Havana as a sleepy rustic town in the middle of nowhere, nothing like the incredible hustle and bustle of Miami. A person, and most certainly a child, watching the movie would never guess that Havana has a population of over two million people. That’s the five times the population of Miami proper, and only a third the size of greater Miami.

Whether we should count the latter at all is ambiguous, given that Vivo the kinkajou starts his journey in the United States in an even more exurban location. His comical unfamiliarity with buses, a newfangled technology he had apparently not encountered in Cuba, gets in the way of his trek to Miami. Then there’s the huge stretch of time he spends in the Everglades, where Vivo the kinkajou runs afoul of an improbably gigantic python that looks and acts more like an anaconda.

These are nitpicky complaints that aesthetically speaking bothered me a lot less than how most of this arbitrary worldbuilding didn’t really serve any purpose in the narrative. Vivo is clearly aiming for the same pseudo-educational cultural experience that has become Lin-Manuel Miranda’s calling card. Yet, in many ways, it’s actually an even more antiquated view of Cuban culture than the stereotypes it’s aiming to replace. Vivo, musically and otherwise, has a strong similarity to the Buena Vista Social Club. The popular nineties group was itself a deliberate throwback to pre-Cuban Revolution musical styles. It’s really off-putting and weird to see such an unironic endorsement of this traditional culture as being the true Cuban culture a full generation after the Buena Vista Social Club’s heyday.

But as is the case with much of Lin-Manuel Miranda-style entertainment, it’s genuinely hard to tell whether the reactionary bent is intentional or just borne out of profound ignorance. Where people have critiqued Hamilton for its metaphorical whitewashing, and In the Heights for its literal whitewashing, no similar acknowledgment of the questionable implications of Vivo has been forthcoming since the movie’s release. That’s probably because, as a cartoon intended for children, people have judged Vivo  entirely on its quotient of bright and colorful images that adults tend to assume children find inherently amusing. It’s actually an almost perfect evolution of the Lin-Manuel Miranda form. Vivo is so childish and unpretentious that a person can’t really criticize it without seeming like a grump who can’t be satisfied. Or, worse, someone who just can’t stand to see people of color in an animated movie at all.

As big as the three summer Lin-Manuel Miranda projects may seem we aren’t actually done with him yet this year. He’ll be releasing the musical drama Tick, Tick…Boom! to Netflix in November and will be doing the music for the animated Disney flick Encanto later that month. Tick, Tick…Boom! is not a woke project, and his work with Encanto will be more similar to his role in Moana than Vivo. Still, you can expect both movies to do well critically just off the strength of his branding, even as that branding is becoming increasingly divorced from the man himself.

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William Schwartz

William Schwartz is a reporter and film critic based in Seoul, South Korea. He writes primarily for HanCinema, the world's largest and most popular English language database for South Korean television dramas and films.

31 thoughts on “Lin-Manuel Miranda Gets Away With it Again with ‘Vivo’

  • August 20, 2021 at 4:05 am

    Been to Havana, have to say that this movie accurately portrays the city of Havana. Unfortunately. Because lin manuel sucks!

  • September 8, 2021 at 2:46 am

    I do have to admit that the critiques the movie do feel pretty nit-picky especially when it’s not even trying to make a poignant statement.
    It’s a harmless buddy cop movie about a kinkajou and a little girl trying to deliver a letter to an old man’s long lost love and that’s it.
    There’s nothing offensive in the movie to gawk at since most of it is just people dancing around to whatever song is going on, so yeah you do sound like a “grump” nitpicking this so hard

  • September 8, 2021 at 3:51 am

    I feel like this article is trying to knock Miranda down a peg without understanding why he’s popular to begin with.
    As a black person, I can tell you that the reason why LMM stuck out was because he was one of the first non-white composers to make a breakthrough in a predominantly white medium known as Broadway.
    Also, (slight tangent), but Hamilton is hardly a positive portrayal of the founders since its primary messages about the dangers of selfhood and now the main characters Pride essentially ends up ruining his life.
    Slavery is also mentioned throughout the play but it’s more pronounced and Thomas Jefferson’s number where he brags about being a free liberal mind all the while pushing around his slaves and gets called out for it later by Hamilton himself.
    As for Vivo, the movie was made over a decade ago but only recently came out so nothing it says it’s going to be culturally relevant to what Cuba’s dealing with today.

