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|I saw this show on Broadway many years...
Written by Karen 2L
(12/28/2012 11:01 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Les Miserables, penned by Tracy Y
ago. I was not a fan then, and my overall reaction to this film is basedon the the fact that I really do not like the script and score. I was raised on opera so the concept of recitative and aria are not unfamiliar, but this show -- for me -- suffers from a lack of a good editor. Yes, I know the book itself runs the range of emotion from despair to despair with some side trips to love at first sight and heroism but this is just too much Sturm und Drang for my taste. And not just a little bit tedious. Normally I would not have even gone to see a film of a play I didn't like but I wanted to see it based on the clips of Anne Hathaway alone.
On the Plus side: I usually prefer the staged version of almost every single filmed musical I've seen but, in this case, I think the film was far better. I liked the more intimate feel of the emotion in close up, the acting, the transporting French locales. The opening visuals alone were fantastic. I also very much the natural singing as opposed to the usual studio overdubbing.
And Anne H did not disappoint -- her acting and singing were most affecting. She made me cry. Amanda Seyfried surprised me. Her voice was perfect for the part and the trio of Marius, Cosette and Eponine was beautiful. I liked Eddie Redmaye, both singing and acting. Aaron Tveit was very good as well.
The three name wonders -- Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen. No surprises there - for good or ill. I don't know if the nod to Sweeney Todd was deliberate, but I did chuckle about the sausage grinder.
Jackman in the prison and the church, with Colm Wilkinson.... fantastic. What a set up for the rest of the film.
One More Day. Perfectly filmed - reminded me of the Quintet in West Side Story, and made me hope that more producers will take chances on movie musicals again. I hope this film makes tons of money for that reason alone.
The negatives: Jackman's singing -- maybe Jackman should have overdubbed in the studio after all. I know that not every one can sing like Colm Wilkison but I found Jackman's singing ... painful, as if he had a head cold the entire time. (My family violently disagrees with this opinion.) Bring Him Home was intolerable. Russell Crowe, on the other hand, was in tune and his voice was quite pleasant. Unfortunately, Javert's singing is supposed to be dark, not pleasant.
I saw this movie with my MIL, FIL, husband, and two sons. DH, MIL and FIL loved it. DH is a big fan of the musical and this play has been the cause of some of the biggest disagreements in our almost 27 year marriage. (He thinks my love for Sweeney Todd and Company is abominable.) Sons enjoyed the movie but both said that once Fantine died, they weren't interested in the rest of the characters and all the music sounded the same.
One of the most enjoyable moments came from a shared inside joke between my sons and me -- during "Confrontation", just after Fantine's death. A few days ago, my guys showed me some clips on youtube from two talk shows of Jason Segal as Valjean with Paul Rudd or Neil Patrick Harris as Javert singing Confrontation. Unfortunately, as soon as Jackman started singing, the three of us had to clap our hands over our mouths to keep from guffawing. And, so sorry, all I could think of at the very end was "I see dead people".
I am not sorry I saw Les Miz, and I did enjoy parts, but as a whole, to quote Golda, "meh." Despise me if you dare!
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