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  • Tuesday, December 11, 2007
    "A Sweeney Todd for the Ages"

    "It's bloody wonderful." That's how David Ansen describes the Tim Burton–directed Sweeney Todd in the latest issue of Newsweek. Ansen finds the film to be faithful to the Stephen Sondheim musical, itself the source of "some of the most beautiful, witty and disturbing songs in the musical-theater canon."

    From the film's opening scenes, the audience is "swept into Burton's pitch-black vision," Ansen writes, which "meshes perfectly with the bitter curl of Sondheim's lyrics." What's more, the film "has an emotional intimacy that allows you to see the work with fresh eyes."

    As for the film's stars, led by Johnny Depp as the Demon Barber, "they act the songs with hair-raising conviction." To be precise, "Depp is such a soulful presence he gives you a glimpse of this maniac's pain and pathos." As his co-conspirator, Helena Bonham Carter is "extraordinary," says Ansen. "She reinvents Mrs. Lovett from the inside out." And not to be outdone, Sacha Baron Cohen "makes a delicious, scene-stealing appearance."

    Ultimately, it's Burton who pulls all of the pieces together, leading Ansen to ask, rhetorically: "Who knew Burton would have such an uncanny feel for how to film a musical? ... Sweeney Todd, his best movie since Ed Wood, keeps its eye on its dark prize."

    To read the full review, visit newsweek.com.

    ---

    Time magazine echoes that praise, giving the film an A- in this week's issue. "Burton and Depp infuse the brilliant cold steel of Stephen Sondheim's score with a burning passion," writes the magazine's reviewers. "Helena Bonham Carter and a superb supporting cast bring focused fury to this musical nightmare. It's bloody great."

    ---

    Writing in the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt concurs, saying that "the show couldn't have fallen into better hands." Lauding both the director and his stars, Honeycutt writes: "In choosing actors who can carry a tune as opposed to singing-actors, Burton has wisely gone for the tragic, emotional heart of the story ... Depp is the movie's heart and guts ... With his sturdy acting and surprisingly good voice, Depp is a Sweeney Todd for the ages."

    ---

    Adds Billboard, in its review of the film's soundtrack: "Johnny Depp is pretty much perfect."

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"A Sweeney Todd for the Ages"

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nonesuch's picture
on December 10, 2007 - 10:43pm
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Publish date: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 00:45
Excerpt: 

"It's bloody wonderful." That's how David Ansen describes the Tim Burton–directed Sweeney Todd in the latest issue of Newsweek. Ansen finds the film to be faithful to the Stephen Sondheim musical, itself the source of "some of the most beautiful, witty and disturbing songs in the musical-theater canon." Time says: "Burton and Depp infuse the brilliant cold steel of Stephen Sondheim's score with a burning passion." The Hollywood Reporter says that "the show couldn't have fallen into better hands ... Depp is a Sweeney Todd for the ages." Billboard exclaims: "Johnny Depp is pretty much perfect."

Copy: 

"It's bloody wonderful." That's how David Ansen describes the Tim Burton–directed Sweeney Todd in the latest issue of Newsweek. Ansen finds the film to be faithful to the Stephen Sondheim musical, itself the source of "some of the most beautiful, witty and disturbing songs in the musical-theater canon."

From the film's opening scenes, the audience is "swept into Burton's pitch-black vision," Ansen writes, which "meshes perfectly with the bitter curl of Sondheim's lyrics." What's more, the film "has an emotional intimacy that allows you to see the work with fresh eyes."

As for the film's stars, led by Johnny Depp as the Demon Barber, "they act the songs with hair-raising conviction." To be precise, "Depp is such a soulful presence he gives you a glimpse of this maniac's pain and pathos." As his co-conspirator, Helena Bonham Carter is "extraordinary," says Ansen. "She reinvents Mrs. Lovett from the inside out." And not to be outdone, Sacha Baron Cohen "makes a delicious, scene-stealing appearance."

Ultimately, it's Burton who pulls all of the pieces together, leading Ansen to ask, rhetorically: "Who knew Burton would have such an uncanny feel for how to film a musical? ... Sweeney Todd, his best movie since Ed Wood, keeps its eye on its dark prize."

To read the full review, visit newsweek.com.

---

Time magazine echoes that praise, giving the film an A- in this week's issue. "Burton and Depp infuse the brilliant cold steel of Stephen Sondheim's score with a burning passion," writes the magazine's reviewers. "Helena Bonham Carter and a superb supporting cast bring focused fury to this musical nightmare. It's bloody great."

---

Writing in the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt concurs, saying that "the show couldn't have fallen into better hands." Lauding both the director and his stars, Honeycutt writes: "In choosing actors who can carry a tune as opposed to singing-actors, Burton has wisely gone for the tragic, emotional heart of the story ... Depp is the movie's heart and guts ... With his sturdy acting and surprisingly good voice, Depp is a Sweeney Todd for the ages."

---

Adds Billboard, in its review of the film's soundtrack: "Johnny Depp is pretty much perfect."

featuredimage: 
Stephen Sondheim: "Sweeney Todd" film soundtrack [cover]

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