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For fans of the musical, it is spellbinding to watch Les Miserables finally come to life on the big screen. However, for the typical movie goer or even a fan in retrospect, it's clear that the movie doesn't know quite what it wants to be. It's a mess of gloomy, gritty sequences mixed with animated, silly, or downright ridiculous imagery. Although there are some great voices, the majority of the film consists of terrible singers, which feels so out of place with all of the great instrumental. Mix in some awkward, unbelievable CGI long shots and strange, uncomfortable camera angles, and now we have the Les Mis movie, and we aren't going to get a new one any time soon. However, the film is better than most of the movie musicals that we get. And, at the end of the day, Les Mis is like pizza. Even when it's done poorly, it's still pretty good.
I don't CARE which "represents the book" better; what matters is the
movies! I have't read the book, and I'm not about to start. But as far
as STORY goes, Liam Neeson's version takes the cake! I will say that if
you like musicals, you may get a kick out of this flick. But I think
this film is overrated, and it did NOT make me "cry".
I really deeply feel the 1998 with both Geoffery Rush and Liam Neeson was atrociously missed by the Academy Awards!
What I felt what the remake's biggest weakness was it was RUSHING over a lot of important plot points of the story, and there was hardly any emotional connection - and just sugar-coated it with all the singing.
I really found it odd that both Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were brought into this; I almost felt Johnny Depp was soon gonna show up! As far as I know, both these two nearly RUINED the movie for me, if was supposed to be FEELING anything serious.
And Anne Hathaway... oh my word, I couldn't LOOK at her, for almost looking like a female Gollum; again, HOW does she become the "most desirable woman" after having her teeth pulled & her hair cut??? Neither did I like it when she was singing - I thought she was gonna open her mouth and EAT me. She was *barely* in the movie, but Oscar in hand, bizarrely. (And I'm certain she's rather overrated as an actress, though I kind alike her during her "Princess Diaries" years.)
To be fair, this film does have a good score - and have a couple of them on my iPod, but also as well as the soundtrack for the 1998 version.
A lot of the actors, I rather don't really like or care about; and plus, I just can't see Russell Crowe as a bad guy (Javert) - Geoffrey Rush was a WHOLE LOT more convincing as a menacing villain. Eddie Redmayne played a rather dimwitted and less attractive Marius in this version, than the guy back in the 1998 version; he just randomly sees Cosette and and just falls in love; how CLUNKY! And Amanda Seyfried is just another actress I don;t like for her reputation. Just about the whole CAST is unlikable!
Oh and the "boy who gets shot" in the story, it really shocked me in the original when the boy got shot by the troops; I gasped, totally saddened. But the boy in this adaptation... oh my HECK was he annoying - all his singing & mannerisms were just undeniable irritating! Instead I was like "Thank You!" when he was shot.
And and WHY is the camera man horrible at his work!? Too much close-ups of people's faces, wobbly frame, out of focus shots, etc. Somebody should fire him!
Though many years later, I do thank a Les Miserables remake is necessary, but I think they did a mediocre & clunky job, IMO.
Again, 1998 version was so much better than the 2012 version. The 2012 version was so pushed and in your face like damn it cry already. If you have good acting and good direction you don't need that extra push because it can happen naturally. And more than 50% of the singing in the 2012 version sucked. They chose certain Broadway actors but some weren't and their singing hurt my ears. And if you are going to do a musical don't talk during some of the most beautiful singing parts that was just dumb on their part. The acting was so much more powerful in the 1998 version and they didn't have to sing what was on their mind for you to understand what they were going through. I love the Broadway/concert version too but out of the film adaptations 1998 version is far better than the 2012.
But I talk in full detail about the films compared in this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NiJT9mQzok
The 1998 version is the best! Watch it and enjoy it!
PS: And the ending made absolutely NO friggin' sense whatsoever! I thought this "Free France Heaven" where everyone who died is a live was just laugh-out-loud ridiculous!
Oh god. Let me start out by saying that I have seen what people seem to
say is the best version of the stage production on DVD, but I have not
read the original book, so I am essentially speaking about the musical.
I personally extremely dislike the story of Les Mis. First off, the
book looks like its longer than the bible, so the idea that you can
cram all that into a 2 hour and 30 minute movie or a 3 or 4 hour stage
musical is crazy.
With both the film and stage version, the plot of Les Mis is all over the place. First its about a man who stole a loaf of bread for his sister and was arrested, but then he is release and he steals some stuff. Forget the sister, cause we gotta cut to 8 years later with no info on anything in between! Now he's a mayor. He feels bad for a woman who he kind of was mean to and now he is taking care of her kid. BOOM MORE YEARS LATER! Suddenly we are focusing on a revolution and the character drama becomes more of a side plot. We also don't get any explanation for the revolution except "we're poor and we don't like rich people so lets make a wall out of chairs and kill soldiers", which is not good for people who have little knowledge of the French revolution. The movie seems to have so much to deal with that it just decides to fly around like a drunk bird hoping we get the idea. I'm sorry, but under the assumption that the book is better, the film and stage versions of Les Mis are a complete mess plot wise.
