18 October 2005

Corpse Bride - You Only Sing When You're Dead

How can I watch Corpse Bride and not let the fact that we both saw the movie for free at a special preview screening before the film's officially released influence my review? I shall try... ahem. Best movie of the year. I've looked back over all the films I've seen this year and the only films that come close to this are Howl's Moving Castle and to a lesser extent Crash. So with it's new title in hand let's get on to the film. Johnny Depp is arranged to be married to the daughter of a family with old money (it's a very British film). He keeps messing up his lines at the rehearsal and goes to take a breather in the woods. He manages to get the lines correct and inadvertently marries Helena Bonham Carter, a corpse frozen in a curse/spell waiting for her groom to come back and marry her (she was killed on her wedding day). A quick visit to the land of the dead with a few hilarious gags and very catchy songs and we now have a problem: Johnny has fallen for the quiet daughter he was arranged to be married to but she's in the land of the living. To save the marriage up top, a sinister Lord comes along and tries to take Johnny's place. The Lord is Richard E. Grant and he does a superb job, as do so many of the other voices in a perfectly cast, well, cast. Christopher Lee is the priest, Joanna Lumley the evil mother of the innocent daughter, Helena has such a unique quality to her voice and Jane Horrocks gives a few characters a voice and even sings in the perfect yet soft way only she can (I wonder why she's never gone into music?). More songs, more laughter, the story continues and we quickly come to a climax (the film is only 77 minutes long but you don't feel short changed). Very similar to Hercules (staring James Woods) as a great movie to see on a date. To give this film five out of five would make it on the same level as Howl's Moving Castle and while that is an excellent film, the ending was a little bit weak. Tim Burton's creation does not have any flaws, so without wanting to set a precedent 6 bones out of five and the moniker of "Best movie of the year".