Into the Woods, Directed by: Rob Marshall, 2014
A Little Background on the Movie
- Was It Successful?
- Into the Woods, overall was a very successful film. It made $31, 021,000 during its opening weekend, and a gross profit of $127,997,349. This is pretty dang good for only having a budget of 50,000,000. The film itself was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture:comedy or musical of 2015. It won the 2014 Satellite award for Best Ensemble,Motion picture. These are just 2 out of the 9 awards it won and 1 out of the 55 awards it was nominated for, and was also nominated for 3 Oscars which is a huge deal in the artist world.Overall, the film got an average rating of 6.1/10, which even though it doesn’t seem like a good rating it really is. It,also got good reviews from most critics from reviewers from The New York Times, and other reviewers of similar status. It is safe to say that Into the Woods is an extremely successful movie.
- The Screen Play & Its Script
One thing I absolutely love when musicals are turned into films is when the original creators come and adapt their work themselves. This is the case for Into the Woods. James Lapine wrote the original book or script, and he also wrote the adapted screenplay for this film! This was the same for the actual music on the film, as well. Steven Sondheim was the original composer of both music and lyrics for the staged version of Into the Woods, and he too came back and re worked the music for the film like Lapine.
The script of this movie is really interesting, even the dialogue between the songs are very sing songy, and poetic. It’s written in a very storybook/fairytale style of writing the helps to create the essence of the story. There is also the use of overlapping of text throughout the movie. Many of the conversations between characters have them talking over one another yet, maintaining the conversation as if they were talking like normal the whole time. For instance, this happens a lot with the baker and his wife especially, in the forest scene when they were buying the cow from the boy. Their dialogue overlaps creating this sense of tension, excitement, and importance.
- Symbolism Within The Movie
There is quite a bit of symbolism in this film, of course it helps that Into The Woods is a mesh of Fairytales, and fairytales are known for their symbolism. In Into The Woods, we get the fairytale but we also get this dark undertone with the overall color scheme and cynical music. We also have the symbolism of the Wolf and little red riding hood. There is a very sexual aspect to this story, with the whole idea of the wolf, in this case played by Johnny depp, who although has features of a wolf is dressed more as a man, he follows little red riding hood into the woods trying to persuade her to stray off the path and come with him. This symbol was played even more strongly in the staged version, but was reduced in the movie, but even so the symbol is still very much present.
We also have the symbol of beauty with the shoe, for instance the stepmother cuts off parts of the daughters feet to fit in the shoe for the prince. Also, the beauty aspect with the witch throughout the story trying to get the magic milk to become beautiful, same goes for repunzles long beautiful hair in the beginning, and the getting it cut off.
Also, the woods itself is a depiction of symbolism. When any of the characters go into the woods bad things happen. When they stray from the path, they put themselves in danger. It symbolizes how one cannot deviate from their path, and how easily people can be persuaded to go down the wrong path when enticed to do so.
The Music of Into The Woods
- Is the Music Original? Who Composed it?
Their was original music for the file, and it was composed by Steven Sondheim .
- What Songs We’re Added To The Film?
There was no additional songs added to this film, they were all the ones from the original musical. Although there were some songs that were in the musical that were cut from the movie and added just in as instrumental versions like, “Ever After” and “No More”.
The Setting of Into The Woods
The “woods” is one of the main settings of this film, and it really creates the mood of the scene and the overall story. Depending on what is happening in the scene the woods is either dark, light, or a little bit of both. For example, in the scene with Red picking flowers and deciding to talk to the wolf the woods is light with this false sense of “everything is okay”. The we have when the baker is traveling in the woods himself, the woods is dark and gloomy, yet when he sings “It Takes Two” in the woods with the Bakers wife the woods starts dark, but as the song starts lighten so does the woods.
I love how the woods changes with the mood of the story it creates this intricacy to the story, this almost subtext for the audience to watch and listen to, creating their own story as the one on the screen plays out. It’s almost magical.
Technical Aspects of Into The Woods
- What Camera Shot’s Are Used?
One example of the camera shots that is used repeatedly in this film are camera angle and camera distance. The camera angle is almost always directly point at the characters speaking or singing, the viewers never see any angle through the characters eyes, but instead always straight on. This gives for a very storybook, fairytale like quality because we are being blatantly directed by the camera angle as to what to look at For, instance during the song “Giants in the Sky” We get a straight on view of Jack in the tree singing about the giants, he is telling us the story. Secondly, most of the footage is shot at a relatively far distance, we normally get the full picture of what is going on rather than a super close up shot. For example, during the song “Agony” sung by the two princes, most of the song is shot from a far distance so we get the whole picture, the princes, the water fall, and them singing on and dancing on the scenery.
- What Scene Transitions Are Used?
