November 08, 2008

A Public Apology

In the past, there has been one actor out there that I have never particularly cared for, despite the general adulation bestowed upon him.  I've seen quite a few of this particular actor's films, and my reaction has always been "meh," or "yech", depending on the role.  It's always seemed to me that all he could do is "ridiculously over the top", much like all Keanu Reeves can do is "laid-back slackmeister".

However, I have just seen a movie that has changed my opinion on this particular actor.

That movie was Sweeny Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and that actor is Johnny Depp.

I've seen the stage musical a number of times, though I never worked on a production.  I've seen poor Sweenys, acceptable Sweenys, and excellent Sweenys, but none of them "got" Todd the way Depp did.  The amount of effort he had to put into the role impressed the hell out of me; Sweeny Todd is a musical, and Depp is not naturally a singer.  Unfortunately, there's not a heck of a lot anybody can do about that, but yet he pulled it off.  Oh, don't get me wrong, it's hardly Broadway-quality, and indeed, I've heard community theatre singers with more force and grasp of vocal ability, but you can tell that, instinctively, Depp made it right for him.

Depp played the role in a way quite opposite of what I'm used to, in a very still and tightly controlled way.  It's only when the blood begins to flow (and the movie does this right, with lots of it) that Depp's Todd gets to be let free of the emotional chains.

This film single-handedly got the miserable taste of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory AND his Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy out of my mouth.  He got an Academy Award nomination (Best Actor) for this movie, and it was well, well deserved.

So to Johnny Depp, I apologize.  NICE job.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:43 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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