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Zootopia on Home Video

If you want to know why Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia (read my review here) delighted audiences and broke worldwide box office records, earning over $900 million, watch it on home video and see at least some of the bonus material. The Blu-ray edition shows how much thought, artistry and hard work were expended to make one of the most enjoyable movies this year.

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Available today on Digital HD, Blu-ray, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and on demand, Zootopia in these various incarnations includes an alternate opening, deleted characters and scenes and some clever, interesting tidbits. On the Blu-ray disc I reviewed, the most informative parts are what Disney calls a series of 10-minute “roundtables” (they’re not really) introduced by Ginnifer Goodwin, who voiced the lead character Judy Hopp. One of the interesting disclosures here is that her character wasn’t always the lead.

In fact, the creators originally had Jason Bateman’s fox character as the lead in a whole other plot involving a jaded, dystopian world with electronic animal collars. Well into production, studio screenings—this is one of those movies in which the movie studio apparently improved the final cut—apparently demonstrated that the cynicism drained the motion picture and Goodwin’s rabbit wannabe cop took the lead. The differences are discussed, explored and shown in several spots on the extras, including a humorous deleted alternate scene in the elephant-run ice cream shop.

Another piece shows hidden Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, icons and designs. Frozen pops up in the ice cream shop, too, though these really amount to Disney plugs. Still, the extras are not as thin and wispy as they usually are and behind the scenes features are more relaxed, less formal and more open to scrutiny, too. The creators reveal a consistency error in the train scene that runs through Tundratown, for instance.

Viewers learn about complexities in creating an all-animal world, including making characters’ fur and clothing, the logic and impetus for Tundratown, Sahara Square and the Rainforest District and old-fashioned field research conducted—and, I suspect, doubling for water drinking scenes in The Jungle Book, too—in Africa. It’s there that filmmakers traveled to gain knowledge for Zootopia‘s variety of distinctive animal characters. Of course, they also visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida, but the African savanna trip proved useful for developing Zootopia looks, behaviors and plot points.

A piece on the score features Academy Award®-winning composer Michael Giacchino demonstrating how percussionists added to the movie. Directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons) introduce bits with dry humor. One clip involves Bateman’s fox character, Nick, pitching his start-up idea to Zootopia’s bankers for funding his money-making vision of an amusement park made exclusively for predators. Maybe a sequel if there is one (who am I kidding?) will explore Nick’s entrepreneurial spirit and mark a Disney Animation Studios return to portraying capitalism as a positive for the first time since The Princess and the Frog.

Shakira’s can-do-themed single “Try Everything”, which accompanies the end credits, too, is included as a stand-alone pop music video. Unfortunately, Bateman and other cast members, are not. I would have liked to have seen and heard from Idris Elba (Thor, BBC’s Luther) on voicing Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate’s thoughts on her character, Bellwether, Nate Torrence doing Clawhauser, Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake as the parents, J.K. Simmons (Oscar® winner for Whiplash) as Mayor Lionheart and Octavia Spencer (Black or White, Oscar® winner for The Help) as Mrs. Otterton. I would have liked to hear from the story writers, too, on the plot twist, which is part of what makes Zootopia unique, and I do wonder what artists were planning to do with one of the deleted characters, Zootopia’s female pig mayor.

But this one disc package with the 108 minute movie (1080p High Definition/2.39:1, DVD Feature Film = 2.39:1 aspect ratio; subtitles in English, French & Spanish/English SDH, French & Spanish) is a good home video package for a terrific little movie.

Blu-Ray Review: Cinderella

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Coming to home video for the first time, the leading contender for the year’s best picture, Cinderella, debuts today on Blu-ray and other formats (read my review here). I reviewed the two-disc Blu-Ray version with digital HD/SD, Blu-ray combo pack & Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA).

The DVD features a short feature on the movie’s animals, such as horses, chickens and mice, and the animated short that preceded Cinderella during its theatrical release, Frozen Fever. The Blu-ray includes these and also the 20-minute A Fairy Tale Comes to Life with brief interviews with major cast members and director Kenneth Branagh, writer Chris Weitz and producers David Baron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur in addition to other designers and production crew. The feature is alright, though it does not sweep over the whole picture as it should. I do not think Disney appreciates this picture for its full value.

