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Les Misérables being my first Les Miz experience as well as my first
ever musical cinema experience turned out to be amazing.
The story is great and in parallel to the 19th century French era which is one of my few areas of interest. The intricacy at which the script revolves around the lead characters and some trivial plot kings is marvelous and unlike Cloud Atlas blunder, everything gels here to bring out a perfect musical.
Hugh Jackman is great, so is Russell Crowe but I didn't like Hathway much, maybe because of a personal whim since I saw The Princess Diaries. Anyways, I also think Amanda Seyfried and her reel-life lover were sidelined and that instead of Sacha & Carter having their names in the promotional posters, I would've wanted their names to come up. Well I am no marketing executive..
Music is exceptional and choreography is good, too. The lyrics of the pieces are just so true and extraordinary that I fell in love with the verses - of all aspects.
Bottom line is that even though it just tries very hard to complete the story in about 150 minutes, Les Misérables is a perfect blend which you can enjoy with your family! This one's got emotions like real life!
BEST THING ABOUT Les Misérables: soundtrack, lyrics and music.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Language: No | Sex: Mild | Foreplay: No | Violence: Very Strong | Nudity: Mild | Alcohol: No | Smoking: No | Mouth-Kiss: Mild
This film is stunning! As one who cried through most of the stage show, I wondered if this would have the same effect. It did! Anne Hathaway's 'I Dreamed a Dream' is heartbreaking, she did it beautifully, and Hugh Jackman's voice is fabulous. Amanda Seyfried has the sweetest, purest voice and Eddie Redmayne played a dashing Marius. People had mentioned in reviews that the camera work was a little odd but I thought it conveyed the feeling of being on the stage, where we tend to look directly at the person singing, so I had no problem with it at all. The weakest link, for me, was Mr Crowe whose voice was poor next to the others. Had he not been alongside so many fantastically strong singers it may not have been so noticeable but, sadly, he fell a little flat in comparison. This is my first review as I felt so strongly about it I just HAD to write one! GO AND SEE IT! IT'S AMAZING!
I've said many times to friends when I hear about certain projects like
adapting Les Miserables as a musical I'm usually skeptical. Then as
often as not I'm proved wrong and I'm happy to say I was proved wrong
here. Les Miserables is far more than a musical, it has the same epic
quality that dramatic film versions I've seen, most particularly the
1935 film with Fredric March and Charles Laughton.
As for the musical score the only show I can compare with this is Porgy And Bess, a much simpler story on not so broad a canvass, but still with an epic quality. Both Les Miserables and Porgy And Bess slip ever so surreptitiously into a category of music some might call opera. In another century Les Miserables might very well be labeled an opera.
And it's interesting in that the leads are done and well by a pair of non-singers Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and his tormentor Inspector Javert played by Russell Crowe. Neither are exactly trained voices, but they get the musical score delivered. Hugh Jackman got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, the film for Best Picture and a flock of other nominations for technical categories.
And it brought a Best Supporting Actress Award to Anne Hathaway as the tragic Fantine. I always thought Anne was overlooked when she played Jake Gyllenhaal's wife in Brokeback Mountain, that she should have been nominated that year. Nice to see the Academy made it up to her this year.
The success of Les Miserables on Broadway and in film once again shows that there is indeed a market for the classics when they're intelligently made. Besides Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables took home Oscars for Sound and for Makeup. It seems to have an appeal for folks in my age bracket who went to school in the Sixties. The revolutionary ardor of the students fomenting rebellion in the years of Orleanist France seems to strike a familiar note with those who marched in protests. Even so with young people today who like to identify with the young of that era in France lost in a cause much bigger than their own individual lives are.
And I think it will be so in the future.