    • December 2, 2021 at 11:11 pm

      Well, good thing Cuba has been dealing with the same things for over 60 years then.

  • September 8, 2021 at 5:31 am

    I just want to feel like this review is necessarily passive-aggressive?
    LMM isn’t perfect but he’s done a lot for diversity and offered opportunities to marginalize people before was the cool liberal thing to do in Hollywood.
    I can’t speak to any accuracy of Vivo but it’s a cartoon which in itself are built on exaggeration so I wouldn’t expect something like that to be a one-one recollection of an entire country.

    • September 8, 2021 at 10:03 am

      You’re right- it is necessarily passive-aggressive, in the sense LMM’s ouvre is flawed in such a way a person can’t really go after it without sounding like a psycho. LMM has mastered the format of light, fluffy entertainment that feels profound without actually offering much substance. It’s already challenging enough for a critic to challenge the cinematic equivalent of junk food on merit. Throw in LMM’s reputation as an advocate for marginalized reputation, and predominantly white critics just get even more nervous.

      Really, the article is less about Vivo or LMM directly as it is about broader cultural trends in the twenties. We have increasingly lowered standards for major releases, sometimes quite literally in the form of box office numbers. Movies are good less because they’re challenging and more because they’re inoffensive. Creatives are valued less for their vision than for their ability to market. And critics bear a lot of responsiblity for this shift because they’re not pushing back against it, despite this being their job. Thank you for your feedback.

      • September 8, 2021 at 11:16 am

        I feel like even beyond the diversity there’s alot of depth to LMM’s works.
        Hamilton is a borderline-esoteric meditation on fame, ambition, human potential, and the value of one’s time on Earth.
        The main character’s journey is a cautionary tale of one’s own selfhood much like Macbeth before it.
        In The Heights likewise is about the importance of culture, dance, and heritage and these things are universal even if you aren’t related to immigrants.
        IMO, I feel like Miranda’s popularity has caused some to overlook how generally good his work is and that he’s not just popular because he provides “woke” entertainment and I feel like your article William reads as a rebuttal to a person who’s work you haven’t fully engaged with to properly critique.
        To clarify, I did listen to the podcast you had with Neil and it felt like you were going off of perceived notions you had about LMM rather than actually being engaged with any sort of critique of Vivo or otherwise.

  • September 8, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    This article is making an assessment while simultaneously not understanding its subject matter.
    Yes, diversity does play a role in Lin’s success but the main reason is that the themes in his works have a wide appeal worldwide.
    Just look at Vivo,it’s about the power of music- how it allows us to express ourselves, makes us immortal, how it touches us.
    This review doesn’t mention any of that and instead focuses on minor nitpicks that overall amount to little.
    It ironically make the same mistake it’s accusing the work and creator of.

    • September 9, 2021 at 9:44 am

      I disagree that Vivo is about the power of music. Very little of Vivo actually has anything to do with music. It’s only just barely even about the relationship between Vivo and Gabi because so much time is spent in the Everglades, where the two are separated. Vivo opens up with some very sweet sentiment about music, but once the title character arrives in Key West it only really matters as a plot device to motivate the lead characters to get to Miami.

