Movie Review: Les Miserables

I know this came out like two weeks ago but I couldn’t resist reviewing it since the musical is my all time fav.

It came out Christmas day and was insanely busy.

So the movie plot actually followed the musical to the T and had every song. There was even some parts that were from the book (the elephant that Gavroche lives in). Everyone always hates it when a movie adaptation leaves things out or changes the story and for good reason. If the original was really good there’s no reason to dumb things down in a movie to appeal to a larger audience.

Although it is a true musical, Les Mis is not a frivolous slap stick show by any means. There’s war, action, fighting, death, prostitutes, fugitives and more! In the play and movie there are a lot of solos and I liked that the movie had close ups for those scenes. It allowed the actors to have subtle emotions and it makes you feel like you’re in the scene with them. The cinematography was just really well done. Everything was historically accurate and realistic without being cheesy. The mood was set perfectly that really allows the audience to get enveloped into the scene and every  once in a while I would snap back to the theatre, realizing that I was sobbing and sniffling, only to realize that every single person was also blubbering. Seriously, it seemed like every single scene made me cry which is something that I reserved for Fantine’s death during the play. So Kudos on making my entire family weep for 2 1/2 hours straight.

There were a few things that I was not crazy about though. For one thing, all of the actors kept doing this thing where they would not hold the note long enough. If it was supposed to be 6 counts, they would hold for two. It made the song sound choppy and just odd. I liked Hugh Jackman but I really thought Jean Valjean should have a more powerful voice and Jackman kept speak/singing his lines. Goddammit just sing it! Anne Hathaway was probably my favorite character. I didn’t know she could sing but she really did justice to Fantine.

ALes Mierablesnd then there’s Russell Crowe… Oh dear. He should not sing. And just to be safe he probably shouldn’t act either. Javert is supposed to have such a strong, powerful presence but Crowe was very quiet and just couldn’t get those notes. His performance was just underwhelming. Amanda Seyfried was pretty decent, I like her voice but it was a little airy. I would have liked to see her add more personality because adult Cosette is generally very naive and innocent which has always bothered me. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were typecast but they do it well. Samantha Barks (Eponine), a relative unknown, has a great voice. I couldn’t help but notice her impossibly tiny waistline and think “do they really make belts that small?” Barks probably had the strongest singing voice and, let’s face it, everyone really wants Marius to be with Eponine.


Image Sources:
Movie poster – http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2769463552/tt1707386
Les Mis poster – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LesMisLogo.png
Eponine still – http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a385801/les-miserables-eponine-star-samantha-barks-new-film-is-epic.html

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4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Les Miserables

  1. I really enjoyed the movie. While the singing wasn’t ‘beautiful,’ it did a fine job of capturing the emotions and the moment of the story. I’m glad they did an adaptation faithful to both the book and musical. It’s a great story, and I went through many tissues during the film.

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