I loved the style of Sweeney Todd but little else. It looks stunning, as Tim Burton flicks are wont to do. The sets are gorgeous in their dingy and gloomy splendor. The colors are vibrant, mostly dark but sprayed with red. Some of the scenes are so stylishly gruesome that they made me groan. The score is great. The Oscar nominations for Art Direction and Costumes are well-deserved.

And merely looking at all of this was enough for a while, but not entirely. The major problem is that Sweeney Todd is a musical but the songs just aren’t good. They have no melody, nothing to hum as you leave the theater. The music should be a style to tell the story but it’s just inaccessible.

I also didn’t really care about the story. It mostly just made me hungry for a meat pie. And to top it off, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter aren’t very good singers. This would be fine if they merely had to compete with Alan Rickman, but all the children in the film can actually sing! It doesn’t serve the movie well that the supporting cast members blow the stars out of the water when given their chance to sing. Depp’s Best Actor is a pretty weak nomination. Except for the singing voice I liked him fine, but I wasn’t blown away.

So I’m glad I saw it because I’m a big fan of Burton’s style but I doubt I’ll go back for a second helping.

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