      I’m actually inclined to agree with you that Lin is successful primarily because of his themes, not his image in regards to diversity. What makes the Lin Manuel Miranda odd is that most Broadway stars never really leave Broadway. It’s a very specific audience that hasn’t had mass appeal in quite some time. Even bigger names like Andrew Lloyd Weber and Stephen Schwartz aren’t as well-known as the works they’re famous for. Lin Manuel Miranda’s reputation as an avatar for improved diversity practices is what makes his name a brand in and of itself, in part because that reputation alone makes people far more reluctant to criticize his work the same they would something like Cats.

      • July 19, 2022 at 11:07 pm

        Havana’s population is 2.13 million. You’re looking at City of Miami’s population which is approximately 460k. However, City of Miami is NOT Miami in its entirety, Miami Dade County has 2.07 million that’s about 120k less than Havana & with the latest immigration from Cuba to Miami…….I’m pretty sure it’s about even now. If you’re referring to the Miami from yester years then yes it wasn’t as urban as Havana but in 2022 it’s way more urban. What Cuban music should be depicted? The characters are from yester year? You want to hear Cuban reggaeton from 2021? Cubans are all shades so I’m not sure where you’re going with that…the character could have been black, brown or white.

  • September 9, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    It very much is about the power of song.
    The characters each express themselves through various musical numbers and the plot largely revolves around getting Andres love Song to Martha Sandoval and the movie even closes with the Gabi and Vivo reprising Andres’ opening act.
    The thing about Miranda is that he became a breakout star because he was the first non-white lyricist to make this far.
    So yeah, him being a model minority plays a role in his success but as we’ve seen before that can only get you so far.
    He added a largely Urban feel to modern-day theater and pushed the medium further after it had grown stagnant so it sounds are pretty new to Broadway but also welcoming to people who may not be into show tunes.
    On top of all of that the themes of his Productions are universally understood so anybody can engage with them and identify with the protagonist or side characters.
    I literally have Japanese students who do covers of Hamilton songs

    • September 9, 2021 at 6:52 pm

      This surprises me, and makes me wonder whether your sample set is overly anecdotal based on people trying to learn English. For the sake of reference, musical theater in South Korea is widely advertised and still does lots of standards from Weber and Schwartz. Yet Miranda’s work is nowhere to be seen.

      There’s also the matter of In The Heights doing quite poorly at the international box office, but without the excuse of the colorism controversy or the simultaneous HBO Max release to explain the shortfall. Vivo was probably a success, although as a more collaborative production, as well as one that was dubbed in most territories, it’s also the work furthest from an appeal that could be directly attributed to Lin Manuel Miranda.

  • September 10, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    William, I’m assuming you must have never seen how big the Hamilton experience got?
    People all over the world were doing covers of it and that’s largely because it sounds more like traditional music that a youth would hear on the radio rather than something from West Side Story.
    The pro shot of the play was also a killer app for Disney+ and essentially carried it for most of 2020.
    ITH by comparison is a bit more obscure compared to its successor and releasing during a pandemic alongside Titans like Godzilla vs. Kong and various superhero movies on the horizon was going to be a tough uphill battle no matter what.
    However, Vivo is currently the number one most streamed movie on Netflix so really I guess it just has to do with the environment.
    Ultimately, I would say that Miranda is fairly popular and that’s why companies keep on using him.
    Things like hip hop and R& B are still relatively new to the entertainment sphere so there’s a lot of untapped potential there.

  • November 13, 2021 at 4:16 am

    I’m sort of getting sick of the word “Woke” with how people Loosely throw it around without even understanding the proper meeting and instead use it for anything that isn’t predominantly Anglo- Saxton.
    I mean issue is that you’re disgruntled musings about Miranda have almost nothing to do with the movie nor do you even mention anything that deals with the movie outside of it taking place in the Everglades ( but nothing else about its themes or what it’s trying to convey).
    The film was made almost a decade ago and only came out now because of development hell and the pandemic so it’s view of Cuba is far different than whatever it is now.
    Moreover, I will say that it does sound kind of weird to take an animated film so seriously.
    Nobody questions why Bugs Bunny talks when he’s supposed to be a rabbit or why he doesn’t die when he gets shot by Elmer.
    In regards to LMM, it’s not that deep.
    He’s a Hispanic dude who made a breakthrough in Broadway and he’s popular because he takes foreign things and give them a subversive yet familiar twist which makes them far more approachable to the masses.
    That’s basically what Disney does so it’s not hard to see why people would be a fan of that formula

