SYNOPSIS: “Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several beloved 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 and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.
REVIEW: Be careful what you wish for. That would be my warning to the characters in this film, had I been able to warn them. A baker and his wife, childless and yearning, a young boy wishing for a friend, Cinderella wishing for a chance to go to the ball and on and on. Everyone wishing for something and prepared to go to any lengths to get it. Into the Woods pulls together several of the Grimm Brothers classic stories to bring to the big screen a musical production with not only incredible actors but surprisingly, great singers. Director Rob Marshall gathered actors such as Emily Blunt as the bakers wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnnie Depp as the wolf (and oh what a wolf), Tracy Ullman as Jack’s mom, Chris Pine Prince Charming, Christine Baranski as the stepmother, and oh my goodness, Meryl Streep as the witch! Also, such a great batch of new and relatively new comers Lila Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzul to name a few.
The cast is ridiculously good, the music and singing incredible (although Cine Marc said that to him all the songs sounded the same, I must disagree), the costumes beautiful and each story pretty good on its own, but once you put it all together……… it falls flat. Mind you the sets were pretty darn good although good in a theater stage kind of good, not movie good. I was telling my mother in law that Meryl Streep was incredible! Her acting, well, come on, her acting is outstanding, but did you know she could sing?!? Wow, what a voice and so hauntingly beautiful in a particular song, Stay With me (made me cry)! Emily Blunt, beautiful and so perfect as the dutiful yet sad wife of the baker so hungry for a child and once again, what a voice! Chris Pine hams it up in the part of Prince Charming (Cine Marc says he reminded him of John Travolta’s Vinnie Barbarino), and once again, totally surprised us with his singing ability (this is a musical, you know). Lila Crawford, in her big screen debut as Little Red
Riding Hood clearly shows off her theater chops and her voice reminds us that her last big part was Annie on stage. As the witch promises to remove an old curse and to grant a wish as long as certain, very particular items are brought to her at a very particular time and so each one of their lives intersect in surprising and sometimes sad ways. Mind you, the finished product is corny, but fairy tale corny and isn’t that with this is all about.
Now, all that said when you put it all together…. It just doesn’t meld! I wanted it to, but sadly, it didn’t. Does that mean that you shouldn’t see this film? No, not at all, because all of the pieces separately are good, very good and worth being seen, but as a whole, don’t expect a great classic to come of it.
MOVIE REVIEWS >>>