The promotion machine for Sweeney Todd:
the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
is in high gear as the movie’s December 21 release approaches
and, I must say, Helena Bonham
Carter is a
smashing Mrs. Lovett.
Her childhood friends are not
surprised, according to Bonham Carter’s interview in the December issue of Marie Claire. “One
of my friends said, ‘Of course you’ll get the part. We called you Mrs.
Lovett when you were 13 — you walked around with her horned hairdo for
a year.'” Of course she did.
About the same time, her future
boyfriend Tim Burton visited London, where he saw the
musical — multiple
times — and was equally obsessed. Not until about five years ago, however,
did Burton focus on turning Sweeney into a film. And according
to the movie’s leads, this may be his best film yet.
The audience at a screening
last month agreed, as did a Cinefantastique critic who attended
the show. “This
movie is pretty much your dream of what it would be when you first heard
that Burton and Johnny Depp would be turning the Stephen Sondheim
musical into a movie — it’s a dark, brooding horror-musical-comedy
that hits all the right notes.”
Concerns about whether Depp
can sing apparently were put to rest when a clip of Depp and Bonham Carter
singing “My Friends,” the love song to Todd’s razor, was
shown at the Venice Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award ceremony
for Tim Burton. At first, however, Depp himself shared those concerns.
While Burton’s gory version of Sweeney Todd won’t be for
everyone, the more I hear about the movie, the more I’m looking forward
to seeing it. In a season of often-fake cheer, this might just be the
perfect holiday movie. But a word of warning to Santa: better pass on
any snacks left out on Helena Bonham Carter’s table.