Les Miserables - the movie

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Kruss, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Kruss

    Kruss Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully it's okay to start a thread to discuss the Les Miserables movie, as it's coming out tomorrow in the U.S. I know a lot of us are eagerly anticipating its release.

    Who's in? I can't wait!!!
  2. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to see it tomorrow! Already got tix - decided it was a good idea to advance order after getting turned away from Lincoln twice on T-giving weekend.
  3. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate New Member

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    It's at the theater at 10pm tonight! Sadly Santa has to be home so we'll try to see it tomorrow. A movie + Chinese food is our annual tradition.
  4. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    I. CAN'T. WAIT.

    We are planning to see it tomorrow! Meet ya back here to talk about it!
  5. Alixana

    Alixana recovering Oly-holic

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    We have tickets for tomorrow!!
  6. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    Got tickets for tomorrow! :D :D :D Merry Christmas to me, yay!
  7. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

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    I can't wait to see it. Hubby's forcing me to wait it out a couple of weeks so the crowds will be less. WAH!!!!
  8. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    At least you know you'll be seeing it soon myhoneyhoney, I have no idea even *if* I'll see it on the big screen. More than likely not.

    I did check iTunes earlier and the Soundtrack's been unlocked to listen to the preview of the various tracks.

    Colour me surprised...IMO Russell Crowe didn't sound as bad as feared. I actually really liked what I heard of his version of Stars.
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    We have tickets for Thursday - been looking forward to this for months!
  10. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    My soundtrack actually came in the mail today. :D not listening to it till after I see the movie, though.
  11. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    This is a musical after all. I can't imagine it will have lines of people waiting to get in like the Twilight films, for example.
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    But a very, very beloved musical. I think we're going to see some VERY high box-office numbers.

    My family and I got our tickets for the 26th -- in case I'm right about those high numbers, we didn't want to subject my claustrophobic mom to the crowds!
  13. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Going in a couple of hours. Can't wait!
  14. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    Going at 3:15 today! Weeeeeeeeeeeee!
  15. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

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    Going tomorrow with some girlfriends! (Husband refuses to go) If you have a chance, manhn and The Accordian, I'd love to hear your reviews.
  16. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

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    Saw the film today and thought it was mostly ghastly - there were some lovely moments, especially when the show's most recognizable numbers were sung, but then I'm apt to get chills almost any time I hear those songs. The bulk of the film is an overblown mess, and I say this as someone who's seen the stage version both live and on DVD and loved it. Hathaway overacted to the point of hyperventilation in a blatant attempt at an Oscar bid; Crowe seemed a bit lost and was ultimately ineffectual in addition to lacking the requisite singing chops; Seyfried and Redmayne's characters were both such simps, although Redmayne shone in "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"; Jackman is serviceable and, at times, quite good, but he is hampered by how one-note Valjean is. None of the key relationships were fleshed out deeply enough as to make one care for them. Somehow, on stage this weakness isn't quite so evident but the problem translates quite clearly into film.

    Oh, and I just remembered that the two BCs were slumming around doing the same old tired shtick and looked like they knew it.

    The worst offender must be Tom Hooper, the director, who is so unimaginative that he only ever films the musical numbers in extreme close-up; the camerawork was also much too hyperactive and could have used a steadying hand.
  17. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    My biggest fear would be I'd start singing along w/the songs. :D

    Actually, I *know* I'd more than likely do that. :D
  18. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review, mrinalini. I'm excited to see the film, but unfortunately I've heard a lot of criticisms of the film the same as yours.
  19. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    Snowed out. :( Will have to wait until tomorrow.
  20. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I saw it today, too, and came away with a much different impression. I agree, Russell Crowe was disappointing, but I thought the core group of actors did a pretty good job. I feared what Anne Hathaway would sound like singing "I Dreamed a Dream", but I was pleasantly surprised. Outside of Jean Valjean, it is really an ensemble production, so individual character development is naturally going to be limited. I thought the supporting characters did a fine job with their roles. The solo musical numbers - "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", "Bring Him Home", "On My Own", and "I Dreamed a Dream" were the highlights, at least for me. I thought the sets and camerawork were good, for the most part - there were several scenes I thought could have used a more interesting background or camera angle.

