I'm delighted that the film was something special for you. floskate.
Thanks for the review!
I'm delighted that the film was something special for you. floskate.
Thanks for the review!
Last edited by skatesindreams; 01-13-2013 at 05:06 PM.
Well I was nervous about seeing Les Miz after reading some of this thread.. we were supposed to go New Year Eve but flu and hospital issues for my dad meant we couldn't see it till yesterday.. well I LOVED IT .. Hugh Jackman was absolutely friggin fantastic - his singing and acting was amazing - i had no idea he had such an incredible voice! What I loved about the movie - as opposed to the musical - was these were incredible actors who were so believable as their characters.. and they sang.. unlike the musical where there really isn't alot of acting going on just good singing.. this was so much more.
I'm so glad my concerns were for naught! I highly recommend this movie and take lots and lots of kleenex - I have now downloaded 80% of the movie onto my ipod.. Russel Crowe does a great acting job - I think he portrayed the angst of the character really well.. he isn't an 'amazing' singer but he is fantastic in the role.. Hathaway was incredible - for me the best two were Jackman and Hathaway - I hope they both bring the Oscars home
Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist
"Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011
I finally saw it and I'm in the disappointed group. Russell Crowe for me was a huge distraction as every time he was on screen I found myself wishing casting had found someone else to play the role. I like Russell Crowe but not at all in this film.
I finally got to see Les Mis last night and I thought it was pretty good. Russel Crowe was not that horrible but I didn't even know he could carry a tune so I guess that is why he didn't really bother me LOL. I agree some parts were a bit over acted and I couldn't connect emotionally to some of the characters. This is possibly due to the fact that I am still in love with the 25th Anniversary (minus jonas brother) cast. Hugh Jackman was friggin fabulous! I'm glad he was nominated for the oscar.
"Life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead." - Homer Simpson
My mom and I saw it today. She had never seen it on stage and was not familiar with the story, while I saw the stage version in London ten years ago. We both loved it. I agree that Crowe's singing is not that strong, but it worked okay for Javert. If he had had any other role, I would have thrown things at the screen. Anne Hathaway was fantastic and we gushed over Hugh Jackman for all of dinner.
Finally got to see the movie yesterday and I loved it on the whole, except for one caveat: Russell Crowe. Oy vey. That man can hardly act, let alone sing.
- the atmospheric approach to the mise en scene (eg, the end of "Who Am I?", where the camera pans out of Hugh Jackman on top of the mountain and segues directly into the gritty, overcrowded streets of "At The End of the Day")
- the supporting roles being cast with performers who had been in the musical, especially Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle (part of the fun during the movie was recognising the faces when they appeared at various parts - "Oooh, John Barr has a solo line in "Look Down"!" "That's Killian Donnelly and Alistair Brammer from the West End cast as two of the students" etc)
- how the the placement of "I Dreamed A Dream" gave Fantine's descent into penury and moral destitution an added air of tragic despair
- how "Do You Hear The People Sing?" was used to start the revolution during General Lamarque's funeral
- how the lyrics in some of the songs were given a very clear context that was not feasible in the musical and therefore made sense (eg, "Did you see them lying side by side" in "Turning" and ""Here they talked of revolution/Here it was they lit the flame/Here they talked about tomorrow/And tomorrow never came" in "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables")
- Eddie Redmayne's characterisation of Marius (I loved how he gave the role more of a backbone whilst not skimping on the romantic side, and how he showed, during "A Little Fall of Rain", that he was torn up by Eponine's death, despite not being able to reciprocate her feelings for him)
- Samantha Barks' Eponine (I was not particularly moved by her performance during the 25th Anniversary concert, probably because of some strange vocal phrasings when she sang "On My Own", but she seems to have improved both in the acting and singing department)
- Anne Hathaway fleshing out the role of Fantine and making "I Dreamed A Dream" her own
- the cockney phrasing used for the lower class people
- both Isabelle Allen and Daniel Huttlestone as young Cosette and Gavroche
- Coufeyrac's heartbreaking reaction to Gavroche's death at the barricades
Somewhere in the middle:
- Hugh Jackman's singing (I thought his vocals were much more suited to the first part of musical when he was a convict)
- Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers
- Amanda Seyfried's Cosette (her singing was not as annoying as I thought it would be)
- Aaron Tveit's Enjolras (I was expecting the character to be more charismatic and powerful)
- the lack of differentiation in Valjean's age between the time when he first rescues Cosette and when she's grown up
- Russell Crowe. Enough said.
