Monday, June 30, 2008

9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Compelling, sure. Provocative, definitely. Amazing? Not as much. Johnny Depp stars as the barber-gone-murderer after his wife is taken away from him and his daughter is locked away. Maybe I had too high of expectations for this film, but this ex-broadway musical isn't all the original was. Maybe the revival version had a different feel than the original show, but coming from a theater background I was utterly disappointed in Depp. All I heard when he was cast was "Johnny Depp singing? Where?!" And sure, he sang and murdered people, but his seriousness in the character got the best of him. The character of Sweeney Todd is darkly amusing, a mix of horror and comedy, making him all the more pleasurable. Sweeney is like Hannibal Lector meets the Joker (can't wait to see Heath Ledger in that). So without to much focus on Johnny Depp's dead pan acting, we'll move on to Helena Bonham Carter, who is one of my favorite actresses alive today (catch her creepiness in the Harry Potter series, many actors from that also star in Sweeney). Carter had the character right, a truly loving murderess, creepy and humorous, a deadly duo. She may have saved the entire movie, if it were not for her singing. In one song I didn't even realize she was singing until it became a shouting chorus. Paired with Johnny Depp's untrained vocals, the movie was lacking in the right musicality and strength. Perhaps only two things saved this movie. One being funny man Sacha Baron Cohen's STELLAR performance (if only it had lasted longer). I did not even recognize Cohen at first who took the stage and stole the scene from Depp, what a feat for the slapstick comedian responsible for such garbage as Borat. Some of the cast in the ensemble fare well with me, like H.P.'s own Timothy Spall as Beadle and Alan Rickman as the Judge. Aside from the cast, there was one other major boost for the film, and that was its artistic qualities. For a movie to be amazing you need it to be set up like a painting, take a tip from movies such as this, Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, and I'm Not There (review to follow). It's hard to comprehend how someone could make murder and SO much blood artwork, but Sweeney Todd will be always remembered by me for its fabulous scenery and grim color schemes. Overall, I think the Golden Globes got it wrong this year.

* * _ _

::Academy Awards - Best Art Direction
::Golden Globe Awards - Best Actor-Musical or Comedy (Johnny Depp), BEST PICTURE-MUSICAL OR COMEDY
::Nilsson Awards - Best Art Direction

::Academy Awards - Best Costume Design, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Johnny Depp)
::Golden Globe Awards - Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role-Musical or Comedy
::BAFTA Awards - Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Make-Up
::Nilsson Awards - Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Set Decoration, Best Make-Up and Hair, Best Original Soundtrack

RATED R for graphic bloody violence.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home