    I don't think the film will win Oscars for Best Picture or Director, but I would expect Hugh Jackman to at least be nominated (my guess is Daniel Day-Lewis will win Best Actor for Lincoln) and possibly Anne Hathaway. Yes, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sascha Baron Cohen were over the top, but that's the way the roles were on stage, so I wouldn't have expected any different on film.

    And I'm glad I got advance tickets, b/c the show was sold out as of yesterday.
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  21. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

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    Yes, I actually went into this film with very high expectations because I had loved the trailer and the source material (book, music, and the stage production). In fact, I wasn't expecting not to like it. Then, I'm watching the film and by the halfway point I'm thinking, wow, I'm hardly feeling anything at all; can't we just fast forward to the end, please? I did think that some of the songs were quite finely sung (I have no problem with the actors' voices except for Crowe's and thought that Hathaway and Redmayne were especially good, although Jackman did sound a bit strained when reaching for that high note in "Bring Him Home"), but then the music is so good that they'd have to be really inept to mess it up. The closing scenes, in which Valjean is sung to his sweet end by Fantine, did unexpectedly move me. I assign the most blame to the director for messing up the film for me - I cannot think of a single noteworthy piece of direction that the film has to recommend it, and I especially disliked how the actors were (I assume) directed to overemote so excessively in their singing scenes.

    I came out of the theater thinking that there must be something wrong with me for not liking the film, then I got online and found that there are many critics who have almost identical complaints as mine. Many of the readers' responses to the reviews (some of which have been quite vociferous; Les Miz must have quite the in-built fanbase) have accused the critics of being snooty and not liking the original musical in the first place - that certainly isn't the case with me; snooty I may be, but I have long adored the musical and its themes. ;)

    I actually did this often enough that somebody in the row in front of me was giving me dirty looks. :lol:
  22. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoyed it. I pretty much echo everything Debbie S said. I thought Anne was excellent. I thought she actually sounded the best
    at the end
    , where I must admit I was a bit of a teary mess. Jackman was also very good.

    Russell Crowe was the big disappointment. I also found Cohen and Carter irritating by the end of it, but then I don't usually enjoy the comedy relief in plays. About them,
    while it was Cohen's character never cared for Eponine, it seemed that Carter's character had a deeper connection. Too bad there was never anything to show Carter's loss.

    Cossette, to be such a central figure in the musical, is kinda always in the background, eh? She doesn't even get a true solo (although I thought Amanda sounded lovely).

    I thought all the Revolution people were wonderful and dreamy (even the kid didn't annoy me).

    As a film, the director seemed to rely too heavily on face-ups. And while having a character sing in a rather empty background can work (ie. Hathaway), it seemed as if every big song was staged the same way.

    My knowledge of Les Mis is limited to figure skating, so my opinion would probably differ from someone who is more of a fan of the book and/or musical.

    ETA: At the end, there was a applause. The movie was sold out.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  23. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Did you notice if the audience was mostly women vs. men or older crowd vs. younger, etc. ?
  24. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Cosette's solo was actually out of order from the stage version. As were Bring Him Home, On My Own, and I Dreamed a Dream. I thought things seemed a little off, so I went and found my old casette tape from the Broadway soundtrack (yes, I still have some casettes, stored away, lol). Except for Heart Full of Love, most were just one song off but Cosette's solo was sung about halfway through in the stage version but near the end here. I guess the switching up was a reflection of how the ditector thought the scenes would film best. And the music is all an adaptation of the original story, so I guess it's not critical exactly when a particular song appears.

    From what I saw, it was a mix. My mom remarked that it was a family outing, and yes, there were lots of parents with kids (teenagers and young adults). But there were also some younger ones. Sitting in the row next to us, all the way down, were a bunch of kids (and their moms) from the national tour of Billy Elliott, which is in town this week, but I guess no shows today. Two of the moms were directly to the left of me, and it was kind of funny to hear them talk about their kids' upcoming photo shoots and audition schedules, and which stage kid they knew just got cast in such-and-such. Probably not too different than skating moms' conversations, lol. And as soon as the lights came on at the end, one mom said to another that she thought Russell Crowe "was terrible." LOL.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  25. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    Just got back and I loved it. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty much everything I could have wanted it to be. I thought it was a bit weaker at the beginning (except for Fantine) but got stronger towards the end, and the last bit in particular was perfection.