Many of the scene transitions used in Into The Woods, are done through dissolves, jump cuts, and sound overs. In a jump cut, the scene jumps to the next scene pretty rapidly and abruptly, and usually goes take the viewer from one scene to another. This is seen a lot in Into The Woods. For example, in the opening scene there are many jump cuts from one characters location to another, the bakery, the jack’s house, the woods, the stepsister/Cinderella’s house, etc. Also, many sound overs are used during these transitions. Either a sound will happen that is happening in the scene to come will start, or the character in the next scene will begin singing the song while still in the previous scene as it transitions to their scene.
- What Kind of Foley Art Was Used?
Marko A. Costanzo was the foley artist on this film, and an example of some of the sounds he created the footsteps in the forest, the sound of the stepmother wiping the knife before she was about to chop of the step sisters feet, or the squish sound when Cinderella pulled her shoe out of the mud. All of these are example of sound effects created by foley art, and there are tons more.
- What Kind of Costumes, Hair Design, and Make-up Were Used?
The hair, costumes, and make-up was absolutely incredible in this film, so incredible it won multiple awards! Although I really love all the costumes, I really loved the which. Her crazy long mangled grey hair, her ragged dress that can be transformed into this almost cape like costume piece, her old age make-up giving her intense wrinkles, her rotting teeth, and her long mangled dirty hands and finger nails, all come together to create this one beautiful artistic masterpiece of a character.
All of the costume, make-up, and hair elements combined together to create a full character that aids in the transformation of the actor to character by creating a whole picture, as seen with the these elements on the witch.
- What Special Effects Are Used?
Into The Woods (2014) official Movie Trailer
~ In this trailer you can see the example of Cinderella’s Transformation, and the way The witch runs into a sort of tornado.
- Two special effects that really stood out to me was when the witch dropped down from the tree and swooped over the baker and his wife in the forest. I loved the way the swoop looked, she didn’t just plop down she gracefully, yet forcefully descended, and there was smoke and a spark of light. This special effect really stood out to mea because it added so much to the moment of the play. The witch became this almost tornado covering the Baker and his wife. I was extremely effective.Secondly, I loved the special effects used in both transformations of Cinderella, and the witch to her pretty state. Both these transformation use the special effects of light, and wind, and CGI to transform their appearance. Also, you can’t forget the special effects used to create the crows, the Giant and his beanstalk,and of course the special effects make-up that made Streep into such an ugly with!!
- What Kind Of Lighting Was Used?
Into The Woods (2014)
One scene, that I really paid attention to the lighting of was the scene where the baker, little red, jack, the witch, and Cinderella were arguing about who’s fault it was in the woods. This scene, like all the scenes that take place in the woods, have a really interesting use of lighting. In this scene there is a strong lack of brightness which creates for a very dramatic and eerie effect. There is also, a high contrast of light to help heighten this drama, and the scenes color or hue, is most definitely tinted with shades of blue,and highly saturated colors.
Why Did I Choose Into The Woods?
I chose this film because I am obsessed with the original musical of it. I think the music, and the story itself is so intriguing, and I’m a sucker for fairytales (especially when they are meshed together like this story). Also, I a huge fan of almost all of the actors and actresses that are casted in this film, in particularly, Meryl Streep. She is a huge inspiration to me as an individual, and an artist, and I love to stay connected with all her work. I was extremely excited to see her in the part of the witch and, if I do say so myself, she was absolutely incredible. The cast as a whole just made this movie a huge success, and I was amazed with how well they formed their ensemble.
Comments On a A Supporting Actor, And How They Lent Their Talents
Meryl Streep takes on the role of the witch in Into The Woods, and although this role is technically considered a supporting role, in my opinion, she really makes the movie. The talent she shows in this role is just absolutely incredible, the way she completely embodies the role of the witch is just amazing. When watching her in the role you completely forget that she is Streep and only can see her as the witch, every movement and line spoken is completely over taken by her commitment to her role. This by no means is the first time that Streep has wholeheartedly and intricately created her role, but I feel like in this role she really goes above and beyond. I, also, just love the contrast she creates between the “ugly witch” and the “pretty which” she uses her talents to complete almost two different.
My Emotional Response of Into The Woods
“Stay With Me” – Meryl Streep, Into The Woods (2014)
Into The Woods evokes so much emotion from me as both spectator, and inspiring artist. While watching this movie I get really tied up with all the stories being intertwined within the story. I begin to really love the characters even the wicked ones. There was numerous times I found myself laughing at comments the baker made, or being mesmerized by the songs of Cinderella, played by Anna Kendrick. One of the most emotional moments for me in this movie was the song Stay With Me, sung by the witch to repunzle. I actually started tearing up during this song, there was just so much passion, talent, and meaning behind the words and the actions, I couldn’t help but getting emotional.
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