Saturday, January 5, 2008

Nominated for 4 Golden Globes - Sweeney Todd

Best Picture - Musical or Comedy
Best Director - Tim Burton
Best Actor - Johnny Depp (vying with John C. Reilly for Walk Hard)
Best Actress - Helena Bonham Carter

I remember watching an episode of Sunday Morning Shootout where hosts Peter Bart and Peter Guber were talking about how the rebirth of theatrical musicals was close to making a successful comeback as a genre. I found that prediction really interesting. "Long gone are the days of 'Oklahoma' and 'Sound of Music'", I thought to myself. Decades gone, in fact. But after thinking about it, they couldn't have been more right.

And a One and a Two...
Recently, we've seen a few musicals garner critical acclaim from both critics and audiences alike - Chicago, remake of Hairspray, remake of Rent, Dreamgirls, The Producers, High School Musical 1 & 2 and now Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Heck even R. Kelly couldn't help but get into the act.

Big talent and big production numbers are bringing big box office dollars and seem to be etching its way back into modern cinema. With Sweeney Todd, it's no wonder why.

Delivering the Goods
Tim Burton brings his signature style to the table and in full force with strong vocal and acting performances from Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. The Sondheim score was classic and only added to the strength of the cinematography and production design without overshadowing the talent. I've never seen Depp in such a dark and dastardly light. Not even The Libertine came close.

Taking the theatrical musical to new heights for a new era, the bar has been set for other filmmakers to follow in order to avoid the traps of musical cliches burned into the minds of the modern movie-goer. Definitely deserving of its multiple Golden Globe nominations, Sweeney Todd is a breath of fresh air with a new flavor of meat pies.