Bloody Beautiful

Blogging was pretty much at a standstill while I was on vacation, but now I’m back and ready to belatedly let everyone know how I felt about Sweeney Todd, which I saw on opening night (more than two weeks ago, yikes).

The problem is, I have this tendency to build things up too much for others when I’m very enthusiastic about them, and get expectations up so high they can’t be met. So I’m hesitant to actually describe what I felt while watching the movie. But I guess I’m going to do it anyway, so beware.

sweeney.pngFrankly, I have never had such a physical reaction to a film as I did to this one. Yes, it was horrifically gross at times, but I have never been so delighted to watch scenes through my fingers. Once I curled up in my seat, knees to chest, trying not to squirm. Yet some parts were so strikingly funny that I couldn’t help clapping my hands (quietly, of course). More than once I grabbed the arm of the friend seated next to me, which if you’ve ever seen a movie with me you know is something I generally make fun of rather than do myself. When Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman sang “Pretty Women,” my stomach flipped both with glee and with terrible anticipation over just when Johnny might use that blade in his hand to slash Alan’s throat. It was wonderful.

This movie is beautiful to look at, and bleak, and crazy. I have never seen the stage show and had never heard any of the songs, but now I have just about all of them on one of my finetune playlists, and I’ve become a bit addicted. I urge you to give the movie a shot even if you’re not a fan of musicals; the songs are more than interludes, they are simply part of the fabric of the way these characters express themselves and communicate. Nothing feels corny, and no one is bursting into choreographed high-kick dance numbers. This is a movie played out in dark corners and alleys, simultaneously claustrophobic and grand in scale in the most satisfying, Tim Burton-y sort of way. From the opening song in which Johnny sings about what a “pile of shit” London is, to the closing shot that is easily my favorite of any film I’ve seen this year, this movie is flat-out exhilarating.

There, I’ve set the bar for your expectations. Now forget everything I just said and go see the movie for yourself.

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4 Responses to “Bloody Beautiful”


  1. 1 Carly January 7, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I went and saw it again with P and J, who were both thoroughly traumatized by the violence. I can give no higher praise than to pay twice to see something, and I already want to see it again, so I don’t think you’re overselling. Any confirmation on our suspicions about the G cameo? I loved whatever they did to the film to drain (most of) the color out of it.

  2. 2 celeberrimous January 7, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Seems our suspicions that Anthony Stewart Head might have been cameoing because he was once in a stage version were incorrect. From what I’ve gathered, he and a bunch of other distinguished Brits were supposed to film a number where they sang as ghost victims of Sweeney Todd, but it was cut either for time or because of when Johnny Depp’s daughter was so sick, no one seems quite sure. I hope if they recorded anything it shows up on the DVD. Love me some Giles.

  3. 3 Nate January 8, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Always been a little apprehensive about musicals. Chicago, not my thing. Singin’ in the Rain, really not my thing. But since Sacha Baron Cohen is in it, I’ll see it.

    Side note: Willy Wonka and Lion King. Technically musicals, and technically good.

  4. 4 psyche January 8, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    The story of Sweeney Todd is based on Shakespear novel that’s why being a fan of Shakespear novel I like the story…In this movie, this is the first time I saw Johnny singing…


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