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Les Miserables - the movie

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

  1. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    Good point on the differentiation between big Cosette and little Cosette...I do love little Cosette and "Castle on a Cloud" is my second favourite song in the musical, after "On My Own". And the one I sing more often because "On My Own" is not in my vocal range :wuzrobbed
  2. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    Cosette is kind of an hair head in the book.

    On another note...I really LOVED the kid who played Gavroche in the movie. it is the first interpretation of the character (in the musical) that did not remind me of The Artful Dodger .
  3. martian_girl

    martian_girl New Member

    Unpopular opinion here: I think a lot of the Tom Hooper sniping has to do with a lot of residual sour grapes for The King's Speech winning every Oscar in sight. :p

    Anyway, I personally loved it, but then again I loved the musical. I will say that the weaknesses of the original show are only magnified in the movie (the length, the earnestness, the plot holes, the fact that Marius is still a gigantic weenie :p) so I can understand those criticisms.

    That being said, I thought the acting was amazing and most of the cast was up to the task vocally (Crowe wasn't bad, but anyone expecting a powerhouse Javert performance will be disappointed).
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  4. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    I don't have any sour grapes about TKS. It did not win ALL the Oscars (Helena B-C did not win the supporting actress Oscar). I liked the movie very much. I thought the Social Network was slightly better, but I was OK with the Kings speech winning Best pic, Best actor, Best director.

    I did not think Hooper was bad, but he could have done a better job. I still enjoyed Les Mis, with its imperfections. The only acting job I did not like belonged to Amanda S. It wasn't just her singing, it was the whole thing, because everyone else was so much better. Even Russell Crowe was not as terrible as some posters seem to think. May be they have seen better acting playing that character and I have not. I loved the story, and I wondered what it would be like without the singing. It's powerful drama, with the good and bad qualities of human beings.
  5. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    Watch this guy as Javart (Philip Quast)-then you will realize how the part is supposed to be played, and how bad Russell Crow sucks LOL



    Then watch Russell Crowe

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  6. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

  7. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

    I disagree with that. Although I didn't care for The King's Speech, I was looking forward to Les Miserables as I want to see the musical genre be successful in Hollywood. I think criticizing the heavy reliance on close-ups and fish-eye lenses and in essence filming most of the musical numbers the same way which makes for a repetitive experience, the tendency to demand pity from the audience for characters by hammering their sufferings into the audience's head, and the lack of character development for those who appear in the second part of the film are valid criticisms. Many might disagree for sure, but I don't think people who don't like the film do so simply because they are bitter about The King's Speech winning Best Picture.
  8. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    He just SOUNDS like Javart should sound.

    I also really enjoy Terrance Mann on the Original Broadway Recording but have never found anything on youtube other than a One Day More performance at the Tonys. I would like to see a live performance of him. His Javart sounds pretty good too.
  9. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

  10. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    I sang Castle On a Cloud for my first vocal performance in school. I was so shy at the time so it was the perfect song to sing. Les Miserable was something we sang in choir when I was in grade 9. We sang Phantom in grade 10.

    I have a pretty broad vocal range. Not sure how many octaves but I can sing Cher/ Heart right up to Sarah Brightman. I remember in vocal warm ups I would still be singing in the higher range and everyone else was done. 'On My Own', 'Pie Jesu', 'Phantom of The Opera' (the song) are all within my ability and my favourite songs to sing even to this day.

    I am going to see the movie this weekend and realy looking forward to it. Javert and Eponine are my favourite characters in the show... On My Own, Confrontation and Stars are my fave songs.

    As for the anniversary specials for Les Miz... the 10th anniversary is by far the better version for sure. Ramon and Samantha made the 25th anniversary for me though. They are amazing singers.

    Has anyone seen the 2000 version of Les Miz? Here is a link to part one of the miniseries and I am going to watch it on a night shift at work.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  11. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    ^^ I just watched it yesterday for the first time. Man, Marius is a CREEP. I find it hard to believe that ANYONE could fall in love at first sight with him. Plus, he makes some awfully big assumptions right after meeting Cosette. "What's her last name? Oh, it doesn't matter. When we marry, she'll take mine!" ;)
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Cosette is dreadful in the book -- well, toward the end, anyway. I cannot believe that a genius like Hugo could portray a character like that and think there was nothing wrong with her.
    If your father is acting very strange and withdrawing from you, you don't shrug your shoulders and think, "Oh well, I've got a nice new husband to take up my time and attention, so it's all good!" :duh:
    And he goes on for pages and pages trying to rationalize this, as is his wont, and I'm sitting there thinking, "Dude, you did not understand women AT ALL."

