Shout out to the woman behind me who wanted to see the dog barking offscreen.

Tom Hooper is a serious man, and he has turned a playful, eccentric bit of stage spectacle (something closer to Cirque de Soleil than Stephen Sondheim) into seriously grotesque digital gobbledygook. This is the rare movie that makes less sense the more it keeps explaining itself.

I’m reasonably certain I saw the “finished” version, and I still saw Rum Tum Tugger’s face out of sync with the rest of his body. Remind me again why this wasn’t animated?

By the time Judi Dench made intense eye contact while bringing every ounce of gravitas to the phrase “a cat is not a dog,” my whole body was shaking with laughter.

(Extra half star for Taylor Swift's scene stealing... and that's from someone who normally can't stand her.)

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