“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them. OPENS December 25th!
First of all, this movie was like several seasons of my favorite TV show, Once Upon a Time, in that multiple fairy tales are joined together. And just like with the TV show, this movie marries all the tales wonderfully!
The Baker and His Wife
Emily Blunt and James Corden are wonderful together. They were the thread throughout the various “fairy tales.”
They were very funny and I have to disclose that I have loved James Corden for years, ever since discovering him on the British show that he co-wrote and co-starred in, “Gavin & Stacey.” He is brilliantly funny, and oh my goodness, he can sing! Emily Blunt has a delicious voice as well! They were funny separately and together! And, read on to see what award Miss Blunt was just nominated for!
I had just posted about Disney’s production of the live action Cinderella for next year when I saw this movie. How funny to see a Cinderella live action preview! Except this one did not stick exactly to the story. In this movie there were some singing and comedic moments that you won’t remember from the original fairy tale, because they are not there! Anna Kendrick was wonderful in her singing and with her comedic timing! And, it turns out her Prince (Chris Pine) has a younger brother, and that Prince is enamored of…
The younger Prince finds Rapunzel and they fall in love. But be careful, her mom has her locked away for a reason! Co-dependence: she can’t let go and she is overprotective. And she is a Witch! A real one, not just a regular mother-in-law type witch!
Meryl Streep is wonderful of course. She had two big songs in the movie and she performed them brilliantly. I can’t be objective because I love everything she does. There is also transformation scene that reminded me of Meryl’s earlier movie “Death Becomes Her.” You will see the movie and know what I mean!
Little Red Riding Hood
She was terrific. She was one of my favorites! She had spunk and pizzazz and I loved the actress who played her. One of my criticisms of the film would be her scene with Johnny Depp. Many fairy tales are really very dark stories. Seeing this one acted out on the big screen was too creepy. What scares me is that I heard it was even more graphic in the play! But back to the actress, Lilla Crawford. I loved her attitude and her portrayal of Little Red!
Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack’s mom is Tracey Ullman. As with almost all of this amazing cast, I adore her. I have been a fan since her first show that I found on tape from Britain. Her foolhardy son Jack really does cause a lot of trouble.
Christine Baranski is Cinderella’s wicked step-mother. I have to be repetitive and again say I love her work. She is excellent in this role and the scene with her daughters and the glass slippers had me on the floor laughing. Which brings me to my main point of the movie, it is hilariously well written with music throughout. I had never seen the play and did not know what to expect. I love to go to the movies and laugh, and this movie was great entertainment. And I cannot wait to take my son, he will love the humor, and he is also very musical and will be mmesmerized by all the singing. Everybody really did an amazing job in this movie!
“Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” helms the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics. Produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall, “Into the Woods” hits theaters Dec. 25, 2014.”
Rob Marshall is a genius for casting over a dozen famous actors and actresses who are funny individually, and terrific singers as an ensemble, in this movie. I cannot imagine the process he had to go through with this casting. There is a tremendous amount of talent in this one movie!
I generally love all Disney movies because the quality is so evident in the production. That is one of the reasons why it is such a pleasure to work with them. This movie far exceeded my expectations, a musical is not a movie I generally think to go to with my family but this is truly a wonderful production. A little dark at the end, but life is not one big, happily ever after story, it is good to see that finally reflected here!
In between the time I previewed this movie, and the publishing of this piece, INTO THE WOODS has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Emily Blunt) and Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep) at the Golden Globes! When I say a movie is terrific and a must see, it is great when the awards folks agree with me!
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Disclosure: I received a ticket to preview this movie and attended a press conference. All opinions are 1000% honest and my own.