- the way "Bring Him Home" was staged (why have Jackman charging around with a wide eyed desperation like he'd just seen a ghost, when the song is supposed to be a prayer to God for Marius' safety and welfare?)
Nevertheless, I was bowled over by the attention to detail in the sets and watching the musical on the big screen brought back many wonderful memories of the various stage productions I'd seen and the interviews I'd done with two "Les Mis" alumni many years ago.
Men and I are like pianos - when they get upright, I feel grand!
The 2nd time I saw it, I wanted to cheer when Javert jumped. That's clearly not the right reaction to have to that moment. I could have been ok with the not singing if it has been accompanied by great acting. Or even good acting.
I meant to keep an eye out for Frances and Killian, but I forgot! Next time!
I too thought Aaron was fantastic.
Personally, I found Javert's suicide more sad and moving than I ever had before.
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club
Finally caught Les Miz. For next Christmas, we should all chip in for Tom Hooper to get a wide angle lens and a Steadicam. Maybe a gyroscope mount too. The shot and lens choices were completely inconsistent and took me out of the movie several times. Bleck.
Anna Hathaway ROCKED. Eddie Redmayne was my favorite after her. IDAD and Empty Chairs At Empty Tables were pretty much the only songs where I didn't mind the uber-closeups so much.
No way in hell he will win the Oscar. Daniel Day Lewis's name is already engraved on it. Maybe deservedly. I like the idea of having two categories - comedy/musical and drama.
Overall I enjoyed it very much, and it definitely deserves to be in the top 10 list for the year. But I did find myself picking nits throughout, and when comparing it to the stage version it does come up somewhat short. So for that reason alone, I don't think it deserves to be the Best Picture winner.
I'd heard a lot of amazing reviews of Anne Hathaway beforehand (plus I've always thought she was a great actor), so her performance, while extremely impressive and Oscar-worthy, did not surprise me. Ditto Hugh Jackman. The real revelation for me was Eddie Redmayne. I've seen him, and liked him, in stuff before, but I had no idea he had such depth of performance -- both singing and acting. Wow, what a breakout role for him. (Only small criticism: too much chin wobble on the vibratto.)
Crowe, even though I didn't expect anything from his singing ... disappointed on the acting side too. I've always thought he was a decent actor, even if not a decent human being. But I was completely unconvinced by his Javert. Particularly his soul-searching and "conversion" at the end. It was almost like he knew he couldn't sing very strongly ... so he just phoned it in in the acting too.
I also thought some of the staging was questionable too. Some of the scenes took great advantage of it being a film rather than on a stage (opening scene and streets of Paris in particular). But there were others that I thought were too constrained and "stagey."
Like I say, though, picking nits. Overall, very good film, probably a 8/10.
Another part of the it being on film is the extreme closeups. You obviously can't get that on the stage. There was an article in the NYT that talked about that technique and its lack of irony, which riled up many critics:
For the record, I think that article is asinine. What were the extreme dutch angles and noticeable shakycam if NOT calling attention to itself, ie ironic?
Overall I really liked the movie, but I found myself generally most impressed with the actors I wasn't familiar with ahead of time. Loved Samantha Barks as Eponine, she totally killed On My Own. Eddie Redmayne was also great. I was impressed by the young Cosette and the street kids/revolutionaries in Act II.
Of the "stars" Hugh Jackman was quite good- parts of the vocals were perhaps a bit out of his range, but overall I liked him. There probably isn't much more I can say about Russell Crowe that hasn't been said already- totally wrong for the part. I wished they had taken a chance on someone from the theater for Javert.
Overall I thought the musical translated well to the big screen, loved the Paris scenes especially.
Last edited by elka_sk8; 02-04-2013 at 05:28 PM.
I just saw it this weekend as well, and I liked it overall. I was blown away by the younger cast especially, Enjolras and Marius and the rest of the revolutionaries as well as Gavroche. Their voices were so good that I was really disappointed that they shorted "Drink With Me" so much. And honestly I was fine with Amanda Seyfried too; her voice doesn't have any power behind it but I liked her vocal tone and was surprised by her range.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.