Mr. Branagh himself downplays the film, which caused some controversy among feminists when it was released, as a light and enjoyable indulgence. There is no mention here, too, of the wonderfully romantic score by Patrick Doyle (read my review of the soundtrack here) among the features. A costume bit involves classical music from The Nutcracker which isn’t used in the 105-minute Cinderella.

The best Blu-ray extra—the best of the whole package besides the movie—is the 11-minute Staging the Ball, which breaks down one of the most breathtaking scenes in Cinderella. The two leading actors, Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as the Prince, comport themselves to the palace filmmaking and so does everyone else who comments on the ballroom scenes, with adoring angles, gestures and framing. Relishing details, Kenneth Branagh and company explain every aspect from lighting the candles and building the set on the James Bond lot to the gown’s 10,000 Swarovski crystals and dance rehearsals. James describes the aura as “lightness and elegance” and it is beautifully deconstructed here. An alternate opening, which forges a stronger bond between the farm animals and the girl’s family before the stepmother (Cate Blanchett) moves in, is very good. Disney restricts the rest of Mr. Branagh’s five deleted scenes to its Disney Movies Anywhere exclusive, the code for which is included on the box.

This is a movie to get lost—even become immersed—in, as Walt Disney might say, and those inclined should do so without reservation. Boys and girls alike should see it with the whole family. Cinderella is that good and that rare and unusual among today’s pictures. Its grand, romantic style is suited to its warm, intelligent script. Despite the denial and modesty with which it is presented, Cinderella is lovely, moving and magnificent all at once and its transfer to Blu-ray delights in high-definition.


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Movie Review: Cinderella

Music Review: Cinderella soundtrack

Cinderella Coming this Fall to Home Entertainment

Movie & Blu-Ray Review: The World According to Garp (1982)

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George Roy Hill’s 1982 adaptation of John Irving’s breakthrough 1978 novel, The World According to Garp, is better than its reputation. The Warner Bros. picture was a critical and commercial failure. Above all, this serious-themed movie—out this month on Blu-Ray—is seeded with ideas.

That the ideas involve sex, collectivism and death make The World According to Garp a culturally significant motion picture. With Hill (Hawaii, The Sting, The Little Drummer Girl) directing and a taut script by Steve Tesich (Breaking Away), the novel’s puritanical feminist mother to Garp (Robin Williams in his first major movie), portrayed by Glenn Close with perfection, sets the tone. The plain, Yankee frankness of seriously horrifying ideals mixed with perfectly reasonable ideals plays across Garp’s lifetime.

Garp’s mother is a rapist who compares sex with disease and, when her own son expresses the desire to gain new knowledge by asking questions, she cuts him down with a snap: “I’m tired of your questions.” She is both mother and monster. Garp’s mother violates his privacy, rescues him from danger and buys him sex from a prostitute and thus enmeshes Garp in the crazy making of her life. This is Irving’s absurdism but it is also the stuff of life. From a former top athlete who becomes a transsexual (John Lithgow) to Garp’s starch grandparents (Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy) and a reckless driver (Matthew Cowles), colorful characters depict various contradictions of our time.

Accordingly, the result is, and this fits the movie’s theme, an adventurous life. Garp’s lonely, sorrowful struggle to find happiness is strangely larger than and true to life. Garp, named after a crippled tailgunner his nurse mother raped in the hospital, wrestles the vicious dog that bit him as a boy during fellatio in order to recover his first manuscript. He becomes, of course, a writer and a wrestler. The act of fellatio reprises in his life with devastating impact, too. The World According to Garp is relentless in such audacious details and rich in symbolism. Williams is adept in every scene, playing the suppressed energy of an emasculated New England male caught in the 20th century’s rapid descent into feminist dogma and ripped apart by sexual liberation.

The story is brilliantly anti-sexual in a fundamental sense, though it is captured in a way which, thanks to Robin Williams and his co-star Mary Beth Hurt as his college professor wife Helen, is compelling. Their troubled marriage thoughtfully comes undone amid conflicting career goals and frustrations, as each wrestles with anxiety over kids, fear of death and balancing love, work and life. Living with the insecure writer, or the academic constantly tempted by youth, and making “the kids” a rationalization for denial, are all dramatized with skill and humor. From the hilarious definition of “gradual school” to an uncomfortable scene between the babysitter and Garp, in which he salivates at her being 18 while she salivates at his being 30, Garp is honest, clear and insightful.

