Into the woods Review
Into the Woods
25 Dec 2014
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Working with Meryl Steep
A few of the cast members, including Chris Pine and James Corden, have revealed in interviews about working with Meryl Streep was the best professional project of their career, as well as intimidating. Corden was highly nervous to work with Streep’s star power.
A fairytale for the post-9/11 generation.
Rob Marshall was inspired to do a film version of “Into the Woods” after President Barack Obama quoted one of the musical’s most popular songs, “No One is Alone”, during a memorial service on the 10th anniversary of September 11th terrorist attacks. He said to the families of the victims, “You are not alone. No one is alone.” Though the reference was likely unintentional, Marshall stated that the reference made the musical relevant and saw it as “a fairytale for the post-9/11 generation.”
Crossover of many fairy tales
The movie is based on many fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and many more
Best Supporting Actress – Meryl Streep
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
People who actually knew the musical beforehand.
In my personal opinion, yes. It’s as close to perfect as an adaption can get. While some have complained that the second act moves too fast(and trust me, I can understand the complaints) to me it still makes for a wonderfully cohesive whole.
I thought it was outstanding.
First of all, the performances were competent to excellent across the board. Streep, Corden and Blunt were standouts. My only quibbles were Kendrick’s typically tinny voice and Crawford’s oddly deadpan delivery of dialogue (she nailed the songs).
To me, I thought the edits generally gave it a more cinematic quality in terms of pacing. I also, unlike many, felt the added ambiguity made the film distinct from the show in an important way. Why are the characters malcontent? There’s no scripted reason, and I was fine with that. The ending is genuinely somber and poignant.
Question about agony sequence.
It’s intentionally hilarious but different people react differently than others but from what I’ve read from people its the most popular scene in the whole film.
The prince’s are over the top that’s the way they were written , but they don’t do any shirt ripping in the play probably because they wouldn’t be able to rip open there costume like chris and billy could different costumes.
I don’t know who’s idea it was but whoever it was to have the rip open their tops needs a standing ovation
Actually the whole thing with those two in the movie was hilarious and I think Chris and Billy have done a great job portraying them.
I agree, a reprise would have been fun but I get why the cut some things – the movie already feels a bit too long so it would have been worse had they expanded the story
Repeating the same scene in oscar
I’d love to see them do the reprise at the Oscars, or maybe on Jimmy Fallon.
That said, I don’t mind that they cut it from the movie because it wouldn’t have worked with the way Billy portrays Rapunzel’s Prince. This prince isn’t the shallow, egocentric cheater he is in the play; Billy plays him as a klutzy and endearing, and totally in love with Rapunzel. It makes him a nice contrast to Cinderella’s Prince, and I liked it. 🙂
What a fantastic idea to have Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen in character, in costume (with a touch of scenery) do the Agony reprise, or just their stage version of what they showed in the film, with shirt ripping etc., on the Academy Award/Oscar night. I believe that both actors have worked on the stage before (I know Chris Pine has) so it could be very doable and even become a highlight of the Academy Awards presentation event.
The Oscars are being hosted this year by Neil Patrick Harris, who as we all know is a HUGE theater person. If he doesn’t somehow incorporate ‘Agony’ into the show, I’ll be very, very surprised.
Yes, they were written melodramatically. In the stage show they often step in front of each other to deliver their lines. They could probably do it with the shirt ripping now – just a Velcro shirt but I’d never seen it before.
I think chris delivered those lines pretty good i know in my last viewing the line “i was raised to be charming not sincere ” got a laugh. I think it depends on whether or not people find it funny or just over the top. They don’t fully understand that, that’s the character. I love the line he says “i can capture my own damsel ”
Those lines probably do work better in front of a live audience but i loved them.
Interview with Cast
Into the Woods, one of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim’s most acclaimed stage productions, is a modern twist on what happens when several beloved fairy tales cross paths with each other. It’s entertaining, funny and heart-breaking, all at once, with memorable music that explores themes of greed, ambition, loss, family, love, and the consequences of wishes. From director Rob Marshall (Chicago), the film stars Meryl Streep (“Witch”), Johnny Depp (“Wolf”), Emily Blunt (“Baker’s Wife”), James Corden (“Baker”), Anna Kendrick (“Cinderella”), Chris Pine(“Cinderella’s Prince”), Christine Baranski (“Stepmother”) and Tracey Ullman(“Jack’s Mother”).
During a roundtable interview at the film’s L.A. press day, co-stars Emily Blunt, James Corden and Anna Kendrick talked about their preparation for this project, why doing a musical in on every actor’s bucket list, and their favorite Disney films growing up. Corden also talked about why he thinks there’s no greater film trilogy than Toy Story, and why he’s constantly amazed by the volume of adults who spend actual time thinking about The Avengers, while Blunt talked about whether she’d have any interest in being in a Marvel superhero movie. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Question: What was your preparation like, for this project?
EMILY BLUNT: They were pretty thorough, actually. We were given five weeks of rehearsal, and even before the official rehearsal started, we had our own time. I certainly had tons of singing lessons and weeks to prepare, which was wonderful. You never normally get that on a film. When you’ve got a creative like Rob Marshall, the attention to detail is so vast. And Colleen Atwood designed the costumes, working with the D.P. on how the light was going to look and what colors were going to work. There’s so much that goes into it, before you show up on set. I think everyone felt really prepared, at the end of the five weeks, to just go in there and try to do it justice.
Emily, you were also pregnant during this shoot.
ANNA KENDRICK: Were you?!
BLUNT: You just thought I was fat. It was not method putting on weight to play the baker’s wife.
KENDRICK: It wasn’t too much bread?
