She was also only 16 or 17 at the time. Her voice has improved since. I think she was just too young and under-trained to handle a part like Christine, and I don't think they got her the training she needed. She's a very good actress and quite a good singer - just not for that role at that time. They wasted her, IMO.
I was disappointed as well.
I liked Hugh but Bring him home didn't measure up to Gary Morris for me and several others. However I liked him elsewhere.
Russell was terrible and all the tension was gone in the scenes with Valjean because of it. The fact that the musical was written as different voice types is no accident and that Javert has to be a strong singer is important. Also think Russel's weakest moment was the scene where he jumped. I didn't feel his inner conflict or turmoil at all. I still remember that scene from the play when I first saw it and that was years ago. And it was and still is an amazing moment. Crowe is an amazing actor but I think he was so hampered by the task of singing beyond his abilities that a lot of his character work was negligible.
I absolutely loathed Amanda Seyfried. I never saw Mama Mia but I have never been a fan of hers so I might be biased. But I had heard she could sing but other than Crowe I thought she was the weakest. I will give her props for those final super high note though. Also never liked Cosette as a grown up. Wished Marius had of chosen Eponine.
Thought the young guys were terrific. Enjorlas and Marius. Empty chairs was probably the best song in the movie for me. To me that was an example of allowing the emotion but not letting it hamper the vocals or to become too self indulgent. I like many others agree that the director allowing the actors to get to emotional with the songs was a huge flaw. if it impedes the telling of the story it is wrong. The audience is supposed to feel the great emotion and not the actor. They use their emotion as a vehicle to bring their point across. but if the actor is emotionally overwrought and you can't understand them then they are no longer telling the story and they are playing the mood. As a great acting teacher told me what is mood spelled backwards?
Also not sure why if the story is set in France they use English accents in the singing. Nitpicky but I thought they could have been dropped for this film. I know it originated in London, hence the accents there but it kind of bugged. especially Gavroche. it seemed out of place.
I also agree about all the close-ups being a waste of film sets and scenery. I did like On my Own though. There is a great part in the extra features in the Singin in the Rain 50th anniversary about how brilliant Gene Kelly was at directing musicals for film. How he used the entire set and saw it as a delicious advantage and a way to make a musical on film its own entity outside of theatre musicals.
And Rusty was just pretty bad casting. Didn't suit the role at all.
However I did like it overall very much. Thought Empty Chairs was probably the highlight. And I really liked Eponine's On My Own - my favourite song in the whole musical.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
I just saw it - loved Barks' On My Own, loved her voice the most. Also liked Redmayne. I thought Crowes acting was even worse than his singing. He is fabulous with the language, so for me, I could live with the songs because he got the tempo and inflection right. But geez, he had the stone facial expressions to match the Twilight chick who can't act either. Hugh acted circles around Russell IMO. Thought Cohen was fab. Too bad about Crowe, but otherwise very enjoyable. Everyone else was good enough to make worthwhile.
Figure skating is hard.
I felt absolutely ZERO sexual tension between Javert and Valjean. One dude can be obsessed with another dude without it being anything sexual.Likewise, what about that obsession Javert has with Valjean? How homoerotic is that?
This I agree with.Crowe seems stiff and embarrassed by this style of singing, even though he hits all the right notes. His face is strangely devoid of emotion, or maybe, like the music itself, his performance is just one-note. He looks uncomfortable, even constipated
Here's a not too bad clip of Crowe singing on stage with Jackman. He sounded better here, probably because he was more relaxed in this type of environment and could bob up and down like a rock star. I think the move role constrained him and he wasn't comfortable with it.
Last edited by orbitz; 01-05-2013 at 02:41 PM.
Just got back from the cinema. It only opened in the UK yesterday and everywhere I've looked for 24 hours both theatre friends and non theatre friends have been RAVING about the film. I went in with an open mind and have come away thinking that overall the film has far exceeded my expectations.
It should be said that I'm a MASSIVE fan of the show but I still adored the film. The only person who was embarrassing was Crowe who really is as bad as everyone is making out. I mean singing aside, he didn't act at all. Stars and Suicide Soliloquy were both transposed down for him which annoyed me as I've sung them both myself professionally and they're not that hard. If his vocal range is that far off the original key he shouldn't have been cast.
Really not getting the griping over Hugh Jackman in this thread. He was FABULOUS!! And what's all this rubbish about octave differences in range? He's a high baritone rather than a tenor. There is not a whole octave difference in between those ranges!! That doesn't mean that the original key is out of his grasp, it means that he will sing it differently than the mostly tenors who have played the role. As he's singing live I could see what he was doing technically to achieve the range required. At no point was he damaging his vocal folds. Some constriction is natural and can actually be an interesting vocal choice for filming. He'd not be able to get away with that 8 performances a week but that's not what he's been hired to do here. While he doesn't have the clarity of sound that some seem to think is necessary, the rawness of his vocals and those of the rest of the cast, totally fitted the style of the movie. Anyone expecting sweet singing needs to stay home and stick on the 10th or 25th because that's not what this is about at all. I LOVED all the in your face close ups.
Hathaway was fab - indulgent my arse, that's how she was directed and it works in context with the whole thing - Barks was stunning, although her 4 inch waist and torso did freak me out a bit. Redmayne and Tveit were wonderful and even Seyfried didn't annoy me. At least she showed some emotion unlike stone faced Crowe. Literally 5 bars into the ridiculously transposed soliloquy I was thinking, oh just jump already! Anyway it didn't bother me for long. I was soon back to crying ridiculously and when the film ended all you could hear were sobs. Then the applause started. I've never experienced that in a cinema. Amazing night and can't wait to see it again and again.
I saw the movie this week and liked it very much. I've seen two touring productions, and the movie did not have the same pact but I thought it was good. The close ups didn't bother me at all. I love Russell Crowe and frankly thought he sang as well as Jackman but he was just all wrong for Javert. His character had no presence. I do not like Anne Hathaway but she was good. But an Oscar nomination? It seemed to me she wasn't onscreen enough even for a supporting actress nod. The highlights for me were Redmayne and Banks.
I'm delighted that the film was something special for you, floskate.
Thanks for the review!
Last edited by skatesindreams; 01-13-2013 at 12:09 AM.
Last edited by skatesindreams; 01-13-2013 at 12:08 AM.
Last edited by skatesindreams; 01-13-2013 at 12:08 AM.