It makes the audience think.

But Garp is best in its anti-sex theme showing the mass contradiction of feminism, a collectivist offshoot defining one’s identity as based on one’s sex, an idea which was widely accepted and only spread after the bestselling novel was adapted. The women’s-only coastal compound where Garp’s evangelistic mother nurses her adherents back to health, from the tough-but-kind, and notably unsatisfied, transsexual to the man-hating women who mutilate themselves as martyrs for the feminist faith, is both prison and sanctuary. The place is peaceful, decent and it’s where Garp goes to heal, thanks to his mother in a final act of enlightenment.

Garp’s Kennedy-like compound is a transient place of irrationalism, where the wicked and the wounded alike are housed, granting refuge to the absurd and tolerance to society’s most vulnerable victims. The World According to Garp co-habits the 20th century’s worst ideas, including pragmatism, fatalism and self-sacrifice, and thus reflects the United States of America. That the practitioners are women seeking to rule men is especially astute.

This is not to say that Garp is explicitly anti-feminist, as Irving and Tesich merely send feminists up for the sake of humor. In one transition, Roberta Muldoon is maiden to Garp’s boys during child’s play. In the next scene, Helen capitulates to playing maiden in need of rescue for real to one of her students. Sexual stereotypes self-perpetuate; Garp’s women, even his stubborn mother, have a point.

Faith breeds force, as Ayn Rand once wrote, and brute force takes its toll, though Irving probably does not intend this as the meaning of Garp. The subtext is there, however, instilled in dark, strange and almost surrealistic plot points, which are possibly too serious and tragic for most, except the most damaged. It calls out life’s absurdities, such as the iconic plane striking the house, and beckons the weird to face the strange, as David Bowie sings in “Changes”, and embrace the byproduct of mixed ideas: the unusual, even the painful, hard and terrible.

In the character Pooh Percy, the archetypical arch-feminist, who is also a sociopath, one sees the full arc of Garp‘s clearly dramatized sub-theme that, while life should be lived as an adventure, which in this context means embracing uniqueness including any contradictions, ultimately man is doomed by the irrational. Whether this is true (I think it’s false), one can take it, even on Garp‘s terms, to mean that man’s only doomed to self-terminate to the extent he sanctions the irrational. Pooh Percy is a feminist in glasses and pigtails taken to the logical application of her ideals. A line early in the movie indicates that Pooh’s mother implants the child with hatred of her own sex and life and one wonders what else might have happened to this child, especially since her father is a malignant if minor character. Pooh is like an Islamic fundamentalist trained from scratch to be like a laser-guided missile to destroy sex, love and life. To Pooh, values are poison; she is like an automatonic assassin programmed for death. Watch Pooh for a lesson in what happens when decent people refuse to think, judge and speak up about the judged.

Garp is not, contrary to some assertions, flat, terrible and deadly. Certainly, Garp is mixed. The theme is not positive. Yet intelligent ideas about writing permeate the movie. From the gloves in a story Garp writes and the role of the piano in his self-recovery to the sound of a typewriter’s keys at Christmastime, this is an involving depiction of the writer’s life in stark, dramatic detail. It is possible to live a meaningful life in The World According to Garp, with the richest rewards coming in the most surprising places, times and gestures. Garp’s greatest literary achievement finally comes as a result of Garp’s greatest risk. His payoff comes in a most unwelcome context with a character played by Amanda Plummer. It’s a poignant moment which captures Irving’s brand of misfit individualism. Taking the tragic as a metaphysical primary, Garp proposes that one’s life soars only before the downfall.

This makes The World According to Garp a timely, thoughtful movie not without merit which is thoroughly modern, and prophetic, in its malevolence.