BLUNT: It was so much bread. I was pregnant, yeah. I found out I was pregnant, the same week I found out I had the job. It was a predicament, for sure, but Rob Marshall was very supportive and wanted to still cast me, which was a relief.
JAMES CORDEN: I also supported her, in solidarity. I was just indulging, and I’m still holding onto a bit of baby weight. Don’t judge me on that.
Is it just on every actor’s bucket list to do a musical?
CORDEN: I’ve always wanted to be in musicals, not just in film, but on stage. I think it’s a wonderful medium. I think it’s joyous and brilliant. Some of my greatest times, growing up, were watching Grease or Guys and Dolls. They’re fantastic. So, to get to be in an adaptation of a musical that’s so beloved by musical theater goers, at the very moment it’s committed to film with such a cast and such a director, is thrilling. When done right, I don’t know if there’s anything better.
KENDRICK: I can’t speak for anybody else, but certainly, it was on my bucket list. And to get to do this piece, in particular, is a trip. I wanted to be Little Red from the time that I first saw it, and was thoroughly disappointed that an actual child stole the role right from under me, being young and whatever. We all just always want to do something different, whether it’s a different genre or a different kind of character. Everybody gets bored easily, so I would imagine that, for anybody who’s ever even once sung in the shower, being in a musical is probably on the list.
Did you guys grow up watching Disney films?
BLUNT: I grew up watching all of the Disney movies. I remember the first Disney movies I had were Robin Hood and The Sword in the Stone. My sister and I got one each for Christmas, and we watched them 55 times. They were so good. So, I would say, for nostalgic reasons, those two were my favorites because they were my first experience with watching Disney movies.
CORDEN: Beauty and the Beast was a huge thing for me. I loved that film so much. It’s amazing. And now my son, who’s only three, is equally as into it. It’s great. There was a great run of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid. Just because they’re animated, it does not mean that they should be discredited as fantastic musicals. Frozen, also. These are really great musicals that are brilliantly constructed and brilliantly written. For some reason, because they’re animated, I don’t know if they’re classed in the same way, but I feel that they should be. And there’s no greater trilogy than Toy Story. I don’t care what you say. Bring your Star Wars and your Indiana Jones. As three films, there is no better trilogy thanToy Story. I’m 100% serious, from the way it’s constructed and the way the characters develop. Return of the Jedi is not as good as The Empire Strikes Back. That is just a fact. And Godfather III is nowhere near as good as Godfather II. It’s true that doing it three times is almost impossible, and Toy Story is a genuine master class.
KENDRICK: Cinderella, the cartoon, scared the shit out of me, when I was a kid. When the stepsisters rip her dress apart, that was really horrifying. I identified most with Gus, the fat mouse. The Little Mermaidwas a big one for me.
BLUNT: Yeah, the songs are so incredible in that.
KENDRICK: My parents got the VHS for me, when I was a kid, for my birthday one year. I didn’t really understand that anybody could get a VHS. I thought there were probably a hundred in the whole world, and I lost my mind. I was like, “It’s too much! You’ve done too much! I can’t accept it!” That was a big day for me.
Into the Woods feels like The Avengers for fairy tales. Did that occur to anyone while you were making this?
KENDRICK: It did.
BLUNT: Did it?
CORDEN: I spend almost no time thinking about The Avengers. I literally could not spend less of my day thinking about it, and I’m constantly amazed by the volume of adults who do. Each to their own and I wish them well, but I do not. It’s preposterous. I don’t think I’m talking myself out of a big Marvel franchise. I don’t think it’s coming, anytime around the corner. But, I do find the whole notion of it odd. Just think about how much of your day you’re acting. How much are you getting to act? Really and genuinely, if you’re an actor and you’re in those movies, what is your day’s acting? I don’t know. I find it strange.
BLUNT: I’d love to see you in a Marvel movie, right now. After that, it would be so great.
Emily, a lot of people want to see you in a Marvel movie, as Captain Marvel. Are you more open to it than James Corden is?
BLUNT: It’s funny ‘cause I’m hearing this Captain Marvel thing from a lot of people. I have no official offer, whatsoever. No one’s called. I don’t know where the hell it’s come from, in all honesty. For me, I just think that the part has gotta be awesome. I just want to play great parts, and it’s sometimes hard to find within those big superhero movies. The female parts are not usually great, but recently, they’ve been better. I don’t know. It has to be the right thing.
Emily, you tend to play down your singing ability. Now that the film is done, how do you feel about it now?
BLUNT: I’m from England, where we play down most of the things that we can do. How do I feel about it now? Probably feel the same. I don’t think I’m the best singer in the world, for sure, but I loved doing it. I’ve always enjoyed singing. I find it joyous. This music gave you such space and allowed for you to be an actor within it. You didn’t have to hit a high-C perfectly. You didn’t have sing live perfectly, every time. It allowed for these songs to be an extension of the character. They were emotionally so challenging and complex. I think we were all encouraged to focus more on making them conversational and making the audience want to listen. I’ll always find it tough, singing in front of people.
Into the Woods opens in theaters on Christmas Day
A disclaimer: Despite a dizzying and delightful first half, the film ultimately devolves into a very grim fairy tale.(Click here to see)
It’s dark and it’s funny and it’s genuinely heartbreaking – in a world where no one believes in happy ever after, this is the fairytale we need.(Click here to see)
Sondheim’s cleverness is fascinatingly at odds with a direct morality plainspoken enough for any children who may be listening.(Click here to see)
I went into the movie with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. This movie was really good. Emily Blunt, Lilla Crawford, Meryl Streep, and Anna Kendrick were all fantastic. The rest of the cast is excellent as well. Please know going into the movie that it is a musical and that it does have a dark side to it during the second half. But, if you love movie musicals you will love this!! (spizzell/ (MetaCritic)