Into the Woods

The film's pacing is weird. Part of what's great about musicals, and especially this musical, is the pressure of complicated vocal and orchestral parts performed live. This rewarding tension is completely absent from the movie—for reasons both obvious and not. I mean, yes, a film is necessarily a recording and not a live performance, but director Rob Marshall has also added water to the soup. He cut a bunch of songs, which allowed him to slow down the remaining ones. The part where the witch raps about the vegetables in her garden, for instance, which is almost impossible to sing, which is why it's such a pleasure to listen to, because the whole time you're on the edge of your seat going, Is she going to spit out all the densely rhyming words correctly and in time with the orchestra?—that's gone. Now, that rap is interrupted with flashbacks and new orchestral filler. But, since Meryl Streep is doing the delivery, you hardly care. Of particular note: the way she delivers the words "chair," "rampion," "mollify," and "especially the beans." by Christopher Frizzelle
Showtimes & Tickets
Rob Marshall
James Corden, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep