Into the Woods is my second favourite Stephen Sondheim musical (after Sweeney Todd). I love musicals and I like Sondheim. So I loved Into the Woods. It’s ironic that Disney would make a revisionist take on Grimm’s fairy tales, especially with an upcoming Cinderella that doesn’t look promising, but here it is. The musical has been abridged, and I would have appreciated more of the Rapunzel story, but this film remains true to Sondheim’s musical and thus any flaws in writing and music can be attributed to him.
The casting and acting, on the other hand, would be Disney’s responsibility, but I can find no serious fault in the casting and acting. Meryl Streep makes a decent witch, Anna Kendrick impressed me as Cinderella and James Cordon and Emily Blunt were perfect as the baker and his wife. Johnny Depp was great as the wolf but that was only a cameo. Lots of fun!
The cinematography is solid. The show is not as profound as it could be and lags at points, but the dialogue/lyrics are clever and often funny and Rob Marshall's direction is generally good. Into the Woods gets a very solid ***+. My mug is up!