Movie & Blu-Ray Review: Black or White

MV5BMTYyMzE2NTE5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDI3ODI2MzE@._V1_SX214_AL_Mike Binder’s new movie co-starring Kevin Costner (Man of Steel, JFK, The Company Men), who also produces, and Octavia Spencer (Snowpiercer, The Help) opens in a somber haze at a hospital. So begins a story of cleaning the lens that distorts reality. The insightful Black or White depicts today’s toxic racial tension as it exists in everyday lives. It aims to recreate human harmony.

After his wife (Jennifer Ehle, The Ides of MarchThe King’s Speech) is killed in a car crash, Kevin Costner’s lawyer character, Elliott, gets support from a colleague (Bill Burr), though he gets worse, too, spiraling into an alcoholic stupor as he goes back to his Brentwood home, where he grandparents his late daughter’s child, Eloise (Jillian Estell). This tale of a drunk white male’s effort to survive his loss shifts and pivots between what lies within one’s control and what, including one’s blood, does not.

Elliott’s granddaughter is racially mixed, which complicates—and, ultimately, yields an opportunity to contemplate and clarify—his life. The final scene of the first part of the multilayered Black or White, which slices through the gray, shows Elliott standing before an empty bed. The rest of the movie depicts an effort to use his mind to reconcile the void, let go and achieve peace. In this sense, Black or White evokes other custody battle pictures in which a man is tested, changed and enlightened, including Ted Melfi‘s recent St. Vincent with Bill Murray and Robert Benton‘s absorbing Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) starring Dustin Hoffman.

Writer, director and producer Mike Binder, who directed Kevin Costner as a drunk in The Upside of Anger 10 years ago, deploys his trademark method of revolving main, secondary and minor characters to unravel the mystery of a man’s remaking.

Binder tracks surly Elliott, an L.A. attorney, after his wife’s memorial, capturing the widower’s loneliness as he did with Joan Allen’s bitter lament in The Upside of Anger and depositing him into the arms of his granddaughter’s other grandparent, Rowena Davis (Spencer). That Rowena is black is incidental for a while and part of the magic throughout Black or White comes from Binder’s deft portrayal of people for whom whether one is white, black or mixed matters only in a temporary context. He mines the humor in prejudice, rationalization and self-contradiction as he captures southern California’s ethos of laissez-faire optimism. It’s a subtle balance.

Being black or white does matter in today’s world and Rowena, concerned for her granddaughter’s welfare, exploits race to sue Elliott for custody. Never mind that her drug addicted son, Reggie (Andre Holland, Selma, 42) isn’t really a father to his daughter. The girl, like any intelligent grade school student, wants to be her best. She studies math and piano with Duvan (Mpho Koaho), enjoys swimming, cooking and playing games and lives with her grandfather Elliott and his housekeeper Rosita (Bertha Bindewald).

Eloise is a bright, conflicted child. She notices that her granddad drinks too much. She romanticizes her absent father. She sees differences but no contradiction between her family in Compton and her grandpappy in Brentwood. If only for practical purposes, her dad’s lawyer uncle (Anthony Mackie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hurt Locker) wants the family court judge (Paula Newsome) to think different.

Binder’s script delves straight on into bigotry in the contest of race-baited wills between the self-made Rowena and the self-destructive Elliott and their partisans. With sharp lines, seamless plotting and well-crafted points in a tale of two southern California cities, Black or White evolves, swaps and provokes with rhythmic writing and propulsive action as inebriated Elliott heads into a tailspin.

Each character is intricately drawn and this is a major accomplishment in a movie with sensitive themes about race, identity and self-esteem. Rowena is strong but stubborn, firing off judgments faster than she makes connections. Eloise is both sheltered and overindulged while being totally forgotten in both worlds, as children of custodial conflict often are. The judge quietly learns to temper her bias against the same race. Anthony Mackie’s attorney abides his sense of justice while going for blood on behalf of his sister. Duvan the immigrant tutor represents the all-American. Reggie, too, earns and then discards a certain allegiance, depending on one’s context. Even a legal secretary who enters a room during a conversation about her race signals one’s invisibility to the other race. All of these imperceptibly scouring characterizations, black or white, are realistic. The cast, especially Ms. Spencer and Mr. Costner and Estell as Eloise, are superb and Compton native Kevin Costner, an actor who leads on judging individuals as individuals by example (The Bodyguard), particularly in his brilliant eulogy for Whitney Houston, is the film’s perfect spokesman.

