Into the Woods

December 25, 2014

James Corden, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep in INTO THE WOODS.

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Written by: James Lapine

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Lucy Punch, James Corden, Tracey Ullman, Frances de la Tour, Simon Russell Beale, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Richard Glover, Joanna Riding, Annette Crosbie

Rating: PG (for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material)

Running Time: 124 minutes

It is tough to adapt a play or a musical into a good film. Why? Because theatre is about the written word and film is geared towards visual storytelling. It’s not that it can’t happen, but it is harder to accomplish. That said, INTO THE WOODS, the film version, isn’t that successful. The story itself borders on clever–bringing several fairy tales into one story–but even that seems forced. The songs aren’t that memorable, but the staging and the costumes are quite fanciful. Rob Marshall, now a three film veteran of musicals (the others being NINE and CHICAGO), has brought together an amazing cast–Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, James Corden–but even these spectacular actors can’t save this film.

Grade: C

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