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This was an amazing movie. For me what made it so interesting was how difficult it must have been to act and sing at the same time with a camera right up front. Russell Crowe was perfect in the part of Javert and had a great Baritone voice. The opening scene when they were pulling the ship into the dry dock was really cool, imagine what it must have been like to build ships in those days. Hugh Jackman toiling in the bottom of the dry dock reminded me of Ben Hur in the guts of the Roman Galleon. It was hard to believe that these actors were not professional singers, they were all so great. The scenes in Paris were recreated extremely well. I can just imagine what the barricades must have been like. I guess my favourite song was by Samantha Barks who played Éponine. I must admit I am biased toward anything French, having grown up in Québec. Where would we be without Descartes and Fourier!
I have seen this movie twice already and hope to go again before it
comes out on DVD. The first time, I teared. The second, I cried. (Maybe
because my mother was with me and she's more emotional?) The fact is it
is a truly amazing musical. A GREAT story, AMAZING songs and an AWESOME
cast and crew. What makes this a strong, uplifting film is that the
actors actually payed more attention to the acting aspect rather than
the singing (where they can probably fix it up in the studio).
The point is that it is a really emotional film. I rarely cry at movies except at one where the director makes you feel for the characters, (such as Jonathan Larson's Rent). Tom Hooper did exactly that and I'm sure everyone else who has seen the film will already agree. Every time I'm working, I notice that there is always someone walking out of the theatre with tears in the eyes or still continuing to try to get over the outcome of the movie and its characters.
Hugh Jackman does an outstanding, superb job as playing the courageous Jean Valjeant, Russel Crowe really surprises the audience with his singing voice and the bad-ass crooked policeman Javert, while Anne Hathway plays a wonderful Fantine, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette (which still plays a decent actress almost the same as Sophie from Mamma Mia!) the boys like Eddie Redmayne and Aaron Tveit as Marius and Enjolras make you want to fight for their cause, and last but not least, the perfect comical duo Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers. Samantha Barks also played a wonderful Epenine as she did in the Broadway musical.
This film is recommended for all ages. For the drama, comedy and musical people at heart, it serves its purpose in showing how Les Miserables were truly miserable!
Les Miserables is often called France's national story, but it's a
story the whole world loves. So, its story's a winner, but what does
this movie bring to its telling?
All the key elements of the musical have been kept. The movie does add two things at the start that the play could not. Views of the French countryside let us see how far the government could reach to continue hounding Jean Valjean. More importantly, Hugh Jackman shows us a dirty, wounded beast of a man. Jean Valjean's papers labeled him a dangerous man, and his injured spirit and anger made him more dangerous than even he knew. This makes the transformation by kindness that much stronger.
This movie also brings in a tad too many shots of singing heads. Cinematography should be something you notice only after watching the movie. I noticed it, but this wasn't enough to derail my enjoyment as I watched. This movie develops the story at a good pace: moving along without rushing things.
Some have criticized the vocals. I'll admit, if this movie was "Javier Sings," it would have fallen short of a good experience. On the other hand, with Russell Crowe's force of presence, his raw vocal style complements his performance. Overall, the staging, the pacing, and the acting enforce the drama of its music.
Les Miserables is one of the great stories of the human spirit, and this movie delivers its full impact.
The epic musical Les Miserables tells the story of a man named jean Valjean played by Hugh Jackman set during the dawn of the French revolution. After serving 19 years as a slave because he stole a loaf of bread, he breaks parole and spends years reinventing himself as a new man. Jean is being hunted by officer Javert played by Russell Crowe, who swears he will not rest until Jean is behind bars. While running from Javert, Jean Valjean finds himself caring for a factory workers young daughter, Cosette. The young child changes his life forever.Les Miserables is honestly one of the greatest films I have ever seen. This film is almost three hours long and I still wanted it to go on longer. Les Miserables is a very well known Broadway musical and it stays so true to the play it is unbelievable. Not a single word is off. However, the one thing that changes for the better is they made the movie easier to understand and follow. I have been a huge fan of Les Mis for a long time and I know almost every single song by heart. I was trying so hard not to start singing along with the film, the musical score was amazing. The whole film is better than I could have ever hoped for, but seeing this tale up on the big screen was phenomenal! The visuals and special effects are truly breathtaking. It is set in France at the beginning of the French revolution when life for the poor was awful and life for the rich was grand. They capture the hard times of the streets perfectly by using dark colors and wonderful lighting contrasts. I loved seeing the world of Les Mis on a grand scale and it is exactly as I imagined it would be. I love this entire movie so much that when it was over I immediately wanted to see it again. I'm definitely going to see it again when it comes out in theaters. I have so many scenes that I love so much, but my favorites are the Lovely Ladies scene and the Master of the House scene. I like the Lovely Ladies scene because that's where Fantine, Cosette's mother turns to the streets as a home after losing her job at the factory. It is a wonderful musical number and Anne Hathaway's performance is amazing! It is so historically accurate showing how people would do anything to make a quick penny from selling their teeth, to chopping off their hair, it was hard for everyone. I also love the Master of the House scene because it is so hilarious. It has Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the innkeeper and his wife. They con people into staying the night at their inn, then trick them into never leaving. They are so crafty and hilarious and they rob everyone blind. This scene is so clever and hilarious. Sacha and Helena make an amazing duo. I love all of the characters equally, but I'll only pick a few to talk about. Jean Valjean is a truly amazing character and Hugh Jackman brings him to life so well. Hugh's talents are really shown off during this film and I was very impressed by him. Fantine, played by the remarkable Anne Hathaway is a very memorable character. Anne is perfect as Fantine and this was, in my opinion, her best role. The last character that I really enjoyed is Eponine played by Samantha Barks. Eponine sings all of my favorite Les Mis songs and her incredible duo of A Little Fall of Rain with Eddie Redmayne. A little fun fact is that Samantha Marks played Eponine in the Broadway version of Les Mis. Overall, I give Les Miserables 5 out of 5 stars because it is truly the most amazing film I've seen in a long time and it far surpassed my expectations. This film is definitely for ages 13 and up because of the dark period it is set in and the violence and cruelty that occurs. Raven Devanney, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
In this cinematic operatic production of Victor Hugo's ma gnus opus, there is beautiful color, superb acting, and grand singing. The poor, miserable, and destitute people of early-eighteenth-century France are depicted well. Hugh Jackman came across well as the horribly mistreated Jean Valjean, and Russell Crowe was definitely cruel, heartless, and horrible as the mean Officer Javert. Anne Hathaway made you sympathize with her in her role as the anemic mother of Cosette, and the little Cosette was a heart-stealer, and you can't do anything but feel love and sympathy for her because of the mistreatment of her by the Thenadiers: it was easy to fall in love with her when she became a girl of roughly twenty years of age. While I did like the singing, it maybe made the movie comical in places. But again, It maintained my attention well and is bound to be one of Universal's most outstanding productions.
Tom Hooper's emotional wallop of a film is easily the biggest spectacle
in recent years. It's a lavish musical that hasn't been seen since
"Chicago" took a stab at it back in 2003, complete with intricate and
ornate sets, lush costumes, and of course, singing. Lots of singing. In
fact, there's only singing, and while it may take a bit of getting used
to, the skill and expertise of the actors is put on display in a rare
and marvelous way that no one dare not appreciate. The film, based on
both Victor Hugo's sprawling novel as well as the famed Broadway
production, takes us into 19th-century France, where Jean Valjean (Hugh
Jackman), who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman
Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole, agrees to care for
factory worker Fantine's (Anne Hathaway) daughter, Cosette (Amanda
Seyfried), a fateful decision that changes all of their lives forever.
Throw in a couple of hilarious scene-stealing performances by Sacha
Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, and a solid turn by young Eddie
Redmayne, and you've got a a minor casting miracle on your hands. What
makes this film really stand out among musicals is the choice to use
live singing on set. No voice-overs or dubbing of any kind here. Every
word and note are presented as they were sung on set, raw and true. The
result is both refreshing and gritty, lending a darker edge to a
usually uplifting genre. While the title may suggest great sadness, the
power and triumph and beauty of life in this grand film cannot be
overcome, and I challenge anyone to emerge from this film feeling
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am very impressed that Director Tom Hooper who Directed "The Kings
Speech" attempted this project. While I have never seen the live
Broadway production, this is the most impressive musical I have seen in
a long time. Since there are very few directors with any experience
with musicals, that makes Hooper's ambition even more impressive.
It is strange the movie going public is so hung up on the stars that people complain - this one can sing, that one can't. Those kind of narrow minded individuals would miss this movie. I see from some reviews they already have.
The main goals of a musical are - does it tell the story? In the case of this movie- yes, it tells the story very well.
Are the songs and sequences staged to move the film through the story? Even though this is a long movie, yes that is how this movie proceeds.
Are the sets and backdrops a help to the story? Is the screen adaption well written? Are the real basics of who, what where when and how explained to the audience? From what I saw in a packed theater, yes, without a doubt.
I did not look up the cast for this movie before I went. Quite frankly, I went because I had heard so much a about how good the movie is. I honestly think from what I saw on the screen, you could have had almost any cast in front of the camera with Hopper Directing this script and the resulting film would still be outstanding.
That is what I say a great film is all about, great story, great sets, great direction, and based on great material. Victor Hugo was one of the great writers and this screen adaption proves it.
I do not see where any 1 person in this cast really carries the movie, but the story sure does. Because of that, when I saw the names on the screen at the end of the film, I was surprised. When they were on screen they were all in character. That is what a great film is all about.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had read Les Mis years ago and when I knew it was coming out as a
movie, I did homage to Mr. Hugo and re-read the whole book before
seeing it on screen. (I would recommend that anyone attempting to read
the book read an abridged version. Hugo inter-disperses several
lengthy, somewhat annoying essays on such topics as the development of
the sewer system underneath Paris, a complete account of the battle of
Waterloo, and a study on convent life. While this may prolong the sense
of knowing the characters by taking such a LONG time to read the book--
one of the longest ever written-- for me, it does nothing for the plot,
which superior in every way and perfect without all the padding).
