If You Go Into the Woods Today, You Better Not Go Alone
Directed by Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean 4), Into the Woods is a musical adventure that is not to be missed. Starring Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia), Emily Blunt (The Five Year Engagement), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), Chris Pine (Star Trek), James Corden (One Chance) and Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean), Into the Woods tells the story of a childless baker and his wife who are challenged by a witch to get hold of magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse which has been put on their family tree. Will they be able to get all of the items?...go to the wood and find out!
This musical gets it right! I was one of the few who didn't enjoy 2012's Les Miserables but I absolutely loved this musical-film adaption. There wasn't many times where I didn't like a song, I thought 75% them were catchy, beautiful and fun. The vocal talent was also brilliant - there wasn't any performer who had a weak voice. The music also told the story very well and there was a good amount of dialogue in comparison to music (which Les Mis didn't have- it was all music!) However, I did find that the amount of songs deteriorated as the film went on - I think there was only 2/3 songs in the final act.
My favourite songs have to be 'Into the Woods', 'Your Fault' and 'On the Steps of the Palace' - they are all very catchy and very Disneyesque.
The acting was also very good. Emily Blunt and James Corden both took star turns in this flick, they both led the film very well. Anna Kendrick was as pleasant was always..I think she is just generally a very likeable actress! Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp both got into their unique roles very well. Streep definitely deserves her Oscar nomination. Her performance is fantastic! This film once again proves how much diversity they both have as actors. The younger actors are also very good too- Red Riding Hood (who was played by Lilla Crawford) was one of my favourite characters - she was humorous, emotional, likeable and talented. Chris Pine also did a good job - however, I do think someone else may have played the role slightly better.
The story was very clever. I really enjoyed seeing many fairy tales being incorporated into one production. However, I felt the third act of this film got way too dark for what the rest of the film was. Into the Woods went really deep and gloomy which made the film a lot less family friendly. I felt that this muddled the plot slightly - a lot of deaths occurred, less songs were sung, less characters were used. However, the film managed to save itself in its last couple of scenes which lessened my disappointment.
Another minor issue with the film is that there are minor plot holes. The audience don't get to see the Baker (Corden) be reunited with his sister. Rapunzels and Prince Charmings stories are also abandoned in away - it would have been interesting to see what happened to them. Some of the characters were majorly underused (Rapunzel, Her Prince and Prince Charming).
The costuming is great, the score is beautiful, the plot is intelligent and the acting is top quality: Into the Woods would be a spectacular film if it wasn't for the final act...however, don't let that stop you from entering the wood as the majority of this film is award-worthy. Just short of being ASTONISHING.
Currently the Best Film of 2015 [2015 UK Release]
Look out for this in my top films of 2015! [even though it is a while away]