Into The Woods

12 years ago, “Chicago” was one of the biggest movies of the holiday season. Based on the Broadway play and directed by Rob Marshall the movie went on to have a big night at the Academy Awards. Marshall again bringing back Broadway to the big screen with “Into the Woods.” It will probably not have a big night at the Oscars next year, but should delight many families choosing to see it on the Christmas Day in South Florida.

There are many stories being told in “Into the Woods.” The main focus is on a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) going on a mission for a witch (Meryl Streep) in hopes to break a family curse and have their biggest wish to come true. They need to collect four items that include Cinderella’s glass slipper, some of Repunzel’s hair, Jack’s cow from “jack and the Beanstalk” and Little Red Riding Hood’s red hood. They must venture deep into the woods to find these people and items, but let’s not forget one of the oldest sayings, “Be careful what you wish for.”


The music and songs in “Into the Woods” are a mixed bag. Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and songs for the original show. Some of them are really good, like the opening number “I wish” and some others you just want to end. The best singers in the movie are Anna Kendrick, who plays Cinderella and Streep. Both can really belt out a tune. There are no bad singers in this movie.

The acting is quite good also. Meryl Streep is brilliant as always. Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huttlestone who play Little Red Riding Hood and Jack both hold their own. Johnny Depp plays The Wolf. A role you may think he’d play over the top, but he nails it perfectly. The only weak link in the cast is Chris Pine who is Cinderella’s Prince. He DOES go over the top and while he possess the looks his role requires, you can’t quite tell if he is giving a bad performance or that is just the way he is portraying the character.

Like he did with “Chicago” Rob Marshall again delivers a movie that does feel like a night out at the theater for the audience. Given all the fairy book characters that are in the movie, this is an outing the whole family can enjoy. There are flaws, but with the many musical numbers, humor and characters, “Into the Woods” is the family movie this holiday season. It is rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material.