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Sweeney Todd

We first saw Sweeney Todd in Toledo because, only a week prior, our local theater chain put out a press release to say it was refusing to pay for prints. The chain, Marcus Theatres, which is operated out of Madison, is new in town—it bought all of the city’s movie theaters last summer—and is making a deserving reputation for being cheap. The most recent film it has refused to buy is that Godzilla flick, Cloverfield. I probably wouldn’t see it anyway, but it would make more sense than running Into the Wild again.

The prints for Sweeney Todd must have been discounted, however, because it came to IC this weekend, and we saw it again with a gaggle of drunk teenage boys who for two hours chatted up the back row of the theater, full of gas and determined to have a grand time because of it. (They weren’t even the most disgusting: while I waited in line to buy a Pepsi, a student told his date, who seemed a mostly respectable girl, a BVS fan, about the time he saw Old School so drunk he passed out before the show started. Ten minutes before the movie ended he awoke and had to piss. “The theater was packed,” he said, “and I was down front. I grabbed a popcorn bucket and nearly filled that thing up!” “That’s disgusting,” his date said, and she fell silent. Eventually, she told a drinking story of her own, but I didn’t stick around to hear it.)

There is a set piece in Sweeney Todd, centered on “A Little Priest,” in which Todd (Johnny Depp) and Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) decide to cut up the bodies of the men he kills, cook them into pies, and serve them to the unsuspecting public. They debate the merits of class warfare, but the scene ends when Todd and Lovett declare:

We’ll not discriminate great from small!
No, we’ll serve anyone,
Meaning anyone,
And to anyone
At all!

In the film the two stand—he with cleaver in hand, she with rolling pin—framed in the window of the pie shop. It is a perfect scene or nearly so, blocked and shot with clarity, acted and sung with sinister humor. It is my favorite in the film.



I’m disappointed that ST didn’t receive more recognition in the Oscar nominations…Atonement?? Nuh-uh.

Zodiac, too!

yep. that’s what they get for releasing the movie so early in the year…you gotta play the game!