There are many movies that I look forward catching this coming season. I can’t wait to see the screen version of The Golden Compass, after having loved the book of the same name by Phillip Pullman. The other book that is now a film is I Am Legend and it also looks interesting. Get Smart, a TV comedy series that I loved as a kid, looks wonderfully silly with Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart. Today I found out about one that I hadn’t expected at all, and probably because it’s a musical.
I’m not usually a fan of musicals. The gee-whiz corn-fed wholesomeness of Oklahoma, Carousel or South Pacific is just not my cup of tea. I can do without the Disney tourist attractions like The Lion King, and Beauty and Beast, and can’t stand anything by the sugary yet tasteless Andrew Lloyd Webber. There are probably only about 3 musicals I really do like: Bernstein’s West Side Story (which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is Pam’s favourite music of all time), Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and also his Sweeny Todd.
I pretty much go for anything Tim Burton does. To me, he is the morbid genius who puts the cough in Kafkaesque, so it’s his adaptation of Sweeny Todd that I’m surprised to finding myself anticipating. If it weren’t enough that it’s a Tim Burton production, the cast includes Johnny Depp, Helena Bohnam Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen. With a cast like that, I can’t imagine it being anything less than fascinating. I thought Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas (and yes, I know that he didn’t actually direct that, but was a producer) successfully linked an Edward Gorey sensibility to a score by Danny Elfman that sounded at times like Kurt Weill’s The Three Penny Opera, so this latest project, which covers some of the same territory and tone, sounds really promising. It will certainly be in my movie-going plans in December, when it’s due out. Cannibalism, Self-Destructive Obsessions with Revenge, and Grungy 19th Century London are all good Christmas Season fare.