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Les Miserables - the movie

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

  1. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    The press she's doing for Les Miz is completely different from the press she did for Catwoman in the summer. For Catwoman, she absolutely refused to divulge how much weight she lost for the role and what kind of diet and exercise program she was on. (This resulted in fairly hilarious interviews. "Are you trying to lose weight? I think you look great!" "[to male interviewer] Are you trying to fit into a catsuit?"

    And then for the Oscar press, everybody knows how much weight she lost and how she did it. How she suffered for her craft. :lol: Oh, Oscar campaigning...
  2. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    That is going to drive me crazy! I hate it when they change the order or change the songs. Especially for a musical this well known and beloved. They did that with The sound of Music and it was so awkward.

    I know it doesn't make sense for Eponine to be there, but 3 voices in harmony (Valjean, Fantine, Eponine) are so beautiful! I never thought that Eponine hated Cosette. I knew she loved Marius, but realized he never saw her in that way.

    I've seen it on B'way twice. I've watched the 10th and 25th Anniversary performances XXXXX times. Have the DVD and CD of the 10th. Listen to it constantly. I want to see it, but I'm worried. I got annoyed when they changed the order of some things in Billy Elliot (vice versa though, movie first).
  3. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    One thing I DID notice in the preview is that Fantine sings I dreamed a dream with short hair-

    For those that have seen it...is that now after Lovely Ladies in the film? In the stage show, she sings I Dreamed a Dream right after she is canned by the Forman but from the previews of the movie, it looks like she is singing it as a Lady of The Night!
  4. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    Fantine does sing it after Lady of the Night.
  5. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    The switched order makes sense in context. In the stage show, it's a little easer to have a character just pause and reflect at nearly any point, via a big solo number; in the movie, the switched order helps to keep the action going.
  6. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member


    I'm sure many people have heard of the musical Les Mis prior to the film, but I doubt it was ever classified in the same "well known and beloved" category as something like The Sound of Music, for example.
  7. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think it's much better known and beloved than the stage version of The Sound of Music was before that film came out. The definition of success for a musical is so different these days. Les Miserables has played all over the world for 25 years, and many people have seen it multiple times. The Sound of Music had a four-year Broadway run, an even shorter London run, and U.S. and Australian tours, all of which were finished long before the movie came out. So a lot more people are going into the Les Mis film having some idea of what to expect, than with the Sound of Music film.
  8. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I very rarely get upset when movies deviate from the original source (see Hunger Games or Harry Potter or Jane Austen), but wrt to Les Mis, I don't see how these changes can amount to the movie being compared as TOTALLY! UTTERLY! different from the musical (which was based on a book--I'm pretty sure the producers made changes from the book).

    I also doubt that people not familiar with the musical will like the movie more than those familiar with the musical. I've heard enough "Ya mean they all sing throughout the *entire* movie?!?!?" complaints to hold this belief so firmly.
  9. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    What was changed in "The Sound of Music"? I've never seen the musical.
  10. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    double post
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  11. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    A couple of songs were taken out; "Something Good" was added; and I believe "The Lonely Goatherd" and "My Favorite Things" were used differently. There were probably other changes made, but those are the ones I know of.
  12. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

    ^ In the stage production of TSOM, there were three songs that were not in the movie. "I Have Confidence in Me" was not in the original Broadway cast recording (with Mary Martin). "Something Good" replaced "An Ordinary Couple." "How Can Love Survive" (a very witty song) was only done instrumentally in the movie during the ballroom dancing scene. "No Way to Stop It," a political debate song about the Captain's not giving in to the Nazis (with Max & the Baroness suggesting compromise), not was not in the movie, unfortunately (and I love the show, movie, Julie Andrews to pieces!). We saw the Broadway revival of TSOM in 1998 (with the wonderful Rebecca Luker as Maria, and this song was, thankfully, restored). In the show, it's a song with the Captain, Max, & the Baroness, and it's just before the Captain & Baroness call off their engagement. The Lonely Goatherd was used as the song to calm down the children during the thunderstorm in the show. My Favorite Things was sung with Maria & the Mother Superior when they were discussing the idea that Maria leave the Abbey for a while to be the new governess for the von Trapp family.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  13. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    I went to see the movie yesterday and was completely blown away by it. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks were phenomenal. I've never seen Les Mis before in any form though so I have nothing to compare it to. Some of the close ups were a little much but overall I was very impressed. Many tears flowed, and even my mom who rarely likes any movie really enjoyed it.
  14. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    I don't mean to disagree that she might be purposefully playing up the hardships of the Les Mis role in an effort to get critical award nominations, but it is possible that there might be other reasons to talking about one role and not the other. How do you think it looks to the public to have an already thin actress go on and on about how much weight she had to lose in order to fit into a sexy spandex suit? At least for Fantine, she's SUPPOSED to be ill and starving. For that, it's just her craft. For Catwoman, it's the ultimate proof of a society that has placed too many expectations on women on how their body is supposed to look. It's horrible PR.

