Once

Film, 2006

Genuinely, not disgustingly sweet movie, and a new riff on the musical. Shaky, documentary-like camera work is used with good acting to achieve a believable realism. 3.5


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Film , 2007

It’s unorthodox treatment of the musical film genre does much to ground the film in a gritty reality, with subdued music and flawed singing voices (Alan Rickman’s singing is delightfully off-kilter). No matter how cliche Burton’s style and name become, you can’t help but be dazzled by his passionate and ornate imagery, although this is the first time he’s struck such a cord in a very long time. He also deserves credit for not dressing up any aspect of this movie (tone, music, plot) for wider acceptance. Sacha Baron Cohen plays the perfect sunny counterbalance to the film’s gray tones. 4


White Christmas

Film, 1954

Audaciously goofy and gaudy dance numbers please the eye in that retro curiosity way. Some genuine charm and wit culminate nicely in a moving ending, making you realize just how soulless Hollywood has become by comparison…. 3