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GO TO THE WOODS!

Seriously: this is a movie that needs to be seen. Despite some problems, and some changes that I disagree with, Into the Woods is a fabulous adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical.

In terms of the changes several songs were cut from the film[1], the two that I missed the most were Agony Reprise[2], the first and second midnight songs[3], and No More. No More is the one I missed the most but with the removal of the Narrator/Mysterious Stranger this was probably inevitable.

Several of the minor character songs have been slightly refocused. Instead of singing to the audience, Red Riding Hood’s I Know Things Now is primarily sung to the Baker, as is Jack’s After the Sky. The Baker is essentially the focus of the story, and James Corden does well enough in the role.

Ultimately this doesn’t really matter. Into the Woods, or at least this version of it[4], rises and falls on the characters of the Baker’s Wife and Cinderella.

As far as that goes, casting Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick respectively was pure genius. They are quite simply awesome in their roles, and totally steal the show.

This is especially true of Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella and plays a big part in why No One Is Alone will hit you like an emotional freight train.

Trust me, it will. You will cry.

I really enjoyed this adaptation and should any friends in Canberra be wanting to see it again I could easily be persuaded to see it again on the big screen.

So as I said at the beginning: GO TO THE WOODS!

[1] The Wikipedia page has the complete list

[2] Mostly because it’s funny.

[3] Again because they’re funny: “A slotted spoon can catch the potato”. 🙂

[4] I suspect that this is partly because the removal of the Narrator/Mysterious Stranger shifts the emotional centre of Into the Woods away from the Baker.