    I actually like her quite a lot in the musical, perhaps in large part because she's a zillion times better than in the book!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  13. MLIS

    MLIS Active Member

    I saw Terrence Mann when he returned to help close out the original Broadway production, which would have been in 2003 (can't believe it's been ten years already). I'm a huge Terry fan, so I'm biased, but he was brilliant. His vocals were even richer and deeper than when he originally played the role, and his suicide scene was breathtaking. I also saw him in concert this past spring, and he sang Stars, and I was in tears. Beautiful.

    Quast is also an excellent Javert, and I've seen/heard some other great ones over the years. As for the film, I would have been very interested to see Jackman take on the role, actually. When he was first announced I was hoping against hope that they would say it was for Javert, even though I knew logically he would be playing Valjean. But his range is more suited for Javert, and I think he would have acted it beautifully. Jackman as Javert, a real tenor as Valjean, and we would have been in business. (I did very much enjoy the film, btw, but I couldn't help but indulge in a little bit of fantasy casting while I was watching.)
  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I don't understand this argument. You don't find him attractive, but it doesn't mean that other people feel the same way. Sometimes people act like only folks with movie star beauty could/should fall in love. Well just take a look at the every day folks walking amongst you, including the person staring back at you in the mirror. Most of us aren't movie star beauty, and most movie star beauty aren't movie star beauty without a team of people behind them either.
  15. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    Well, I was being just a tiny bit facecious there. Trust me, some of the most beautiful people I know aren't physically attractive at all. It was more his demeanor that I found very off-putting. And yes, his appearance isn't my cuppa tea. But mostly, his whole attitude towards Cosette was creepy.
  16. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    I actually find that Hugo's female characters leave a lot to be desired at times. If you ever read Notre Dame, it really is surprising at how naive and obtuse Esmerelda is as a character. She is very different from the fiesty exotic gypsy portrayed in most movies and staged productions.
  17. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    I love Norm Lewis's version too. Perhaps even more than Quast's. Norm's posture, command, and facial expressions are perfect.

    Russell Crowe looks and sounds like a kid doing the "look at me I'm so tough" thing but being so bad at it that it's pathetically funny.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  18. peibeck

    peibeck Simply looking

    I finally saw the movie today and, as a lover of the musical, I truly found it a completely frustrating experience.

    I cannot fathom why Hollywood is hell bent on making musicals again, only to completely destroy them by casting people who CANNOT sing the roles. :mad: I proffer Renee Zellweger in "Chicago," John Travolta in "Hairspray," Gerard Butler in "Phantom," Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in "Sweeney Todd" :scream: (a complete desecration of one of the greatest musical/opera scores ever), Daniel Day Lewis in "Nine," and now both Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in "Les Miz."

    I get that producers feel they need a "name" or "names" to market, but at least in the case of "Hairspray" where Travolta was so horridly miscast, at least he wasn't the flipping LEADING role. All I can say is that "Les Miz" gives me complete and utter dread of an "all star" movie version of "Wicked." :yikes:
  19. RoseAugust

    RoseAugust Active Member

    I saw the movie yesterday. I hae not seen the stage version so there is no comparison for me to make in that regard. I've read the book, both abridged and original. The abridged version I read in the 10th grade and it was the first book I ever enjoyed! Anyway, I loved the movie. The casting of Javert had be scratching my head (mainly because I don't care for Russell Crowe in general), but I got over it soon enough. I want to see it again.

    I love musicals, but there are always a couple of voices I would like replaced. I don't ever go in expecting the casting to suit me 100%.
  20. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    I just got home from seeing it and I loved it, speaking as a die-hard fan of the musical. Generally agree with the comments upthread on the standouts being Hathaway, Redmayne, Barks, and Jackman. Loved Gavroche and little Cosette as well. Crowe was not as bad as I had expected from the clips (the only song where I really thought he sounded bad was "One Day More") and I generally like Seyfried's voice, so she didn't bother me, although there were a couple of points where she seemed to have a bit of a bleating or shaky quality in her voice.

