Into the Woods

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(2014) ★★★

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 30 October, 3.45pm and 8pm

Once upon a time… director Rob Marshall’s musical Chicago won a bunch  of Oscars. That was ten years ago. Now he’s back with a bumper bundle  of fairytales from Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway hit. In a village at  the edge of the woods – actually a forest deep and dark enough for  Mordor – some residents are wishing their unhappy and dreary lives  away. But that’s before Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) spills the beans and  Meryl Streep’s witch queen sets the scene.

A blue-haired hag proud of  her garden greens, especially her beans. And you should see her  nectarines. Flash bang wallop, what a creature she is. She’ll lift the  curse on the childless couple in the baker shop (Emily Blunt and James  Corden) if they go into the woods and, before the blue moon midnight,  bring back the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the  hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold.

There’ll be  milky white mooing, wicked witch booing, babyfied cooing and princely  wooing before all the happy endings come wrapped with a ribbon  two-thirds through. Time enough for the clod-hopping giant’s widow to  have her say. “Life is often unpleasant,” Chris Pine’s prince tells  Blunt. “You must know that as a peasant.” Almost as odd as James  Corden’s narration is Johnny Depp’s pointless cameo as Mr Wolf (not so  Big but quite Bad, he’s more convincing as Red Riding Hood’s granny).

Equally wrong-footing is not accompanying Cinderella for the palace  ball, nor visiting the giant’s domain in the sky – these big events  are sung about, not seen. Some of the songs are amusing – best is the  ‘laying blame’ number, remindful of Lionel Bart’s songs for Fagin in  Oliver! – but no one’s singing Rodgers and Hammerstein here. Blunt’s  funny, too. What a fine actress she’s turned out to be since stealing  scenes from Anne Hathaway alongside Meryl in The Devil Wears Prada.  Anna Kendrick is pitch perfect as Cinders and Pine can pull off smarm  with aplomb: “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”

Certificate: PG

Duration: 125min

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Other Showings Date & Time
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 31 October at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 31 October at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 1 November at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 1 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 2 November at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 2 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 3 November at 2:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 3 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 4 November at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 4 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 5 November at 2:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 5 November at 8:00PM