    But anyway, I'm sure both reasons are correct.
  15. Dancer247

    Dancer247 Active Member

    I saw this on Christmas Day and I LOVED it!!! I'm a huge fan of the musical, seen it twice, own both the 10th and the 25th on DVD and know pretty much every single note. I was very nervous about the movie not living up to my expectations, so I tried to go in with an open mind. None of the changes really bothered me, and some I actually loved, including adding the bishop (Colm!!) to Valjean's death and how Eponine dies (saving Marius like the book).

    I expected Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks to be great, and they both absolutely were, but the big standout to me was Eddie Redmayne as Marius! Great singing and acting, and I think his version of "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" may become my new favorite (sorry Michael Ball, I still love you!) Javert is one of my favorite characters, but I had very low expectations for Russell Crowe and I really didn't end up hating his performance at all. I had higher expectations for Hugh Jackman and while I thought he did a great job overall, he did seem to struggle with some of the higher register singing. Loved Carter and Cohen as the Thenardiers and also thought Amanda Seyfried was a lovely Cosette.

    Overall I loved the film way more than I expected, I laughed, cried, and sang, and can't wait to see it again! My biggest gripe is that they cut so much Bamatabois, since his opener ("here's something new, I think I'll give it a try...") is one of my favorite parts of the show!
  16. Lynn226

    Lynn226 Well-Known Member

    I just purchased the soundtrack for $5 on Amazon.
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Thanks, Wyliefan and pastaskatefan!
  18. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I was looking at the movie sound track album. It doesn't have all of the songs on it. Is "Fantine's Death" in the movie? I actually like that better than "I Dreamed a Dream".
  19. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

    Just got back from "Les Mis" -- my first time seeing it. I thought it was incredibly well done!

    However, after all the hype, I thought Anne Hathaway was just "ok." :shuffle:

    The two standouts for me were Hugh Jackman and Eddie Redmayne. I thought Eddie was perfect as Marius and, IMO, he definitely deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor!

    Samantha Barks was a fabulous Eponine. "A Little Fall of Rain" got me, big time. :wuzrobbed:

    Overall, a great film! :cheer:
  20. PRlady

    PRlady foot in both camps

    I have never seen Les Miz on Broadway or in any other way except the high school production my daughter was in -- a very good one, but still high school. I was really looking forward to the movie.

    On one hand, it made me cry five different times. I needed more Kleenex. However, I cry at movies really easily (and not in real life) and even when I was crying I knew I was being emotionally exploited by the story and the songs.

    The acting was quite good and Hathaway and the girl who played Eponine were the best.

    The directing was just abysmal. All closeups or huge, panoramic shots, no camera movement during songs and some really awkward angles. What was he thinking? And where was Baz Luhrman or Rob Marshall when we needed them? And Russell Crowe, call your agent and tell him he's fired.

    So a mixed bag and my eyes really hurt.
  21. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    I'm going to see Les Miz after the New Year when I'll have some time off. I've heard so many great things about it-I hope it lives up to the build up! :)

    My niece was in her high school's production of Les Miz a few years back-it was a quality production-I hope this film lives up to it!

    Crowe-There are actors who can sing, and singers who can act. I don't think Russell Crowe can sing-or at least not well enough for a musical. From the trailers I was totally unimpressed with him-so disappointing.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  22. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

    Completely agree. Still can't believe Hooper won an Oscar over David Fincher, the Coen Brothers, and Darren Aronofsky, all of whom know how to use more than two camera shots. I think Les Mis definitely would've been better served if it had a more capable director as there were makings of a far more effective film.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  23. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that just because a director chooses to do things in unusual ways, that doesn't necessarily make his choices bad. And that perhaps, with a musical like Les Miserables, Luhrmann- or Marshall-style glitz -- appropriate as it was for Moulin Rouge and Chicago -- was not what was needed.

    *ducks flying tomatoes*

  24. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    What annoyed me most about Moulin Rouge and Chicago was the MTV-style editing, particularly for ML, during the musical numbers. Baz and Rob also went on to direct the stinkers Australia and Memoir of a Geisha, respectively. Rob also directed Nine, which failed. So it's difficult to predict how each would have done with LM.
  25. PRlady

    PRlady foot in both camps

    Good point. I saw Nine (one of perhaps nine people in the world who did) and was flabbergasted at the waste of all that talent. But I also think the story itself was self-indulgent and macho, which is not the director's fault, he was working from the play. Never did see Geisha which is good since I loved the book.

