Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 2 of 30 Shorts: Appreciating Small Moments

My entire agenda for today got thrown out the window with a tempting and irresistible offer to go to a morning showing of “Into the Woods”, the movie production based on the stage production of the same name, with music written by the prolific Stephen Sondheim.
The offer came from granddaughter Meghan, whom we still refer to as the Todzilla. Today’s movie was a reward for Meghan NOT being the Todzilla for roughly 24 hours. It’s a just reward and a monumental success for Meghan to not a have any kind of meltdown within a twenty four hour window. Naturally I accepted the offer.

I have heard consistent reviews of Into the Woods being very entertaining, with a wonderful cast, but a bit long. It was all of those things.
Being a fan of the Grimm Brothers and their tales I found the movie enchanting for myself as well as for the not always so charming Miss Meghan. Recently Meghan has been charged with extra reading projects to be done at home as part of her accelerated reading program at school. Like most homework, this often becomes a tedious affair when it is ongoing and can become super boring, especially for a personality such as Meghan’s. We don’t still call an 8 year old 'Todzilla' because we think she’s cute.

I am a voracious reader, as is Meghan, but she wants to read out loud. She loves the attention and relishes the performance of acting out the story. Lately, her selections have been a lot of the Grimm stories, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Red Riding Hood, and a few others. She likes heroes and princesses. Who doesn’t? She looks for a moral if the story doesn’t seem to have the formula happy ending, which is very intuitive for a third grader.
It was especially rewarding to watch the movie and hear Meghan’s reaction as she recognized some of her favorite characters in a familiar storyline but different from what she’s read. Rapunzel’s hero in her book is a thief named Flynn, but in the movie he is a Prince and although you never hear him referred to by name, at his appearance, she immediately called out, “It’s Flynn!” and after a musical duet by the two charming and handsome princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) , which several adults in the audience found almost comical, she sighed and said not once but twice, “Bravo.”  She loves her handsome heroes.

Johnny Depp has a very brief appearance, but as usual, his performance was memorable as the Wolf and his interaction with Red Riding Hood in the woods felt very predatory.

Meryl Streep, the evil witch, looked as though she was having as much fun playing the role as it was to watch her.

The storyline turns dark with Tracy Ullman playing Jack’s mother as she valiantly tried to face the Giant’s wife, who was seeking vengeance for Jack’s misdeeds to her husband the giant and their gold.

The length of the movie is a full two hours and 5 minutes. We did not feel there was any time that seemed to lag. Here follows a spoiler if you have not seen the movie.
Just when the movie felt like it was going to end with pink and blue ribbons tied up in a happy ending for all, it segued into the darkness of Grimms’ tales.  But like the Rolling Stones song, “you don’t always get what you want, you get what you need.”
“Bravo”. Well worth the change in my day and the 2hours, plus sitting through 20 minutes of trailers, just to hear that.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see this movie. Joanne, since Meghan to do a gues post on your blog about Into the Woods because she sounds like she's going to be a writer and it will click on her talented and artistic sided. I just get the feeling...granny spidey-senses