Several people who have attended the first critic's screenings of Sweeney Todd-- a.k.a., not me -- are declaring themselves totally wowed, although they're all bending over backwards to respect an embargo. Jeff Wells at Hollywood-Elsewhere was so impressed by the film that he declared Tim Burton's decade-long decline to be now officially reversed. He also speculated that Sweeney Todd may be Burton's best film since 1988's Beetlejuice -- high praise, indeed. Wells even goes a little overboard, stating that "at times it melted me like a candle. I was lifted, moved. I was never not aroused." Okay, we get it Jeff -- the movie better live up to that embarrassing hyperbole.
Tom O'Neil at The Envelope starts his review thusly -- "'Sweeney Todd' is the best pic of 2007" -- pretty straightforward, no? "Everybody whose opinion I pooled after the screening tonight said they thought the movie and Johnny Depp were brilliant," he goes on to say. But like Wells, he thinks the film may see its Best Picture hopes held up by a childishly heavy focus on gore. There are apparently rivers of blood in this film, to the point that even some who enjoyed the film tremendously claimed to be turned off by that aspect.
David Poland joins the chorus of cheers, predicting that Depp will win the Best Actor award for his performance as the demon barber and saying that the film demands multiple viewings just to take it all in. Okay, you've twisted my arm -- I'll go see it.