The Family That Slaps Together Raps Together
Rob Marshall's output as a director has been problematic. He managed to make a fully fleshed-out version of the stage schematics of Chicago, made a mess of Memoirs of a Geisha, but only sporadically livened up Nine (but without evoking any ghosts of Fellini, on whose work the whole thing is based). One looked at the plans for Into the Woods and wondered if Marshall was making it or Tim Burton.
However he got there, it was the right path, because Into the Woods, his adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Grimm fairy tale mash-up may be his best movie so far. Marshall's directorial touch post-Chicago has been mostly heavy-handed and cheerless, only occasionally lightening up in musical moments. Here, the film doesn't flag whenever the music stops.
Blunt and Corden practice their baby-holding techniques
|Lilla Crawford as "Red"|
Anna Kendrick as Cinderella
|"The woods are lovely, dark and Johnny Depp'd"|
|Mauzy as Rapunzel "lets her hair down"|
|Chris Pine does...some...Shatnering...as the Prince|
* For instance: the Wolf's song "Hello, Little Girl" has some of its more wicked aspects stripped from it, the princes' reprise of "Agony" (which makes them even more fickle) has been cut, and the ultimate fate of Rapunzel (who is given short shrift, anyway) is not even mentioned. Sondheim did approve the changes (as he did with Burton's film of Sweeney Todd)