Stephen Sondheim’s beloved fairy-tale mash-up about the quest for “happily ever after” adapts to the screen remarkably well.
Perhaps that was to be expected, given the strength of the source material and the fact that it was directed by Rob Marshall, who helmed the spectacular stage-to-screen transformation of Chicago.
The star-packed cast also works magic — with huge performances from Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep and the rest of the ensemble. Fans of the stage version will note that the film does abbreviate the show’s second act a bit — notably leaving out beloved songs like the very funny reprise of “Agony.” But Pine and Billy Magnussen perform the first-act version with such pompous charm that the omission can be forgiven. Plus, they get to do it while striding across a waterfall — one of many settings it would have been nearly impossible to realize on stage.
THE WORD: While the cast may not all have Broadway-caliber voices, they fill their roles so well that it’s difficult to pick a favorite. That said, it’s hard not to tear up when it comes time for Streep’s moving rendition of “Stay with Me.”
COMING TO: Home Video
By Jonathan Roche
Last modified: May 20, 2019