INTO THE WOODS
2014, Walt Disney Studios, 125 min, USA, Dir: Rob Marshall

This adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical weaves together some of the most beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Cursed to remain childless, a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) turn to a witch (Oscar nominee Meryl Streep), who agrees to help them if they will gather ingredients for a magic potion - a scavenger hunt that sends them chasing such characters as Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood. Boasting gorgeous production and costume design, the film features an all-star cast that includes Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman and Johnny Depp (as the Big Bad Wolf).


THE WITCHES
1990, Warner Bros., 91 min, UK/USA, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother vacation at an English seaside resort, only to discover that witches have gathered there with a plot to turn all the children in England into mice. Though often encased in prosthetics, Anjelica Huston is clearly having a wonderful time playing the Grand High Witch; Rowan Atkinson also offers a delightful turn as the resort manager. This big-screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl children's novel was the final film Muppet magician Jim Henson worked on before his death.


THE FAVOURITE
2018, Fox Searchlight, 119 min, Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos

Early 18th-century England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time-consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.


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