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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    Wow, I saw it today, too, and came away with a much different impression.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by AragornElessar View Post
    My biggest fear would be I'd start singing along w/the songs.

    Actually, I *know* I'd more than likely do that.
    I actually did this often enough that somebody in the row in front of me was giving me dirty looks.

  2. #22

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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

    Spoiler

    , 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,

    Spoiler



    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 by manhn; 12-25-2012 at 11:43 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    And I'm glad I got advance tickets, b/c the show was sold out as of yesterday.
    Did you notice if the audience was mostly women vs. men or older crowd vs. younger, etc. ?

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    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).
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Did you notice if the audience was mostly women vs. men or older crowd vs. younger, etc. ?
    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 by Debbie S; 12-26-2012 at 12:10 AM.

  5. #25
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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.

  6. #26

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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.

  7. #27
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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.

  8. #28

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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.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    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.
    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.

  10. #30

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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.

  11. #31
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    Yet another reason why Frances Rufelle is the only Eponine I really can't stand. :p I just do not care for her vocals at all.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Accordion View Post
    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.
    Really? She was really young she played Eponine in the original London production-she might not have even been 18. I know she was secretly dating him during the Broadway production, she was like 20 or 21 and he was in his 40's and married with a bunch of kids. She got pregnant right after she won the Tony award , it was all scandalous, and had to leave the show and that is why Cameron Mackintosh did not ask her to be in the 10th Anniversary concert.

    I seriously know way too much about Les Miz LOL.

    I really like her Eponine. If you read the book, Eponine is really scrawny, very child like...pretty much in stalker territory regarding Maruis, and I am pretty sure (from what I remember, I read it so long ago) her voice is described really scratchy. A lot of play the part as "strong willed", but in the book she is almost looney in her obsession with Marius. She fits the part according to the book I think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwdOP2MG-Uc
    Last edited by UGG; 12-26-2012 at 04:02 AM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spareoom View Post
    and I've GOT to find out who this Eddie Redmayne guy is because he's cute, can act, and sings like a dream.
    He was the young male lead in the movie "My Week with Marilyn" from 2011, playing the Colin Clark, the author on whose books the movie was based. He was also Angel Clare in the BBC mini-series version of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" from about five years ago.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  14. #34

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    We saw the film this afternoon.

    I did love it, but it took so much effort in the beginning for me to 'get over' Russell Crowe as Javert. I hadn't read or seen much in the way of reviews about the film prior to viewing it. I only knew the cast....and when Javert began singing, I almost gasped out loud in the movie theatre.

    Loved Anne Hathaway....but agree it was over-acted. Liked Jackman as Jean Valjean but he too slightly disappointed me a little with the vocals on 'Bring Him Home' but I don't even know why really. It was just something slightly annoying about it. The ending where he sang 'Take Me Home' was much better.

    The new song in it that Jean Valjean sings to Cosette hit me like a ton of bricks....I thought it was so lovely.

    All in all, it was a great movie. Glad I saw it.
    I'm not spoiled...I deserve all my stuff.

  15. #35
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    Just saw it. To be honest, I was a little bored. In fact, the only thing that kept me from being totally bored was fixating on how Tripp from Gossip Girl is in it.

  16. #36
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    Listening to the CD...haven't had a chance to form an opinion on all the other tracks, but Eddie's version of Empty Chairs has GOT to be my favorite rendition of that song. Straight to my "Faves" playlist on iTunes.

    ETA: I forgot to say, during the ending credits there is an AWESOME orchestral version of One Day More. Next time I see the film, I am SO going to sing. All the parts. Because it's awesome. :p

  17. #37
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    Early this morning they said on tv that it made $15 million dollars Christmas day and night.
    That's a lot for one day.
    I haven't seen it yet. Can't wait.

  18. #38

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    Deadline Hollywood is saying $18 million.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    Really? She was really young she played Eponine in the original London production-she might not have even been 18. I know she was secretly dating him during the Broadway production, she was like 20 or 21 and he was in his 40's and married with a bunch of kids. She got pregnant right after she won the Tony award , it was all scandalous, and had to leave the show and that is why Cameron Mackintosh did not ask her to be in the 10th Anniversary concert.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwdOP2MG-Uc
    I directed the School Version of Les Mis last summer and we had the last Eponine from Broadway (Diana Kaarina) come and do a workshop and she told us all sorts of stories including "why Eponine instead of the bishop"! She was really wonderful and it was an amazing experience for the kids!

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    He was the young male lead in the movie "My Week with Marilyn" from 2011, playing the Colin Clark, the author on whose books the movie was based. He was also Angel Clare in the BBC mini-series version of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" from about five years ago.
    Also Jack in Pillars of the Earth.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx3gMYF7X5E

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