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Sweeney Todd Reactions

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 2, 2007 at 6:03AM

DreamWorks has been holding Sweeney Todd back. Well, they finally screened it last week, and elicited "non-reviews" from the Internet folks. The two trades are sufficiently alarmed by all this activity to consider running their reviews sooner rather than later, I hear.
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ToddlovettDreamWorks has been holding Sweeney Todd back. Well, they finally screened it last week, and elicited "non-reviews" from the Internet folks. The two trades are sufficiently alarmed by all this activity to consider running their reviews sooner rather than later, I hear.

I saw the movie Sunday. I now understand why DreamWorks has been treading so carefully on the marketing. This is not your every day movie musical. Stephen Sondheim is filtered through the sensibilities of Tim Burton and his muse and alter-ego, Johnny Depp. It worked for me. I already love this musical; it was fascinating to see the narrative that I'd seen on stage so many times unfolding in a more literal close-up space. The story is the same, but intimate close-ups bring emotion and wells of feeling (and blood and gruesome gore). The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is not exactly a warm and cuddly fellow. And yet Depp (pictured here with Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett) makes him human.

Sweeney Todd will likely earn a rash of Oscar nominations, including cinematography, production design, makeup, costumes, sound categories, and Depp. But even if Depp is long overdue, Daniel Day Lewis remains a formidable opponent. And a best picture slot is not a sure thing. It never is.

Check out these tip-toed Internet reports about Sweeney: Newsweek blogger Ramin Setoodeh, In Contention, Fox News, Hollywood Elsewhere, The Hot Blog, The Carpetbagger, and Sweeney champion Tom O'Neill at The Envelope.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: Box Office, Reviews, Headliners, Genres, Directors, Awards, Tim Burton, Musical, Johnny Depp


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.