Starring: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Lucy Punch, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine (Rated PG – 125 min).
Although the movie advertisements have not been completely forthcoming, holding onto that mystical magical sense surrounding the production, fans of composer Stephen Sondheim will be fully aware this Disney cinema event is based on an adored Broadway musical.
Yes, this is a full blown cinematic song and dance opus directed by Rob Marshall who is no slouch in this area having won multiple Oscars for Chicago and bringing the underrated, harmonious star studded Nine on to the cinema screen. Into the Woods’ transition from stage to screen is full of grace and enthusiasm, but if one is not a fan of characters breaking into song mid-sentence Sound of Music style, this is not for you.
Already a front runner for supporting actress during the upcoming award season, Meryl Streep partakes in a relative small role as the Wicked Witch within an extraordinary talented cast who rise as one during this variation of the traditional Brothers Grimm fairy tales. In a land far away, the world according to Grimm is dark in those creaky misty woods so nothing is really as it seems. The mash-up of stories include Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack with his magic beans. All characters are linked while appearing in their own vignettes, however much of the focus is on the baker and Bakers wife longing to be parents but childless due to the wicked witches spells.
It may be advised to avoid taking younger children to this film, Into the Woods is often bleak and not a happily ever after tale, instead take them to see the junior musical remake, Annie. Much of the cute magic sucked away towards the end when addressing themes such as taking responsibility for ones actions highlighted by a lurking Johnny Depp as the big bad wolf.
Most of the cast glimmer, Streep and Depp are a given but Emily Blunt (Looper, Devil Wears Prada) give effortless heart to her bakers wife, ducking and weaving through all emotions while holding a tune. Mackenzie Manzy as Rapunzel has a few incredible moments also. Add to the mix outrageously detailed costumes by Oscar-winning designer Colleen Atwood, this is one of the most successfully daring Disney films for some time.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.