Elliott, in Mr. Costner’s weary, fading and sad portrayal, represents the way to find inner peace in a man among men. His is an argument which amounts to a defense of rationality at the core and, crucially, only at its best. This is in contrast to his actions throughout much of Black or White, which is deeper than it first appears. If last year’s similarly themed The Hundred-Foot Journey is too soft, Black or White is as hard and jagged as its title. But like its ancestor, Stanley Kramer’s scathing Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) it compounds the story of a lone, fallible Californian and gracefully folds it into a story for mankind.

Blu-Ray 

Time has increased my admiration for Black or White, which was criticized for being too pat when, in fact, the film is ahead of today’s critics and audiences. This groundbreaking movie deserves a wide audience. The Blu-Ray edition (including digital code) for Mike Binder‘s movie comes with the standard bundle of extras. An original trailer and preferred settings are provided, of course, and the picture quality, viewed on a large, high-definition television screen, is excellent. Personally, I would have liked to have seen and heard more from Binder than disc bits offer here, though there’s always my exclusive interview with Mike Binder for a whole examination of Black or White.

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Binder’s incisive movie is headed by its leading male and producer, Kevin Costner, who is prominent on two relatively short features and a main feature. The shorter bits are too promotional and redundant to the longer piece, which is about 24 minutes long, a behind-the-scenes overview which, to paraphrase co-star Anthony Mackie, makes you think about the issues raised, laced and dramatized with irony not derision. This is the best part besides Relativity’s movie, which is a selective recreation of life in Los Angeles. The leads are featured, too, as is Binder. Supporting cast members are also included for thoughts on the filmmaking. Standouts include Mackie, the girl who portrays Eloise (Jillian Estell) and Mpho Koaho. They each have clearly thought about their roles and this deepens one’s appreciation for the movie.

Costner discusses his interest and involvement though it’s Octavia Spencer who applies Black or White to today’s context and her acting ability and professionalism is also extremely apparent. I had not been as familiar with supporting actor Bill Burr, who is excellent as Costner’s attorney and friend, in his work as a comedian and the Blu-Ray extras cover that ground, too. I wanted to see and hear from other key cast members, such as Paula Newsome and Andre Holland, though one of the reasons why I think Black or White succeeds, in spite of any audience predisposition, is its wider-than-usual variety of an incredibly talented and well-directed ensemble cast, so it’s easy to want to gain thoughts and then some from everyone who participated in realizing Mike Binder’s impeccable screenplay. As it is, Black or White is an intelligent, warm and amusing film. (Click on the image to buy the Blu-Ray).


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Exclusive interview with Black or White writer, director and producer Mike Binder: read it here.

Movie & Blu-Ray Review: Into the Woods

MV5BMTY4MzQ4OTY3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM5MDI3MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Visually arresting and musically deep and inviting, Disney’s adaptation by Rob Marshall (Chicago) of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods is mesmerizing in its own way. Though Meryl Streep (The Giver, Hope Springs, The Iron Lady) as the witch is occasionally distracting, the magic of maturing in the dark, bending and breaking woods flourishes in Marshall’s hands.

Intersecting stories of a baker and his barren wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), a boy and his mother (Daniel Huttlestone and Tracey Ullman), the witch and her daughter Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), two princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), with Christine Baranski as the stepmother and Johnny Depp as the wolf, subtly blend in a kingdom with poignant, emotional songs and cinematic flair. The film, co-written and adapted for the screen by co-creator James Lapine, does Sondheim justice.

Layers of life lessons are woven, embedded and peeled away with humor, longing and cheer. That everything is packed into rhythmic and musical tales of a witch’s curse commanding a childless couple to find a white cow, a golden shoe, a blood-red cape and hair as yellow as corn in exchange for a child is an achievement. Pictures move, glow and draw the audience inward from the start, as grayness in the sky melds into something that is not as it first appears.

