If you’ve learnt nothing else from me, you should know that I love things based on fairy tales. I love a different take on the basics. And so, when you give me a bunch of different fairy tales and tie them together into one story, well, I was just going to enjoy it. However, the music, well it was altogether a bit heavy-handed and overly repetitive. Well, that’s what musicals are all about, aren’t they?
It’s a fabulous cast of people who I really enjoy watching, and I think that if you enjoy musicals, you’ll especially like this.
Into the Woods was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Meryl Streep), Best Achievement in Costume Design, and Best Achievement in Production Design, and Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Comedy and Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Emily Blunt) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Meryl Streep). It was also nominated for BAFTAs for Best Make Up and Hair and Best Costume Design.
Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a teacher, but god knows why. She comes to work stoned and hung-over, and her main aim is to get enough cash together for a boob job, then marry a wealthy man. She is under the watch of fellow teachers Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) who plays by the rules with an insanely happy demeanour and Russell Gettis (Jason Segal) who is clearly bemused by Elizabeth’s antics. But when Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) starts teaching at the school, there becomes a race for his romantic affection between the two ladies.
There is something about this film that really works for me. Perhaps it is the magnificent slapstick or the crass humour or just seeing JT in such a geeky and hilarious role. Or perhaps it is that when Elizabeth is tested, after showing no sense of caring about anyone or anything but herself, she doesn’t end up with an absolute heart of gold; yes, she comes through for the poetry-loving kid who embarrasses himself in front of the class, but not in a way that is in any sense appropriate for a teacher. And I loved that.