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devil duck

Into the Woods

We went to the theater to see "The Imitation Game", but there was too much of a line (partly because the same theater was also showing "The Interview", which is probably not a particularly good movie but has become a free-speech cause celebre), so we drove to another theater to see our second choice, "Into the Woods". We had some trepidation: what would be left of such a dark, ambiguous plot after Disney got through with it?

OMG. Disney respected the original pretty darn well. It's still dark and ambiguous, and the sympathetic characters who die for no good reason still die for no good reason. And it doesn't read like a stage musical ported to the screen: it actually makes sense as a movie, as though it had been written that way.

The cast is kick-ass (I imagine talented actors must have been lined up for the opportunity to do Sondheim on the screen): Meryl Streep is the witch, Emily Blunt is the baker's daughter, Johnny Depp is the wolf, Chris Pine is one of the princes. Anna Kendrick, whom I must have seen somewhere before, is Cinderella. James Corden, who played a secondary role in "Begin Again", is the baker. The kids playing Jack and Little Red Riding Hood (Daniel Huttlestone and Lilla Crawford) can not only act but sing (as can all the adults).

The theater was crowded, including a significant number of children whose parents may not have been clear on exactly what sort of fairy tale this was. And I overheard somebody in the row behind us saying "it's not a comedy, it's a musical. I've never liked musicals." Their loss. See it.
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The aunt and I saw the production in Central Park 3-1/2 years ago. I might take her to see the movie if she wants to go.

What am I saying, of course the lady who learned English by listening to Sondheim will want to go.