The Salvation Army for a new generation

Into The Woods

'I wish, more than anything...’

As soon as I saw the trailer for this film several weeks ago I knew this would be my kind of film!  I have been looking forward to watching it ever since, and I was not disappointed as, in my opinion, this film was very, very good.

In a small village near the woods lives a childless Baker and his wife. All they long for is a child but when they find there is a curse on the house they believe all is lost. When the witch offers them a chance to reverse the curse they take it. She tasks them with finding a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, shoes as pure as gold and a cow as white as milk. All of these items intertwine various fairy-tale characters, including Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Jack (of beanstalk fame), with the Baker and his wife.

Into the Woods is actually originally a musical, by Stephen Sondheim, premiered in the 1980’s. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. The film is based on this musical and it features many of the original brilliant songs, such as ‘On the Steps of the Palace’, ‘It Takes Two’, ‘Giants in the Sky’ and ‘No One is Alone.’

Made by Disney, Into The Woods stars a lot of famous faces including James Corden as the Baker, Emily Blunt as the Bakers Wife, Meryl Streep as the Witch, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella and Johnny Depp as the Wolf. It also stars two young actors; Daniel Huttlestone, (in his second film after Les Miserables), as Jack and Lilla Crawford, in her first film, as Red Riding Hood.

As with all good fairy tales, the film starts with the words ‘Once Upon A Time…’ The cinema was full with people of all ages when I went to see this film, and there were several ‘laugh out loud’ moments when many of the audience did literally, laugh out loud! A young couple did get up and walk out after about 15 minutes though… perhaps it wasn’t their thing! I think you have to be someone who likes musicals to enjoy this film.

And so to the reviews…

A reviewer from Rotten Tomatoes wrote ‘It's dark and it's funny and it's genuinely heart-breaking - in a world where no one believes in happy ever after, this is the fairy-tale we need.

However a lot of the reviews weren’t so good. Reviewers from IMDB wrote ‘With an amazing cast, director and legitimate potential, this should have been a good movie. Instead, it was awful,’ and ‘Into The Woods is a sick, twisted story that is beyond bad or rotten.’

Into The Woods has been nominated for several awards, including BAFTA’S for Best Costume Design and Best Hair/Make-Up. I shall be watching avidly next month to see if it wins!

I do agree with the people who are saying it shouldn’t be a PG. Behind the songs it is quite a dark tale and some of the scenes, although not shown on camera, are graphic. For example the stepsisters have a toe and part of their heel cut off and a prince is thrown head first into a bramble bush, blinding him.

I still cannot believe that anyone would dislike Into The Woods. I thought the songs were great, the story captivating, the characters incredibly well cast and the acting brilliant. It was scary in some parts, funny in others and tragic in other parts. Go and see it… but remember, ‘anything can happen in the woods…’

Thanks to Grace for this film review - to find out more about Grace check out the first film review that she did for us in which she introduces herself

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