    I do agree about too many closeups, which is probably my only major complaint about the movie. Well, maybe also that the sewer scene was way too realistic and I had to keep my eyes shut for it. Loved all of the barricade scenes and the big ensemble scenes. The minor wording changes to songs bugged a bit (in most cases it was unnecessary and didn't help the song make any better sense), but I thought the rearrangement of order of the songs was fine and usually made sense. I did have a bit of concern that they were leaving out "Do You Hear the People Sing", but once they got to it, I thought it was beautifully placed and sung. The only time I teared up was at the end, when they did the reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing" with everyone who had died and it was very touching. Lots of people applauded at the end, and I nearly did too, until I remembered I was at a movie and not in a real theatre.
  21. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    Kill me. Shoot me. Spank me. Do as you wish:

    I preferred the movie to the live production I attended 10 years ago. LOVED it. Russel and Sacha were totally miscast, but everything else was practically perfect. Loved the Epic feel of the movie, which you'd never get on a stage. Loved the OTT dramatics and the closeups... was completely caught up with the whole experience. I was left almost out of breath by the end!

    You don't expect that from a movie musical ;)

    Which reminds me, has any skater skated to Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, as part of a Les Mis medley or just to the song??
  22. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    FWIW, Sondheim considers Sweeney Todd the best film adaptation of one of his musicals.

    Also, WRT Marius and Cosette, my friends have all had the same comment: "jeez louise! They glanced at each other one time! That's not love! That's nuts!" LOL I think the film made the improbability there seem even less probable.
  23. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    Just saw it. Loved it. I never cry at movies,but I teared up during IDAD and the scene immediately before it when Fantine was with her john. I also teared up during Jean Valjean's death scene.
  24. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    And, don't forget that Travolta was incredible in Grease. So, the producers probably thought he was perfect for a musical. And, he can be, just not that role.
  25. peibeck

    peibeck Simply looking

    Well he had little to no creative control on the original "Gypsy," or "West Side Story," and the film version of "A Little Night Music" was a hot mess, so that isn't really saying much. His public stance while doing the promotion for the film was positive (but certainly not effusive), but he also is someone who is known throughout the industry to not publically complain about reviews, performers, etc.

    I don't know what the producers thought. It's not like Danny Zuko and Edna Turnblad are similar characters, so although he might be perfect for a musical obviously they didn't screen test that idea first. :lol: In the case for "Les Miz," apparently Jackman and Crowe did audition for Hooper and he (apparently) felt they acted well enough through their singing to convince him to cast them in these roles. And while that may have been what Hooper wanted to make the film more "accessible and real," it also makes for an aural assualt on standards like "Bring Him Home," and "Stars" for audiences. :p
  26. martian_girl

    martian_girl New Member


    I thought Jackman was a lot better than you did. In any case, he has some stage-cred, so its not like they just went with a "big star" for the sake of it. While Crowe wasn't a vocally strong Javert (a role that is a true vocal showcase for a great singer), its not like he made me want to jam sharp object into my ears either.

    Regarding your larger point, it is possible to err in the other directions. See Dreamgirls, which hired a singer that couldn't act as their lead and Rent, which brought back nearly the entire Broadway cast despite the fact that they were all far too old to reprise their role on film.

    If I want Broadway-level singing, I'll watch one of the concert DVDs. For a movie version of a musical, I tend to forgive the singing if the acting is excellent.

    Of course, then there's Phantom, where they neither cast big stars, good singers or good actors.
  27. Alixana

    Alixana Definitely NOT a sonogram

    Good thing I had no sharp objects in my purse then. :yikes::lol:
  28. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I wonder if Tom Hopper and the producers realized early into the filming that Crowe wasn't working out, but Crowe was too big a star to fire without it being a big distraction. I can't imagine them looking at the dailies and thinking that Crowe was good in the role.

    I didn't think Travolta was bad in Hairspray. The fat suit make-up around the face was awful though.

    What other big musicals are out there to be filmed after this? I know Wicked is still in the plan to be filmed, but I have not heard any songs from that show.
  29. love skating

    love skating Clueless American

    I remember Todd Eldredge skating to it for an exhibition show, not his Les Mis medley competition number but just Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. I'd have to dig out my old tapes to find it though. lol
    MR-FAN and (deleted member) like this.
  30. Rae35

    Rae35 Active Member

    We enjoyed it last night. Felt a bit long, but that's minor. Pleased to see musicals back on the big screen and in the mainstream (which historically tends to happens when times are tougher in the real world!). Thumbs up to Anne Hathaway in particular.