  • December 2, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    As a Cuban, born in Cuba, with most of my family still in Cuba, I can tell you that they way they represent Cuba is wrong and honestly disrespectful, I couldn’t get past the first 30 minutes of the film because of this. But I strongly disliked the first 30 minutes.

    • July 20, 2022 at 12:04 am

      How was it disrespect? Disrespect is pretending like there are no problems there.

  • December 27, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    This movie is a spit in the face of Cubans everywhere, and a whitewash of history.

  • April 11, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, you might be taking an animated film made a decade ago a little too seriously?

    Most of the film takes place in Florida and it’s largely about the kinkajou trying to deliver his master’s Love Letter To His Old Flame.

    You sound almost as ridiculous as the author

    • April 11, 2022 at 2:36 pm

      William, I can’t help but feel like you’re trying to use this piece to complain about “wokenss” and it really shows.

      It’s pretty easy to see why LMM is popular, and it’s because he managed to diversify a very elitist community and make room for other people when there weren’t any before.

      The only other Broadway play to predominantly feature Latinos prior to the 1999 debut of in the Heights was West Side Story, which featured most of its principal Latinx cast portrayed by white actors in Brown face all while being gangbangers.

      If you actually saw in the Heights you would see that it very much calls out the very premises that keep Latinos and other minority groups held down by the system and is largely about the gentrification that people of color constantly have to face.

      It was a play that was based loosely on his own life and was initially ridiculed because of the ideas that it bought up and for making the white crowd feel uncomfortable.

      It’s also odd to me that you bring up 1776, since it essentially commits the same sins as Hamilton while simultaneously not even being diverse.

      Thomas Jefferson is portrayed as a very anti-racist guy who very much would like to free his slaves even though history shows that he very much enjoyed having sexual relations with his underage serving Sally Hemings ( something that Hamilton itself addresses)

      This article oozes with jaundice and lacks any proper research or information about the very subject of the overall main idea.
      It boils down to a why critic being upset that he can’t be as critical as he wants without being called this or that yet creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by writing such a discriminatory review.

      • April 12, 2022 at 2:52 am

        I get the impression that the main distinction you see between West Side Story versus In The Heights and 1776 versus Hamilton is that the more recent stories were made with heavier involvement from persons of color. Obviously, I agree with the fact of that statement. Where I disagree is that this makes a meaningful distinction in terms of the themes. West Wide Story and In The Heights both deal with ghettos and the American dream, while 1776 and Hamilton both deal with an idealized version of the Founding Fathers. In both cases, the tone is a fundamentally optimistic one, despite the frank depiction of less-than-deal political circumstances.

        Does Lin-Manuel Miranda mark a distinct improvement in terms of persons of color getting better representation in mainstream showtunes style production? Sure. Does he represent a distinct improvement in the discourse regarding the political context of persons of color? I don’t think that’s true, and I’ve yet to see a persuasive argument about the aesthetic of his work that claims that it does.

        • April 13, 2022 at 3:29 pm

          The difference in how West Side Story and in the Heights are as clear as day and not even without bringing up the diversity factor

          The Sharks are presented as violent, hypersexual colonial migrants who came from an island full of “diseases.”
          All of the above, while being played by Caucasian actors in Brown face speaking an exaggerated accents and being an antagonistic force throughout the movie.

          ITH by comparison treats its Community with respect and gives a perspective on the Immigrant experience through different eyes.

          We see the struggles that the community faces, personal triumphs, the effects of gentrification, and the anti Blackness that exist within the Latino community via Benny and his relationship to the Rosario’s.