The theme that life is richer than cliches is well played, especially by Blunt, Pine and Ullman and the children, in particular, Huttlestone as an indefatigable boy named Jack, who is willing to be thought a fool and brave enough to pierce the sky. The whole contemplative storybook in song comes off with a wink at the camera, especially in the performance of “Agony”, with handsome brothers pining away for their lost maidens. With the witch twirling and zapping and giants stomping, not to mention a wolf ready to tear into plump young flesh, Disney does not soften the hard and knowing woods. The prospect of journeying into darkness to lighten one’s load is dramatized and made musical in shades of black, brown and midnight blue. Fans of the show will notice discrepancies, but the show’s core holds.

Arcing the scope of a lifetime, from birth to death and everything meaningful in between, and putting it to poetry, music and pictures, Rob Marshall knits fabled characters’ stories, doubts and insecurities into a pattern, bringing untethered single lives into a communion that cashes in on hard-earned lessons with heroism, affirmation and an outward, not weary, look at the world as it is. Into the Woods prowls and stalks the audience with cleverness in melody and words. It is meant to be savored by those who have been to darker places (who hasn’t?). At root, Into the Woods is an impeccable musical about finding goodness in what’s real and true, not in what’s fake and fantasy, and integrating fairy tales to urge the audience to think and get real is simply original and inspired.


Blu-Ray Edition 

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Fans of the film will want to own this edition on Blu-Ray, chiefly for the movie-exclusive new song, deleted (and rightly so) from this intelligent musical picture show, “She’ll Be Back”, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. It’s a short, stand-alone gem that adds depth to the witch character portrayed by Meryl Streep. According to the extra here, it incorporates an idea from Sondheim’s “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” in Gypsy. Adding to the mother-daughter relationship with Rapunzel, the show and its wider significance as a life metaphor, and the movie’s themes of darkness, hardship and self-made family, it’s beautifully done.

But everyone could see, according to director Rob Marshall (Chicago), that the subtle, complex “She’ll Be Back” adversely affects the film and its pace. As it is, I consider this inclusion, with the way it’s filmed and delivered, the disc’s best asset besides the movie.

That single deleted scene also demonstrates the filmmaker’s commitment to quality storytelling. Other features range from satisfactory to good, given the material. Audio commentary is decent, with Marshall and producer John DeLuca addressing differences in the stage to screen adaptation, such as the exclusion of Mysterious Man and the narrator. A “Music & Lyrics” feature provides access to musical song segments with lyrics. A 14-minute piece, “There’s Something About the Woods”, is a good overview of the movie. The movie’s intelligence, streamlined stories within a story, striking set design, with tree roots embellished to establish a mood and a facsimile of cracked bark being woven into the witch costume, with a bit on the musicianship of the score, is all touched upon.

Though I think that Disney should have made a whole examination of the transition from Broadway to Hollywood as the Chicago DVD edition did, this Blu-Ray disc’s four-segment, 30-minute “Deeper into the Woods” will have to do, with Tracey Ullman joking about cows, Meryl Streep reminding me how much she resembles Bonnie Raitt and certain (not all or even most) cast members and crew talking about lighting, set and production design and the story’s themes, envisioned here as a kind of everyone’s in this together notion that doesn’t get it quite right to me. Even Mr. Sondheim, who sees the first half of the show as a montage of selfishness and the second half as an integration or kind of communion, fails to see the full scope of the movie version.

But two of the principals who bring what’s bitter, dark and realistic about Into the Woods to the screen dig deeper into the story’s roots and branches. Meryl Streep talks about her daughter’s response to the scene with falling debris and how her daughter says it reminds her of the aftermath of the Islamic terrorist attack on America on 9/11 in Manhattan, where she lived—Streep’s child was five years old when the Twin Towers were destroyed and 3,000 Americans were exterminated—dramatizing that “bad things happen and children are aware of them”.

This is true and it is an important idea in art.

Director Rob Marshall also names September 11, 2001 as an act of war that haunts the film, the mood and the world, pointing out that President Obama said, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11: “You are not alone…no one is alone.” This exact wording of Into the Woods‘ main theme would mean more coming from a president who tells the truth, which, sadly, Marshall does not question. However, this theme does mean something coming in the form of a dark motion picture of pathos, humor and songs about life sung with sincerity. As Marshall I think correctly observes about the moral center of this full circle of fairy tales, finding light in the center of darkness without minimizing that it is extremely dark and frightening: “Hold on to those you hold dear…you have to decide. You decide.”

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