Lets talk about the music, seeing as it is a musical. One issue I have is that although I kind of like musicals, I find it hard to take seriously a musical that is singing about a serious subject matter. It feels odd when you sing about someone dying. Musical like Grease or The Producers allow you to have fun with the songs. This movie uses the music to make you feel...miserable. All of the singing was done live on set, and it shows. While this style of filming greatly benefits the actors ability to give strong acting performances, it can make their singing take a serious hit. I felt that Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks were the only too that let their emotions in their acting also benefit their singing and make both work. Occasionally Hugh Jackman did, but I feel like he sings kind of strange. Russel Crowe is good in certain moments, but can also be fairly monotone, which I understand is kind of the style of singing for that character, but still. In the end it feel that live singing while acting doesn't work for everyone.
A big plus in this film is its costumes and some of the sets. The costumes look very good and even the makeup and hair, except for Eddie Redmayne's character who seems to have some kind of hair gel, which they do because he's supposed to be the heartthrob for young girls (except he looks more like a frog with spikey hair). The sets can sometime feel quite real and well done, but other times feel fake and very set like, or even use too much CGI and feel unreal.
In the end, this film just doesn't work. It feels rushed and is so bloated with plot that it feels like it goes on and on and on. Also, I have never hear so many English accents in France. I understand that this happens in Hollywood films where they take place in Europe, but it really just seems insulting when the film is so heavily about France and the FRENCH people. I wouldn't recommend this film. Go see a fun musical, because you will be quite happy that you did instead of watching this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This review will be given from two perspectives. The first is seeing it
as an on-screen adaptation of the stage musicals. The second
perspective I will give is one where we disregard the original and talk
about this movie as a stand alone film.
OK, so here goes.
This is an AWFUL ADAPTATION. I am baffled when I see reviews giving this 10 stars!
If you play the songs side by side with their stage versions, this one is VOCALLY INFERIOR. (For those wondering why every line is sung, it's because they stayed true to the original.) I can barely hear what the characters are saying behind all those tears and sobs and whining and crying!
Now let's look at this movie as a movie.
It is a TERRIBLE MOVIE. Acting is sloppy. Camera work is disturbing. Casting Russel Crowe as Javert was hilarious.
I believe that a lot of people are afraid of saying they hated this movie for fear of being judged as stupid or unrefined. But no. This was a terrible movie. Let's be honest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Please take this advice before viewing the turgid nonsense that is Les Miserables. This effort makes Miss Saigon look like the wackiest comedy ever. I have honestly never seen such a depressing sight since my last tax demand. Hopefully everyone concerned with this production was offered counselling. By the time Javert decided to end it all by jumping into the swirling waters, I was on my feet ready to push him. Director Tom Hooper should have told young Daniel Huttlestone ( Gavroche ) that he was no longer playing a part in "Oliver." His cockney accent in the middle of Paris was ridiculous. " Stone the Russell Crowes guv. You wouldn't Adam and Eve it" Hope anyone who viewed this in the cinema went on Orange Wednesday 2 for 1. At least this would be a small compensation.
With so many talented actor/singers in this world why make a movie with people who cannot sing. Sorry, but the point of a musical is music with singing so why cast actors who struggle to carry off each and every song. Performance crimes of weak voices, flat voice and parodies of emotion. I am perplexed by the praises but the majority always perplexes me in their choices. I put this in the same barrel of rotten apples with the nauseating Sweeney Todd starring boring, over used Johnny Depp. How sad that in the pursuit of comedy they overcooked the master of the feast characters and scene to the point of not funny. Yes, talented people they may be but not for a musical. Like the comedian who longs to do a serious role and the serious actor who longs to 'make 'em laugh', are these wanna be frustrated musical actors? No, just actors who cannot sing, carry a tune or have any power of performance of voice. Guess this is another movie fad. Put rotten singers in musicals. My opinion, don't waste your money or time.
Agreed with another reviewer- worst spent hours of my entire life was
spent watching this movie- so depressing on so many levels is this
film!! Only grateful that saw this on a DVD at home instead of watched
this on a big screen at cinema!!
Phantom Of The Opera is a far far superior musical, story, as well as film than this- better songs as well , plus as has a sense of hope , love and beauty(not all dark in other words)!
Watched this as was foolish enough to listen to people whom respect say it was a brilliant film! Nothing brilliant about it!!!
Why did this win all those awards?Are people masochists?
Why do depressing films like this and Life of Pi win awards?
If could vote this in minus numbers would yet cannot so gave it a more than generous 1 out of 10!
