Les Mis Movie
Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:59 PM
Les Miserables is my favourite story of all time. I'm a HUGE fan of Victor Hugo's novel and the musical.
So I found myself welling up as I heard the opening chords playing just out of the sheer joy of seeing the story I love so much being brought to life on screen.
I got teary during What Have I Done?, Anne Hathaway in general, Gavroche's death and, of course, The Epilogue.
I thought the cast - mostly - were fantastic. Russell Crowe was a little hit and miss for me but overall the standard was pretty impressive.
The Thenardier's were deffinately more on the comedic side - I'd have preferred them to be portrayed as the more out and out villains from the book. But I guess for the sake of balance, they needed something to lighten the tone a little....
I really hope Anne get's her Oscar! Out of all the nominations I think Les Mis deserves this win the most. Her Fantine is heartbreaking.
I loved the rearrangement of the song placements - especially DYHTPS, it worked so well with Lamarque's funeral as the centrepiece, much better than the cart ride in the stage show.
The singing is certainly not the best I've heard, but I didn't expect it to be. If I want to listen to Les Mis sung perfectly I'll listen to a cast recording or watch one of the anniversary dvd's. But in the film it works, it makes the characters seem like real, authentic people.
So overall, I think the film is a hit!
And playing 'spot-the-actor' is great fun as there are plenty of cameos!
Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, Oliver, Billy Elliot, Wicked, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Les Miserables x 3, Sweeney Todd, The Book of Mormon x 2, Once, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Cats, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Matthe Bourne's Nutcracker, Legally Blonde, Chicago, Private Peaceful, Lyric Hammersmith/Filter Productions A Midsummer Night's Dream, Russian State Ballet's Swan Lake, Teatro Kismet's The Snow Queen, Teatro Kismet's The Little Mermaid, One Man Two Guvnors, West End Men, Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
Charlotte's Web, The Borrowers, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Witches, Simply Cinderella, Oliver, West Side Story, Finding Neverland x 3, Piaf, The Hired Man x 2.
The Book of Mormon (West End)
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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:10 PM
It was unquestionably everything I had hoped for and even more. It was a different telling to what I expected, with songs being moved around to fit with this, but I think the new order fits even better!!
Hugh was superb, as was Russell (even if the singing is a little dodgy) and i thought Javert's suicide was just stunning, it truly captured the whole meaning of it.
Everyone is raving about Anne but I have to join in. She was a revelation to me and the highlight of the film. IDAD took on a new meaning for me, as she bit out every word. It being after Lovely Ladies made it even more heart-breaking. That was the first time I cried. And she HAS to win her Oscar. SPECTACULAR
Eddie was better than I thought, I knew very little about him so expectations weren't high. Amanda was alright, she was my only problem. She acted it well but she did honestly sing like a goat, the vibrato was craaaaazy.
Sam was my other highlight. I cried from when she came on to when she left. it was just such a perfect casting and a big 'up' for theatre. She was just wonderful and I wish she'd had an Oscar nomination
Sacha and Helena were light relief as the Thenardiers, and i really liked that, it didnt need to be malicious, just something a bit light.
The epilogue pretty much killed me, it was filmed perfectly with it all ending up on the barricade at the end. And that was the 7th and final time I cried. I loved watching the ensemble and seeing Gina Beck, Hannah Waddingham, Bertie Carvel, Kerry Ellis, Alexia Khadime and many many more. Proves the West End is a pretty magic place!!
I have not seen something quite as emotionally draining and inspiring, and it didn't feel like 2 and a half hours at all. it flew past. and I now want to go again. And again...
Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:44 PM
Russell Crowe was a huge disappointment too. He just didn't have enough power and 'oomph' that I expect from Javert. Stars was a big let down, however I didn't mind the Soliloquy as I thought that was shot well.
Eddie Redmayne was just lovely. He did his best with such a drippy part that is Marius and sang it beautifully, despite his slightly annoying head wobble thing. I wasn't keen on the way Empty Chairs was filmed though, I would've preferred less close-ups and awkward angles there.
