Sunday, February 1, 2015

INTO THE WOODS - 3 nominations

Actress in a Supporting Role - Meryl Streep (isn't it nice for her to finally be nominated?)
Costume Design - Colleen Atwood
Production Design - Dennis Gassner (Production Design), Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

I love musicals.  I love love love musicals, and I already knew the entire score of Into the Woods before I went to the film.  Needless to say, no one wanted to sit next to me for fear that I would sing out loud along with the actors.  (That may or may not have happened.  You have no proof.)  But I really really hate when Hollywood takes a favorite musical and turns it into a crappy movie.  And that's why Rob Marshall and I are still friends - this was a darn good adaptation.

If you're not familiar with the Sondheim favorite, the first half of the show takes beloved fairy tales and weaves the characters together.  The central storyline follows a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) who want to have a child and asks them to find four key elements - the cow as white as milk (Jack and the Beanstalk), the shoe as pure as gold (Cinderella), the hair as yellow as corn (Rapunzel), and the cape as red as blood (Little Red Riding Hood), so that the evil witch (Meryl Streep) will remove a curse that keeps the couple from having a child.

As fairy tales always do, everything works out in the end, until... until Sondheim, reminds us that fairy tales aren't real and that life is complicated.  Some of Sondheim's best lyrics are in these songs, and unfortunately, when you take a three hour musical and turn it into a two hour movie, some of the best ones are cut for time.  But at least, if you're going to cut beloved songs, the movie makers decided not to include a new song that was written for the screen.  (good call, movie makers)

Here's my biggest disappointment with regard to Into the Woods - the cast was terrific (with a slightly miscast Johnny Depp) but I am unhappy that Emily Blunt was overlooked for the Supporting Actress category.  She was a true standout in the cast and her exclusion is just wrong.

The production design and the costume design were both wonderful.  The very fertile opportunity to design costumes for a bunch of fairy tales was not missed.  Cinderella's shoes alone had me at "I Wish."  Great job to the costume and production teams.  (I wear a size 6 shoe, if you're wondering what to do with the leftovers.)

I wish, more than anything, more than life... that you will see the film!

See the trailer:

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