The combination of the dark musical Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton seems like destiny. In the hands of Burton the tale of bloody revenge gets even bloodier (prepare for some unexpectedly grisly throat slashings), the setting gets even darker and more imaginative, and Depp becomes an evil madman with a surprisingly nice singing voice.
Musicals are always a bit hard for me to get into, but Stephen Sondheim's songs are catchy and fun and it wasn't too long before I was pulled into the story beyond the brilliant set and costume design. The original stage production opened in 1979 with Angela Lansbury (there's way more to her career than Murder She Wrote) in Helena Bonham Carter's role as the ghastly meat pie baker, Miss Lovett. It was revived in the late eighties and again last year with all the actors playing their own instruments. The production is currently on tour and the movie has made me sad I missed it in New York.
This is my mom's favorite recent movie and, like all of us human females, she finds Depp to be flawless. It's good to see him hitting all the right notes again after the awful mishap of Willie Wonka. Burton too has also gotten back into form with this bleak but whimsical film that ended up walking away with Best Art direction at the Oscars and Best Motion Picture in the Musical or Comedy genre and Johnny Depp won for his performance as Sweeney Todd at the Golden Globes.