Helena Bonham Carter: “I’m a real musical-whore, you know.”

Well, I didn’t, but that comment just makes me love Helena Bonham Carter even more. I blogged in August about why — despite nagging twinges of “can this really work?” — she is the reason I’m excited for a musical releasing on December 21 that really is a (rather violent) gift for the holidays: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. That’s right, instead of visions of sugar plums dancing, we’ll have straight razors and special pies in which the special ingredient isn’t love. (This may be more appropriate to the extended family dynamics around the holidays, anyway, if you know what I mean.)

The trailer hit the web yesterday, and I was on it right away. But before I start in (and yes, there will be starting in), take a look for yourself.



I know that Carter took nine months of voice lessons, gestating her voice for the part, one might say. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t give us the chance to see the delivery, even though the shots of her are truly the most entertaining. I love the pink dress. If I didn’t know better, I’d accept an hors d’oeuvre.

I also dig the cinematography. The contrast between the dismal, dark streets and interiors contrasted with the trippy outdoor scenes and elaborate costuming are everything I’ve loved about Tim Burton films since Edward Scissorhands.

And you know, it smacks a little of heresy to my years of college angst to say it, but I think I’m liking Carter more than Winona Ryder in Burton films. One could quibble about the location of his “casting couch,” but really, her quirky beauty suits his films so perfectly. Nobody does demented quite like her.

Johnny Depp, however, pretty much looks and sounds like Captain Jack Sparrow, lifted off the Black Pearl and plunked in nineteenth-century London. I’m not saying this resemblance is a bad thing, necessarily; for instance, it would be kind of fun to see a multitude of him swarming London streets in a going-to-war dancing sequence a la West Side Story. Anyway, his voice is pleasant, and I understand his casting on an aesthetic and financial level, but I’m not sold on him carrying this musical musically.

Of course, I know I’ll still pay the cash to see this on the big screen. Is anybody else in?

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