I finally saw the movie that I was waiting for years to happen. I went INTO THE WORDS, ( To quote my favorite Forbidden Broadway number where Gerard Alessandrini did a parody on Sondheim) Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine teamed up with Disney to bring an updated version of the stage musical which played on Broadway in the 80’s and again in the 90’s and two summers ago at Shakespeare in the Park with Amy Adams.
In the 2014 film version of Stephen Sondheim’s ” Into The Woods” many changes have taken place to make the film PG and appropriate for children. . The stories are based on the Grimm Fairy tales and include: ” Jack In The Beanstalk” ” Little Red Riding Hood” ” Rapunzel” :”Cinderella” and in this story they all are together with the Baker and his wife. I wont tell you more as I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Casting is perfection by Telsey casting as they found a cast that are big stars that can also sing and sing well. I was amazed at the singing chops of Chris Pine, who played Cinderella’s Prince as he is known for Star Trek but his voice was perfect as was his acting skills and he and Billy Magnussen from ( SMPS at Lincoln Center and Broadway blew the house down with my favorite song ” AGONY” where the two princes are complaining about Rapunzel and Cinderella. It happens to be a scene film stealer and tonight our 6pm show applauded loudly for that number. ( We were not in the theater but the audience clapped like it was live, I only wished this cast was on Broadway!)
Streep, though not a great singer held her own and has many nominations for this film. Anna Kendrick who was made famous for her part in ” Pitch Perfect” really shows her vocal talent in the film and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is nominated for this performance. She was brilliant. Christine Baranski was also perfect casting as the evil step mother.
I was very impressed with the cast in this film. It is by far the greatest movie musical I have seen since the 1965 movie musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ” The Sound of Music” which up to this film remains my favorite movie musical.
Into The Woods is a brilliant musical and I hope it will become a classic like ” The Sound of Music” All musical theater fans should rush to buy tickets to this movie. ( I also loved Chicago and this is in that league. POP. Swish they had it coming..)
Special mention to Lilla Crawford who played Annie on Broadway in 2012. She plays Little Red Riding Hood and her voice was so beautiful I was holding back the tears. She also deserves a supporting nomination. I plan on seeing this film again and hopefully will own it when it comes out on video. This is a film I would like to own and watch over and over again. In my opinion, Stephen Sondheim is one of the greatest musical composers of all time.
Corine Dana Cohen
Opens Christmas Day. I love great theater and great film and this film is something to cheer about. Congratulations to all involved in this spectacular film.