I cried from the moment I saw Jean Valjean in his hideous and worn condition and through his sung prayer to God. When Fantine delivers the Song To End All Songs, I was covered in tears and sobs. When Enjolas and the other brave insurgents are dropped one by one like flies, I bled along with them. And when Jean Valjean sees the Angel Fantine bringing him to heaven as he dies, I could not see the screen.
Just a few quibbles: why the writers choose to omit certain very dramatic details in the storyline I do not know: the fact that Lavoche is an abandoned son of the Thendiers is ignored-- he being also sister to Eponine. The two little wandering brothers are also omitted (along with the unnecessary Azelma). I thought the the song "Bring Him Home" should have been sung in the sewer-- it would have made a greater impact if it had. Otherwise it was flat and unmeaningful where it was placed. I was not happy with the choice of Bonam Carter or Baron Cohen for the Thenadiers-- I heard Geoffrey Rush was being considered for Thenadier and he would have nailed it. Thenadier, moreover, is described as a short man, and The Thenadier as an ugly, bearded women-- hardly Ms Carter! Why also did they not color Valjean's hair white when it says clearly his hair went "white overnight"? That would have added another macabre touch where so many others such details were realized. (I also did not appreciate the scene of some girl grinding in bed with Santa Claus-- young children are coming to see this movie and the groans of orgasm do not need to be heard either.) Eponine, to save Marius' life, is shot through the hand into her breast, yet they choose not to show this,which was significant and would have cost little to do in the prosthetic department. It would have been good to have even one shot of Fantine with Cosette when she was a baby, to show how much she loved her, as well as her momentary relationship with the young man-- otherwise the meaning of her selfless actions are not as poignant. Yes, she gets her teeth pulled, but it was her TWO FRONT TEETH-- I know Hathaway got ugly for the scene, but couldn't she cut her hair off AND sing with a hollow prosthetic device? Maybe that cannot be done but more should have been shown to show some spaces in her mouth. You imagine getting your teeth pulled-- without anesthesia- to help your daughter!
I am giving the movie only 9 stars because of these points, with which would have made it just perfect. Actors: Jackman better win the Oscar, even if Day-Lewis looks and acts just like Lincoln. Hathaway should win the Oscar for her song alone. Crowe, whom I love so much as an actor-- especially as John Nash, did an admirable job considering he is not a Broadway singer-- I did feel his performance was stifled-- he could have been Javert but not been stifled in every single way. There were moments where you see his cruelty to Valjean and they are excellent. Marius is sweetly played as he ought to have been. Cosette looks just like Cosette should, and sings like a Lark, a little bird, which was her nickname. Enjolas-- now this is a star in the making. This young man CAN SING, he had fire, if it was not his own blonde hair it was still gorgeous. The Thenadiers I already noted.
I cannot wait until this comes out on DVD-- it really was excellently done!!!! Live singing from now on in all movie musicals!!!!
Today was the second time I watched Les Miserable.
The first time I tried hard not to cry because I'm manly like that, and I actually succeeded but my eyes were still kinda red...
The second time I thought, "Ha! I've watched it already. Now I can see all the ladies sniffle and weep!"
But damn, when I watched it this second time, I COMPLETELY LOST IT, and I'm still trying to figure out why. (I'm a guy by the way.)
And that, my fellow readers, is what's so brilliant about this movie.
Frankly, I can't even remember the last time a movie was so successful at making even tough guys like me cry.
I won't spoil the movie in this review, because if you like great music... and if you want an emotional ride... then really... you should go watch it if you haven't already.
The singing was excellent. Some people didn't like Russell Crowe's singing, but I thought he was just fine. It's just that he isn't very "Russell Crowey" in terms of singing lol.
The acting was perfect, especially from Hugh Jackman. Don't believe me? Just notice how most people cry during his scenes.
I thought the way the movie was put together, was simply magical.
I don't watch musicals often. In fact, musicals to me or most people of
the later generation are at times out dated and pushed aside by more
louder, boom boom type films.
This film, however, I guarantee anyone will love it.
It was modern, but classical at the same time.
It was heart wrenching, but also up lifting.
and in its imperfection, we discover perfection.
The modernity of this film is set in its spatial and stage design. By using familiar, modern shots but combined with classical context and substance, people of all ages and generation will find it pleasing without being mundane.
and the heart wrenching theme of this novel and film setting is brought out with meaning and power through the strength of the acting and the direction resolve. it makes us care and wonder and think of something more than the tragedy that is the end of this film. it gives us hope.
lastly, the raw, realistic imperfections that seem out of the ordinary and maybe even bohemian in traditional film making is what set this film apart with not only films that are in the same category, but all films.
from the chosen actors and actresses, to the raw perfect synergy of singing and normal speech, we get the best possible balance of all.
this film covers, like its synopsis says, so many facades of life and emotions that this film is a perfect spectacle and embodiment of what it means to be humanity.
definitely buying the DVD, it's worth it.
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