If you like a balanced film that is not all doom and gloom(even the so called positive parts in the film were not that positive enough to lift your spirits after the trauma of this film) then do not watch this- save yourself!!
Hugh Jackman is better as wolverine in X Men!!
After watching this dismal film needed to cheer myself up with watching something lighthearted to counteract all the toxins of this les miserables misery!!!
Hope never watch anything so ghastly as this in my life again- waste my precious time on such poisonous dark drivel!! Know it was based in truth yet have watched some inspirational WW2 films that have had far far more light and hope in them than that movie/story did!
Hope this review stops one sensitive soul/balanced individual from watching this ghastly film!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing a professional theater company put-on "Les Miserables" in the early 90s. It was a romp of a performance and production. The music numbers came back to life with the movie. This new movie lit up my memory, and although I commend the actors for giving their best in singing, none of them save Amanda Seyfried are very good. So what does that suggest? Well, here is a musical without good singing, so it's not really recommended. The production was enhanced fairly competently by computer generated backgrounds, and I especially liked the introductory scenes, however as I'm sure is already noted, the movie runs and runs and...it feels like 180 min vice 150. Anyway, if you liked the play, this may be worth a watch and listen, despite it's execution, to judge for yourself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) has served 19 years of slave labor, under
the watchful, vengeful, eye of police inspector Javert. (Russell Crowe)
Valjean breaks parole, and escapes to the house of a kindly Bishop,
(Colm Wilkenson) who forgives Valjean for stealing some silver. Valjean
makes the most of this second chance and becomes mayor of Montreuil Sur
Mer, and opens a factory. One of Valjean's factory workers, Fantine
(Anne Hathaway) is a poverty stricken single mother who will do
anything for feed her child, Cosette, (Isabelle Allen, Amanda Seyfried)
including selling her hair, and her teeth, and becoming a prostitute,
now Fantine is dying, and she wants Valjean to take care of the young
Cossette. Always wary of the omnipresent Javert, Valjean pays off the
owners of the inn where Fantine leaves Cosette, Thenardier (Sacha Baron
Cohen) and Madame Thenardier (Helena Bonham Carter) and takes care of
Cosette while still on the run from Javert.
Years later, Cosette meets Marius (Eddie Redmayne) who after an argument with his grandfather takes up the Revolutionary cause. Marius and Cosette fall in love immediately, but Eponine (Samantha Barks) also loves Marius, and is jealous of Cosette. Further complicating matters, Javert is still pursuing Valjean. Does Valjean ever escape Javert? How does the love triangle between Marius, Cosette and Eponine resolve itself? How does the French Revolution affect these people's lives?
When I first sat down to watch Les Miserables, I didn't think I'd like it much less deem it a classic. It's a musical and I'm not too keen on musicals from Broadway. In addition, the movie is set in French Revolutionary times, I thought I was in for a snoozefest. I was entirely mistaken, this is an enthralling, engrossing, captivating film, that draws viewers in from the first minute and keeps them engaged throughout. The songs, which I thought would be a weakness, turned out to be the strongest part of the movie and even aided in the exposition of the story. The movie dealt with the poor, hungry masses of France in a compassionate tender way, and blended their fates with the fate of the French Revolution in a beautiful, seamless way. Les Miserables doesn't try to force tears, it just tells a story and lets the emotion come naturally.
This is the role Hugh Jackman was born to play, and all this time, I thought it was Wolverine. Jackman's acting was as good as his singing. Russell Crowe was also very good acting and singing his lines. Anne Hathaway was wonderful in a small role as Fantine, and yes she can really sing.Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter add some much needed comedy relief, and Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks are actors who I've barely heard of. I saw Redmayne in My Week With Marilyn, a very good film, but had no idea he could sing. I didn't know Barks at all, and she had a heartbreaking, scene stealing performance.
The writing is superb, I'm sure it's difficult to take a 2000 page book by Victor Hugo and turn it into something that translates to the screen, but the story was told simply and effectively. The direction was superb, sometimes, there is nothing that catches my eye about the direction in movies but, this movie was different, there were all kind of crazy angles and shots, and France looked like a picture postcard, although I suspect some of that was CGI. I hope it was not most. Watch this movie, with someone who means a lot to you, you will both enjoy it.
Les Miserables. Revolutionary!
For more revolutionary movie reviews, read my blog, reviewswithatude.wordpress.com
Although I had never seen "Les "Mis" before, I was very eager to see the movie. I do like musicals and it looked like a very good story as well. I absolutely loved the music and how passionate the performances were by the actors. I actually liked the fact that the majority of the film was sung. It brought a certain emotion to it that simply can't be felt by talking. The story was very touching and it was a joy to see the transformation of Jean Valjean. It was amazing to see that he could go from a prisoner with nothing to a man who changes his life and becomes a father to a young girl who is in desperate need. I would recommend this movie to everyone. It is definitely worth watching.
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