Attend The Fail of “Sweeney Todd”?


Media screenings of the Dec. 21 release “Sweeney Todd” movie have finally begun. Official reviews are not supposed to be posted until mid-December, but here are the words that recur whenever I talk to anyone who’s seen the movie and whose opinion I trust: “limp,” “flat,” “no musical number soars,” “the first time I’ve ever disliked Johnny Depp,” and “one or two slit throats with gushing blood is fine but six or eight is overkill.” What’s worrisome is that these phrases are being uttered to me not just by Sondheim purists but by Tim Burton fans. Even if I agree with them (I haven’t seen the movie yet), I still hope the movie’s a big hit — the better to send people back to the original cast album. Meanwhile, it’s already starting to look like “Sweeney” won’t be an Oscar contender. If Depp is out of the picture, does this mean that there will be gold for Daniel Day-Lewis for “There Will Be Blood”?

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