          William, your article creates the elusion that LMM popularity is attributed to his Works being divergent and that ingredient causes critics to shill him out of fear of being labeled as one thing or the other.

          This is completely unfounded because plenty of “wOkE” projects come out all the time and get critically panned ( PLL’s reboot comes to mind).

          Miranda is popular for the same reason as Disney, being that he’s able to take complicated leitmotifs and make them universally relatable.

          Even if the masses don’t understand the woes of a Colombian family, they can still various familial aspects of Encanto.

          Audience and critics can sympathize with Jonathan Larson because at one point they too probably felt like they were going nowhere in life.

          This is the reason why his projects tend to go viral more so than any perceived wokeness and I feel like your article fell short on mentioning any of this.

          PS- I apologize if I already mentioned this but my previous comment didn’t go through I believe.

          • April 13, 2022 at 4:17 pm

            I disagree that Miranda’s work is viral. If anything, it has much less serious influence on popular culture than you’d think considering how widely promoted he is as an artist by entertainment media institutions. I also don’t agree that he’s praised by critics out of fear. I think the critics who praise Miranda genuinely enjoy his work. I also think this ultimately means very little in terms of whether that work is actually any good, because that praise is mainly due to the perception that Miranda’s work has a positive cultural influence rather than it being artistically defensible on objective merit.

  • April 13, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    I feel like it’s irrefutable that Miranda’s work has gone viral.

    Hamilton at its apex had people all over the world recording covers of the songs thanks to Zoomers spreading its content all throughout social media.

    This happened once again in 2020, when the film was released on Disney+

    We saw this very same this get repeated with Encanto which has now become the biggest Disney soundtrack in the company’s history .

    William, I’m not sure if you’re actually reading the stuff that I’m posting, but whether or not people like Miranda’s work for XYZ reason is fairly moot and subjective.

    My main issue was this review feels pretty cavil, almost in a sense that you didn’t exactly know much about LMM but decided to go forward using him as a roundabout way to critique the idea of “hypocritical wokeness”.

    I’m not even sure what woke is supposed to mean here?

  • April 14, 2022 at 2:12 am

    I do not describe wokeness as being hypocritical, but rather as meaningless. I think that antiquated, reactionary stereotypes are still antiquated and reactionary regardless of whether they’re being promoted by a white person or a person of color. I think that much popularization of poc creators has an element of focusing on the identity of the creator over the actual content of their work, which features surprisingly little diversity in themes compared to even ten years ago, let alone twenty.

    As per your assertion that Hamilton has genuinely gone globally viral, we have very different definitions of what that phrase really means. The videos linked in that YouTube playlist have a pittance of views compared to the typical anime OST as sung by a moderately attractive young woman wearing cosplay. Billboard only tracks American music sales, and even then, only in traditional venues that are increasingly irrelevant in the modern music industry.

    As for the Encanto soundtrack, a lot of that is marketing hype which simply doesn’t have very much to do with Lin-Manuel Miranda at all. Any soundtrack from a major Disney musical is going to do well in the buildup to Oscar season just because of Disney’s aggressive marketing. This is, in fact, why you linked me an article about Encanto when the article we’re discussing is about Vivo- a movie with just as many musical numbers that has been, by comparison, almost completely forgotten.

  • April 14, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    William, numbers are numbers and you conveniently forgot to mention the Hamilton soundtrack topping the charts in my post.

    There have been many Disney soundtracks but none has managed to achieve the amount of a claim that Encanto has ( I mean it’s bigger than Let It Go and A Whole New World for crying out loud). Nobody expected it to be as big as it is and the fact that the Oscars has a throw together multiple for four months is for this one movie is it a testament.
    Even the after mention Vivo has millions of views based on the Netflix playlist alone

    Once again, the big issue here is that your article comes off as illiterate to what you’re trying to go for.