Amanda Seyfried did the best with, again, such a boring character and I actually thought her voice was quite lovely, despite it not being technically perfect.
Sam Barks was just wonderful as expected! She gave a very emotional performance and managed to wrench some more tears out of me, which Eponine has never managed to do before.
Young Cosette and Gavroche were great and managed not to annoy me, which is usually the case on stage!
The Thenardiers were fine. Just fine. They made me laugh appropriately and I enjoyed their time onscreen, however they were nothing special and I've seen better. I really missed Dog Eats Dog and their general evilness.
The ensemble were all very good. I loved seeing some familiar faces and informing my partner at the end that "we've seen the guy in the green waistcoat as Raoul"! Aaron Tveit was good, if not a little less powerful than I'd hoped for. His singing was great though and I thought he worked with Eddie well.
As for the chopping and changes, I thought many of them worked very well. A few line changes annoyed me, particularly one in the Prologue between JVJ and Javert that just didn't seem to rhyme anymore. I did however love how they moved some of the songs around, particularly having DYHTPS after One Day More, they seem to run seamlessly into each other. The idea of having it at eh funeral was great.
One more thing I loved is how much more of the story I seem to understand now. I own a copy of the book but I've never got round to reading it, so only have the stage show to go on. The film seemed to explain so much more, even with the caption at the beginning explaining the backstory that it's so many years after the French Revolution and a new king is on the throne. That is something I've never really understood, not being knowledgable in French history! Another thing was having Javert order JVJ to bring the 'really heavy' flag in at the beginning, therefore showing that he is a very strong man from the start, leading the way for the runaway cart scene. Finally, another thing I liked was that they altered the only flaw I've ever found in the musical - how could they arrest another man thinking he was JVJ if he doesn't have 24601 branded on his skin. In the film, there is no mention of the brand and Hugh Jackman is even shown with his chest out and there is no bran there.
Sorry for the fragmented review, basically I loved the film.
[Broadway] Next to Normal . Wicked . Anything Goes . End of the Rainbow .
[UK Tour] West Side Story (Salford) . Joseph (Sheffield) . Oklahoma! (Sheffield) . Blood Brothers (Sheffield) . Avenue Q (Sheffield) . Jekyll and Hyde (Sheffield) . Tell Me On A Sunday (Sheffield) . Journey's End (Sheffield) . The Phantom Of The Opera (Leeds) .
[Regional] Hamlet (Sheffield Crucible) . Othello (Sheffield Crucible) . Company (Sheffield Crucible) . My Fair Lady (Sheffield Crucible) .
Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:01 PM
I could have typed exactly this myself!! Agree with everything you said.
Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:44 PM
Complete opposite to my local Cineworld, who put the lights on the instant the credits started
Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:23 PM
Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:07 PM
Also, as for the mention about the supposed 'flaw' in the musical plot: Valjean does not have a 24601 brand in the musical, it's simply a bar. The number is only on his shirt. I'm assuming the brand is supposed to be on his wrist in the film considering he stops Cosette from looking at it, but that wouldn't make any sense in the musical considering nobody could see it.
The lyrics about the other man mistaken for Valjean having 'a brand upon his skin' is about precisely that: a bar shaped brand that indicates he's an ex con. It's not the plot hole you may think it is.
Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:09 PM
I cried quite a few times: "I Dreamed a Dream" and "A Little Fall of Rain" got me. Then when Javert gives Gavroche his medal, for some reason I found that so moving and I tore up at that too! "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" had me holding back tears; I thought Eddie Redmayne acted this part really well. And then, finally, the Epilogue when everyone is on the barricade. Such a perfect ending!
Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:52 PM
Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:01 PM
Does anyone know, or can think of any reason at all why the lines were switched at the end of the factory scene? I just couldn't think of a possible reason at all, other than perhaps it was an actual HJ mistake, and they didn't have another take to use that worked?
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