Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mood Sweengs (More Todd)

If you add up all of my mood swings in regards to the Sweeney Todd film, I think I qualify for a mental disorder -- schizophrenia, bipolar disorder... something. Is a straitjacket in my future or a padded cell? Check out this very brief snippet of the "Little Priest" number.
Mrs. Lovett: It's priest. Have a little priest.
Sweeney Todd: Is it really good?
Mrs. Lovett: Sir, it's too good, at least!
Then again, they don't commit sins of the flesh,
So it's pretty fresh.
Sweeney Todd: Awful lot of fat.
Mrs. Lovett: Only where it sat.
Sweeney Todd: Haven't you got poet, or something like that?
Mrs. Lovett: No, y'see, the trouble with poet is
'Ow do you know it's deceased?
Try the priest!
There's also snippets of "My Friends" and "Not While I'm Around" among others. I already think I love Helena Bonham-Carter as Mrs. Lovett. Or at least I want to. I've seen Lady Jane and Getting It Right for chrissakes. HBC and I go way the hell back.


Anonymous said...

I actually think that between all nine of the clips, Helena looks pretty damned great.

Her voice is fine, but her comic timing is perfect (the trunk scene is really, really funny). It'll be an entertaining performance at the very least.

Michael Parsons said...

Helena's voice in not strong, but she is an amazing enough actor to be able to pull it off. I actually like how the singing is conversational and not about the singing.....seems more organic...not so out of place.

Anonymous said...

Where's the dance? I think the whole point of making a musical is to express emotions with more apparatus than just traditional filmaking-staging. Music is ok, but it feels restrained without dance. I don't know much about this musical, but it seems to be very very boring.

If your singing is conversational, why sing at all? What makes a musical organic is an equilibrium between music & dance and the emotions you have to show. It's not being close to reality or conversation.

HBC looks very good. Depp is ok.

- cal roth

Anonymous said...

Let me contradict myself. Umbrellas of Cherbourg works without dance, but the musica is beyond arresting. I don't think that's the caso of Sweeney Todd.

- cal roth


sweeney todd is only one of the greatest pieces of music ever composed. so if they sing it well the music will be enough. it's never a dancing musical.




That last comment was actually from my cat who walked across the keyboard
oh no here he comes againpoooooooooooooooool77dxffffffff ffffffffffffffffffffff fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffm

J.J. said...

Thanks for linking the clips. I'm relieved they haven't Beyonce'd the musical score; the arrangements seem faithful. But I would've given anything to have had Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh in the leads (or Lansbury and Hearn, for pete's sake). Depp's voice sounds too much like Captain Jack's, and HBC is too pixie for the role.

Cengiz said...

Oh Natthaniel...Sondheim is a genius no matter what he does. My all time favorite musical is Sunday in the Park with George. So I'm hoping that if Sweeney Todd knocks it out of the park (in a good way), they'll make other Sonheim movie musical (like Sunday in the Park (maybe with Rachel McAddams as Dot?)).

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would have loved to see Emma Thompson or Toni Collette as Mrs. Lovett.
I love HBC, but, her singing is just okay, and the humor almost seems too subtle.
All I know is that the clips didn't make my heart flutter.
Except for Toby. Wowee! Could the child be a supporting actor contender?

Michael Parsons said...

I must admit I am a Sweeney Todd virgin and do not know the music.
I think Burton is trying to keep it as dark as possible and perhaps feels the songs need not be events/or giant set pieces, but archs to get you melodically from one scene to another.

This could be doing the music and lyrics a grave injustice, but I have no frame of reference.

Sometimes it is nice going in ignorant. You don't end up judging something on the source material.

Still doesn't make up for the fact that I need to see more musicals on stage.


well one of the best things about great art is that it survives different adaptations and tones so however good/bad/somewhere inbetween tim burton's film is we'll always still have SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET by stephen sondheim --it's latest broadway incarnation was basically nothing like the famous lansbury starring version so it's a flexible thing

Abbie said...

I think I'm underwhelmed by the clips. I think HBC is fine, though not necessarily magnificent, but Depp sounds awful. It's like listening to Captain Jack sober, and pms-ing. I think he sounds especially awful when he's supposed to be singing - it's just not that powerful; I don't feel very moved. I guess I'll just have to keep hoping that I'll be impressed with the film when it opens.

adam k. said...

Ha, and Nathaniel balked HBC when it was first announced. I also think I love her in this. Though Emma Thompson or Imelda Staunton or Toni Collette or Meryl Streep would've been heaven.

I'm willing to give Depp a chance. I have a feeling he'll be embraced by the masses (and the critical mass) even if he's not great. But yes, "Captain Jack sober, and PMSing" is hilariously on the mark for some of these clips.

Glenn Dunks said...

I've actually been stopping myself from listening to the Sweeney Todd score because I'm going to wait for the movie. Sounds good, I suppose...

Anonymous said...

"sweeney todd is only one of the greatest pieces of music ever composed. so if they sing it well the music will be enough. it's never a dancing musical."

This leads me to think they are not singing well. I'll try to find a Broadway recording.

- cal roth

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that Helena looks fabulous in this. People think she's underplaying the role, but I don't see that at all. She's taken a very different approach to it, but I think it will work on film. Although she's not a great singer her voice is pretty. And her comic timing really is perfect. She's got a wonderful dry, deadpan sense of humor here.

I'm still not thrilled with Depp's singing, but he seems to have brought a very subtle but intense approach to the role, which should also work well on film.

Anonymous said...

The movie's official website has been updated with audio clips from tons of the songs.

Sam Brooks said...

I'm such a fan of Helena Bonham-Carter; and this year has been a really great one for her (even if you disregard Conversations With Other Women, which could be '06 or '07) with a cameo in HP5 and this. But, she's always given stellar performance after stellar performance and the Academy might even look at her for this one.

Hell, they looked at her for Wings of the Dove, which I didn't really regard as being overly popular. Fingers crossed, at any rate!

Steven said...

"This leads me to think they are not singing well. I'll try to find a Broadway recording."

Well, it is true that "Sweeney Todd" is one of the hardest musical scores to sing and is usually done with classically trained singers. However, I'm willing to forgive a little because I'm just so excited for this movie. I think it looks fantastic. I thought I would mind the untrained voices in a Sondheim musical, but I can't complain that much so far. Even if it turns out to be dud, at least we still have that fantastic DVD with Angela Lansbury (or even the concert version with Patti LuPone and NPH).

I think it's really creepy having Toby as a little boy. Creepy in a great, interesting way.

I can't wait!


adam k. said...

I hope HBC goes supporting, cause I think she would get nominated there. But in lead, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Bite your tongue, Adam K! Since she is in my "Pick-Five", I, of course, expect nothing less than wall-to-wall raves for her, uh, leading performance.

I sure could use the help in the contest.