Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sweeney Todd. Go See It.

Mom, Dad, Andy and I made the trek to Short Pump Suburban Sprawl Center last night to see Sweeney Todd. My hopes were high--my favorite actor in my favorite musical. Not only did it meet my expectations, it exceeded them ten times over!
I was not sure I'd like seeing Sweeney Todd performed by people who were not primarily singers. I'd have never considered casting a stage production of it with anything less than stellar vocalists, given the difficulty and complexity of the music. As it turned out, I was so gob-smacked by all the other elements of the film and so mesmerized by the performances, that the singing abilities of the actors was a non-issue. It's a perfectly cast film, and somehow the story shone through to me more than it has when I have seen it onstage. Sure, there are some things that I missed hearing, like the prologue that has always made the hair on my arms stick up. But the elements that were sacrificed for the movie were done so with impeccable judgement. There's a lot of blood and gore, so if this bothers you, be warned. I had to avert my gaze every now and again! I was completely seduced by the look of the film. It's very dark and ominous and everything has a little bit of decay around the edges, contrasting with the bright sharpness of the blades and the blood. Tim Burton is a genius.
I'm afraid my all-time favorite movie musical, Mary Poppins, has been knocked to second place.


JB said...

Wow! What an endorsement. I can not wait to see this. Steve recently showed me the Angela Lansbury version and I freaking flipped out I loved it so much!!
BTW - it was fun watching you sing across a crowded room on Christmas Eve. Hope your Mom is feeling better. At least they have a sense of humor about it. :)

Janine Serresseque said...

Oh yeah, Mom's the salt of the earth. Bless her heart, she is not one to be a wimp.

I did not think I could love anybody as Mrs. Lovett as much as Angela Lansbury. Helena brings something completely different to the role.

JB said...

That was a smart move - there is no Angela imitation. She would have to make it her own like Jennifer Hudson did in Dreamgirls! I can't wait to see it!

Anonymous said...

I heard that the movie takes out all the humor of the play...which I love. But it sounds like it's not missed. I look forward to seeing it...thanks for the review!

Robyn said...

I'm going to marry Helena Bonham Carter. Don't tell Ginnie.