    Who directed Dreamgirls? That was a middling success but at least the camerawork was unobstrusive and let you get into the story without pondering whether any of the leads had their tonsils out.
  26. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I saw it last night. It wasn't a waste of my $9.50, and that is saying a lot as I only go to the movies once a year or sometimes less (X-men was the last thing I saw in theatres.) The thing I was most looking forward to about going to the actual movie was getting popcorn- but holy crap, $6.50 for a small, no freaking way.

    My thoughts on the movie:
    Russel Crowe has a beautiful voice, he definitely can sing. However, he cannot sing to meet the requirements of Javert. It was abysmal. If he was creating the character, I might have said it was fine, but Javert is a known entity- and he sure doesn't sound like that. There were parts of the more powerful songs (Confrontation) that I thought he sounded excellent on, but others he struggled on. And then things like "Stars"- oh, it made me sad. I feel badly for him, because he shouldn't have been put in the position to be panned the way he is. Who else auditioned for this role, and what were they thinking?

    Hugh Jackman also sounded like he struggled on the higher register, but his acting really sold it for me. He was extremely believable. I was a bit distracted by the Wolverine side burns (though I know they were period realistic) and then later in the movie when he looked too much like the Dad from Little House on the Prairie.

    I thought Anne Hathaway gave a great performance but I feel her role was too minor for an Oscar.

    I thought Marius was fabulous on Empty Chairs and Empty Tables, but didn't love him in Red/Black. I expected him to look and sound difference. Plus I was sitting next to an immature guy who kept whispering to his girlfriend that he looked like a duck, and then that kind of distracted me because he was right.

    The Thenadiers (probably spelled that wrong) were good, but I felt Cohen was doing a weird accent- it was odd. However, I was really worried about his presence in the movie (he is not someone I care for at all) and he didn't ruin it at all, so that is a plus.

    I was surprised by audience reactions, I think many of the people in there new nothing about the show, except that it is famous. There were lots of laughs at place that aren't really that funny if you know they are there "make money in your sleep" for instance. There was also nervous laughter as Jean Val Jean approached Cosette in the woods like a creepy pedophile "What's your name little girl, where do you live". I think if you know the scene, it doesn't read that way, but seeing it from the point of view of not knowing what comes next, it really does seem like he is a creep.

    My husband's biggest complaint was sunglasses on Mme Thenadier at the end. He just finished the book and also kept calling it "Select scenes from Les Mis"- but if it were all the scenes, we would probably still be there... I thought they did a much better job of going through the plot than the musical does, it was more cohesive. The only lines we didn't hear were "broke a window pane" and "yellow ticket of leave". What else did they cut?

    The close ups were way out of hand.

    Oh, and I bawled the entire time. I've seen the show 8 times (some student productions) plus concerts and never cried. The graphicness of the movie just made it so much more real- at the barracade, Val Jean's death, and probably at least one other time.
  27. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Thanks all, for sharing your impressions.
    I"ll look forward to seeing the movie after the New Year.

    I never expect a movie to resemble a play.
    Some translate well; others don't.
  28. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I thought he was awful. Seemed like he was just there to stand still and let HBC act circles around him. Which she's quite capable of doing -- I've liked her in pretty much everything I've seen her in -- but I don't think he was supposed to be letting her do ALL the work!

    I think they were going for the steampunk look with them. That's a choice I would not have made, personally -- steampunk is way past its sell-by date as far as I'm concerned.

    Bill Condon. He also did the last two Twilight films, for what it's worth. (I don't think it's worth much, myself, but YMMV. :) )
  29. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

    The script for Twilight is horrific (as well as the source material), IMO, but from what I've seen, the camerawork was better there and in Dreamgirls than in Les Mis. Although to be fair, I've seen first year film school work with better camerawork than Les Mis.

    I get annoyed by both Baz Luhrman and Rob Marshall's direction sometimes, but at least there is a purpose to the choices. Hooper's directorial choices are so simple that it seems like that's all he's capable of doing rather than being perhaps like in Luhrman or Marshall's cases, an (sometimes failed) intentional attempt to do something different.
  30. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen it yet, but I'm excited to see it for one reason and one reason only: I've heard Anne Hathatway sings I Dreamed a Dream like she's angry and pissed, which is how I've always felt that song should be sung. It's the death of a dream while you're dying, it's about you having your youth and innocence and hope going bye-bye and most sing it in this fa-la-la, I had a dream, isn't that lovely style.

    We were supposed to go see it today, but the bratlling his home and he stayed up all night last night and he's in such a foul mood, he'd ruin it for all of us, so now we're going to see it on New Year's Eve.