If you go into this star-laden adaptation (featuring Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and many others) of Sondheim's beloved Broadway show looking for a typical Disney movie musical experience, you're going to be very uncomfortable for about two hours. Instead, you have to tune in to Sondheim's crazy polyrhythms and go with the flow. The story mashes up several Grimm fairy tales in a frame story about a childless couple and a witch's curse. It's a marvel how so many elements are juggled in virtuosic musical numbers, almost fractal in their complexity. Director Rob Marshall preserves the musical's two-act structure, which can be jarring if you're expecting the usual three-act movie. Act Two, which deals with what happens after Happily Ever After, is poorly paced. Still, this is the season's destination for family movie musical outings. Because you do not want to see Annie. Trust me.
Official Site: movies.disney.com/into-the-woods
Director: Rob Marshall
Writer: James Lapine
Cast: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman and Christine Baranski
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