Slasher movies generally don’t tend to find much favor during the thick of awards season, but as a star-studded musical of a beloved stage production that saw Tim Burton diving back into the macabre with a star-studded cast in tow, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street proved to be an exception.
The murderous medley of show tunes and stabbings ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, while it was also shortlisted in the Best Costume Design category, with Johnny Depp in the running for Best Actor. It fared significantly better at the Golden Globes, though, as Sweeney Todd scooped Best Picture and Best Actor in the Musical or Comedy section.
An evil judge imprisoning a rogue hairdresser for 15 years for the sole purpose of moving in on his wife, who then returns home driven mad with revenge and boasting a penchant for killing his customers and having their remains baked into pies by his associate isn’t exactly something that screams “Oscar bait,” but that’s the beauty of Sweeney Todd in a nutshell.
More than 15 years on from its initial release, and the riotous fable has been slicing and dicing its way back to prominence on streaming, with FlixPatrol naming The Demon Barber of Fleet Street as having risen up the ranks on Chili’s global viewership charts all weekend.
The Holy Trinity of Burton, Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter can do know wrong in the eyes of many with a penchant for the spooky, something the biggest awards ceremony in the business agreed with.