    It makes bare assertions without actually engaging with the subject matter and devolves into bemoaning and Nick picking the aesthetics of a movie featuring a talking kinkajou.

    What about Vivo makes it any less woke than something like and Encanto?

    At this point the word woke just feels like a buzzword thrown around to towards anything not traditionally vanilla.

  • April 14, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    That’s a very strong claim to make that Encanto’s soundtrack has eclipsed A Whole New World and Let It Go in terms of viral popularity. The article you cited only even goes so far as to make a direct comparison with Frozen 2 and is vague about using hard numbers to compare Encanto to Frozen 1. Frozen 2 was also comparably popular in 2020, and I remain skeptical that We Don’t Talk About Bruno will even be at Lost in the Woods level popularity come 2024, let alone Let It Go.

    As for whether Vivo is any less woke than Encanto, it isn’t. Encanto is a significantly more woke than Vivo, clearly relying heavily on its connections to 100 Years of Solitude to build on its prestige despite the fact that Encanto undermines nearly all of the book’s larger themes. Encanto is also significantly more successful than Vivo because its adjacency to the Disney brand gives it credibility that Vivo simply doesn’t. I’m not using “woke” as a synonym for “bad” but rather as a shorthand for heavily commercialized multiculturalism, if that better helps you understand where my analysis is coming from.

  • April 16, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    William I kind of feel like you’re picking and choosing what you’re responding to in my points.

    The idea that the Encanto soundtrack has surpassed soundtrack Disney has done in the past three decades or so is a claim by them and backed up by the numbers that you can find for yourself all over the world.

    That’s also not what woke means.

    It’s a term used by African-Americans to talk about the the racial powers that be that are inherently against them hence being “woke” about such things.

    Simply telling a story about another community of a different ethnicity is not wokeness and we shouldn’t try to stretch out the meanings of words.

    This reinforces the illiteracy of the subject matter that I was talking about in my initial response.

  • April 30, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    This doesn’t really feel like a review to me.

    It feels more so like a incoherent rambling about Miranda’s politics even though I’m not even sure if it’s even that?

    I think this is the issue when it comes to Caucasians trying to prescribe the word woke do anything that they seem to not like or understand

  • July 6, 2022 at 1:42 am

    I’m not really sure what this review is trying to say about either the movie or its main star?

    Is this trying to say that creators like lmm get praise just for the diversity Factor in Hollywood is taken that idea and run with it?

    I can’t really say I agree with that considering that tons of Tyler Perry movies and the light come out all the time and get reviewed bombed constantly.

    If the piece didn’t Vibe with the masses then it wouldn’t be popular so there has to be some Merit of quality somewhere or at least so I would think?

    This whole thing article screams of critical research failure

    • July 6, 2022 at 11:20 am

      An entertainer isn’t woke merely by being a person of color. Tyler Perry is actually a great example of that. Objectively speaking he’s the most successful minority filmmaker of all time, and his career started long before the current wave of woke trends. But he never comes up in these conversations because his work is widely seen as low-brow.

      By contrast, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s main talent is his ability to fuse a high-brow aesthetic into stories with high poc participation- despite the actual content of these stories often being at odds with their alleged themes. Take Vivo starting out as a mostly sincere depiction of nostalgic Havana only to ultimately spend half of its runtime on slapstick cartoon adventures in the Everglades.

  • July 14, 2022 at 11:58 pm

    I apologies for just seeing this comment, but that doesn’t make much sense to me?

    Vivo’s entire premise was about delivering a letter to his deceased owners former lover so why would they spend the entirety of the movie in Cuba?

    I feel like you have a disconnected perception of Miranda and his work which I think is pretty evident by this article.

    Forgive me for making assumptions, but it kind of feels like you just read up on some of the recent happenings with Hamilton and in the Heights and then wrote an article based around that and loosely tied it the art of wokeness and somehow made it a “Vivo review”.

    It’s really messy.


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