    I didn't really have any complains about the singing, although oddly enough it was Hugh Jackman who disappointed me the most, although maybe that was because I had expectations for him whereas I really had none for everyone else. I think it's something about the inflection that he uses; I don't know, but it bugged me.

    Russel Crowe; I was surprised at how much he DIDN'T bother me. I'd heard so many negative things about his singing but I really didn't see anything terribly wrong with it. Sure, it may not have the subtlety and emotional connection that other Javerts have had, but actually for Javert being such a cold, black and white man, it made sense that his singing was very straight-forward. I mean, I grew up listening to the amazing Phillip Quast play this role so I certainly know what Javert can sound like when it's REALLY sung, but I thought Russel did a decent job. I LOVED the Confrontation and I thought the segue from "Stars" into "Look Down" was really fantastic.

    Loved Anne, loved Amanda (a little shrill at times but otherwise very sweet), LOVED COLM, loved Samantha, and I've GOT to find out who this Eddie Redmayne guy is because he's cute, can act, and sings like a dream. And the BC's (love that) were really great; just the bit of (gross) levity that was sorely needed after certain bits.

    If you're a big fan of the musical and practically know the playbook by heart, your first viewing of this film is going to be a jolt to your system because there are a LOT of changed lines and songs that are switched out of order. It definitely works in the film, but it takes a bit of getting used to. I can't wait till I can see the movie again and not involuntarily cringe every time they "sing a line wrong". ;) Trust me, I tried, but it's hard not to notice when you've known the songs by heart for so long.

    Btw, one change that I reaaaaaaaaly liked was the omission of Eponine from the reprise of "Come to Me" and the addition of the Bishop. I've ALWAYS said that it made no sense at all for Eponine to suddenly show up to guide Valjean to heaven; they spoke only once in the play and not at all in the film. Substituting her with the Bishop, who actually WAS a very important figure in Valjean's life, was much more fitting and a change that I heartily applaud. It's a shame that it's only taken them this long to do it!

    Visuals were pretty good. I didn't like some of the cinematography at the beginning but the sets were fantastic and the barricade stuff was great. The sewers...I could barely watch; it was making me want to retch. THAT is pretty powerful visuals right there. 8-o

    Anyway, *I* tried to go into the movie with as little expectations as I could so I could judge the film by itself, and I think it worked. It's a movie that I am so happy that I've seen, and I can't wait to own it for myself. Really, really good.

    ETA: Showing I went to was sold out, and even though I got there an hour early, there was already a ton of people in line. A good mix of men and women; mostly 30's and older but there were younger folks who looked like they were going as part of a family excursion. It will be interesting to see what the demographics are once Christmas is over and people are going independently. No kids, which was good because this isn't really a film for the pre-teen crowd.
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  26. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I am a huge fan of the stage production-I am pretty sure I could sing the whole three hours of the show alone in my room LOL.

    I am really nervous to see the movie now. Javart is such an awesome part I am so disappointed about Russel Crowe.

    Is Samantha Barks just lost in the shuffle of the movie? I have pretty much read nothing about her.
  27. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    No, not lost, but when you're competing against performances like Anne's and you show up during the barricade bits, it's hard to stand out. I would say she doesn't have as much impact in the movie as she does in the show, which is fine with me because her character is never meant to have a huge impact anywhere; it's only in the musical that she's elevated to top status.
  28. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    To show you how little I know about Les Mis, I was expecting Amanda Seyfried to sing "On My Own" based on how often that song is played in the mainstream and Amanda's Hollywood stature. So when I saw Samantha Barks sing it, I was like, "Huh, she sings it?" I suspect Eponone is one of those characters that can generate a lot of ubers--like those figure skaters who are so unfairly ranked behind another, more boring, skater. Probably scary and annoying.
  29. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    There are wars in the Les Miz world about who is the best Eponine ever. It is a topic that is always discussed. I would say the Lea Salonga ubers are the worst LOL.

    I always thought it was strange that although Cossette's character is such a huge part of the story, her role in the musical is like...nothing. She does not even have her own solo number. Fantine's song I Dreamed a Dream is a great song but I feel like Eponine, at least in the stage show, has all the show stopping "money notes". And of course she sings On My Own and then the duet A Little Fall of Rain.
  30. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    I learned last summer that the reason Eponine has more stage time and appears at the end instead of the bishop is because Frances Rufelle (the original Eponine) was dating the director.