December 26, 2007

Blood is Thicker than Water

Sweeney Todd

You have to say this for Tim Burton - the man likes his macabre visuals. What better director to bring the grisly musical by Sondheim to the silver screen? And I do mean silver - the film is painted almost entirely in shades of black and white. Except the red, that is. LOTS of red. Buckets of blood! If you enjoy a gorefest complete with complex harmonies, this is the one for you!

As for performances, Johnny Depp is a natural as Sweeney - cold, menacing, with one shoe out of the asylum. Helena Bonham Carter is admirable as Mrs. Lovett, although her singing style is a bit like an injured bird, and not a larger-than-life personality.

Overall this is an enjoyable movie if you can handle all that blood. It's quite faithful to the original musical, so show tune afficiandos won't be disappointed.


This movie is quite unusual - it begins as a whip-smart comedy but settles into a moving drama (with humor still ever-present). It's hilarious, it's touching, and I think it's the best film of 2007.

Once you move past the uncomfortable premise (16 year-olds having unprotected sex, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy), you'll quickly fall in love with the razor-sharp wit of Ellen Page as Juno. Her performance is extraordinary, and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future! She's surrounded by a dream cast.

Juno lives with a father she adores (J.K. Simmons), a stepmother (Allison Janney) with whom she shares a true love-hate relationship, a best friend (Olivia Thirlby) who is a great sounding board, and a kind-of boyfriend (Michael Cera) who epitomizes dork chic (constantly clad in running shorts, headband and wristbands).

Eventually Juno decides to give the baby up for adoption to a couple she picked out of a pennysaver. She elects a yuppie duo in nearby St. Cloud - a working woman who longs to be a mother above all else (played remarkably by Jennifer Garner) and a man-child father (Jason Bateman) that Juno befriends.

It's hard to describe how good a movie this is until you see it. Go enjoy this Christmas miracle!


Stef said...

I really want to see Juno! I've been astounded by Ellen Page since I saw Hard Candy. I hope to see it in the next week.

Finaly saw Enchanted today with my Mom. So fun!

Meeg said...

I really want to see both of these movies, especially Juno.

I just saw the Golden Compass last weekend which was better than I expected and made me want to read the book.

The Kara said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better! Can't wait to see SWEENEY and JUNO - they sound great. I have to give it up to Jennifer Garner... I saw her with Kevin Kline in CYRANO before Christmas and she was lovely. Kevin Kline was awesome and outshone everyone but Ms. Garner did alright for herself... so I'm giving her props. Maybe she's more than just Violet's mamma?

LOVED Enchanted, Stef! Great movie to see with just about anyone... and will make you want to talk to the animals!