I'm at odds with myself. Did I like this movie because it is a really good movie, or am I so wired into the music that I'm no longer objective. When the 25th anniversary video came out, I couldn't wait to get it. I was not disappointed. I had seen the stage play a couple times and listened to the Original Cast album countless times. The concert was terrific. If I had to, I'd say I would prefer it to this movie. Yet it is apples and oranges. Les Miserables has been done so many times, but in dramatic form. There are relatively new versions as well as the 1940's version. My eighth grade teacher played a piece of one of them called "The Bishop's Candlesticks" where Jean Valjean commits his life to paying back the old man. We had read this chapter and it was kind of cool to talk about. This is a very nice version of both play and musical. It is stunningly visual, recreating the world of the rebels, trying to face off against insurmountable odds. The casting here is excellent, though I wonder how these people would handle the theatre stage. Anne Hathaway is probably one of the saddest presences in all of movie history. She sings the saddest of songs and hands the raising of her daughter to a man she barely knows. Russell Crowe is Javert and he sings with emotion and intensity (though much less operatic than the role usually is). Hugh Jackman has the versatility to play the man who must face his god and pay a price to the law. He has a very nice voice though at times it's hard to imagine him aging as he does. I looked forward to this film and I felt good about seeing it. There is spectacle and fear; everything is truly operatic. It worked for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Les Miserables is possibly one of the best musicals ever written and up on the silver screen kids of every age can enjoy it! Of course there are certain critiques; The beginning feels kind of rushed, Valjean's early life kind of just flies by. The characters Fantine and Eponine's stories are a bit rushed as well and they each lose pieces if not entire songs but the point they are supposed to make is still relayed. The music is just as powerful as it was in the play or the concerts, and the acting was phenomenal. Anne Hathaway is a shoo in for victory when the Oscars role around. These new takes on the characters are as refreshing as a cool drink of water on a hot summer's day; They let you see different and new characteristics of their personalities (such as Fantine's hate or Cosette's resentment.) You cry at every turn with this movie, ten minutes in your tears are prickling your eyes and half an hour in you've completely succumb to the suffering and anguish of these wonderful characters. If you are watching this in the comfort of your home you cannot help but start to sing along to all of your favorite tunes. (I know I was having trouble remaining silent in the theater.) The costume designs were gorgeous (even though some might say that some of the female characters were heavily under-dressed for the times) as the red, blue and even grays of the movie catch your eye and you find yourself sitting back trying to take it all in, wanting every little detail to remain safe in your memory. This movie was well put together and very well casted as none of the cast disappoints in their portrayal of these infamously famous characters. Special props go to the newcomers to the silver screen Samantha Barks, Isabelle Allen and Danielle Huttlestone who definitely held their own with the seasoned actors of Hollywood. This movie gets nine stars out of ten because they left out some catchy songs, it could have been twenty minutes longer and because no movie is perfect.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have never read or seen Les Mis before, but now understand it's endurance on Broadway and as a classic piece of literature. This movie is more of an experience than a "movie" and my teen daughter and I left with much to discuss. Anne Hathaway's performance and singing were breathtaking and I still get teary just thinking about it. The entire cast deserve Academy Awards in my book-every character was believable, and created a simply breathtaking performance. It is simply not possible to gush enough. Bring your Kleenex and prepare to be blown away. The only problem both my daughter and I noticed (which was very minor) were the English accents displayed-french revolution should equal french accents, non? M'ais oui!
I went into this movie quite determined to love it, if not like it as well. It's one of my favorite musicals, and the cast includes some of my favorite actors, so my bias is there. Well, i love it, and like it quite a bit too. It is a wonderful big-screen realization of a wonderful stage production. The cast does outstanding work, and the orchestration is superb as well. This film deserves Oscar nominations for acting, scoring, art direction/set decoration and costume design. I thought the editing could have been somewhat tighter. And i was put off by the new song that was included in the middle of the movie, which slowed down the plot development unnecessarily. In fact, i wished instead of the new song, the more enjoyable Little People number could have been used in full. Stand-out song performances included Anne Hathaway (I Dreamed a Dream), Russell Crowe (Stars), Hugh Jackman (Who Am I?), Eddie Redmayne (Empty Chairs and Empty Tables) and Daniel Huttlestone (Look Down). Those who are not familiar with the story may wish to check out the non-musical Les Miserables with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush first, before catching this musical version.
I have never been able to comprehend what anybody hears in this
"musical." The score is a trite, repetitious, uninspired and
unmemorable collection of chords that go nowhere and say nothing. For
as many times as I have heard and seen this show, none of its music
sticks in my mind's ear...and I say that as a musician. Ask me to hum a
few bars of this aria or the other, and I can't. It's THAT unmemorable.
The limited musical vocabulary of the composer(s) of this score is
The score imagines itself to be more like an opera than a musical as every single line of dialog and "song" is intoned. I say "intoned" rather than "sung," because song - from which singing derives - requires a melodic line which rises and falls, and which reinforces the text being sung. Much of Le Mis is sung on a single tone, extended speech, as it were, that grows boring in very quick order. It's like a trip to an old Roman Catholic church where all of the monks were unfortunately monotones. I have visions of the composer writing a single note as a placeholder for 15 pages of music, with the idea that he'll come back later and write the actual melody...only he never did!
This music is ghastly stuff! It's The Emperor's New Clothes in musical guise. To quote Gertrude Stein, "there's no there there" when it comes to the music.
And so along comes this movie which drops this horrible, uninteresting score into the hands of a bevy of actors who couldn't sing "Mary Had A Little Lamb" were a gun put to their heads. There is more awful singing per minute in this movie than in any other musical in history. Much has been made of the director insisting that his actors actually sing their intonations on set, rather than syncing to a prerecorded soundtrack. BAD IDEA, because what we as an audience get to witness are the contortions and physical agonies many of these "singers" go through to emit the simplest of musical thought. This is not art. This is the amateur hour, a hack show of, well, epic proportions.
Singers who actually know how to sing "give their all" NOT through convoluted and obviously painful and visible tensions in the throat and body, but by having a singing technique that allows them to produce their basic sound freely, with emotion and drama added to what is, in fact, a balanced and easily produced sound. Of course, the masses see this physical distress as a singer "giving their all," rather than what it actually is - ie: a singer struggling against themselves to produce the effect they desire. Can one imagine admiring an athlete for whom simply putting one foot in front of the other in a foot race was the hardest thing to do in life? No, we'd say "that person is an amateur who hasn't a clue as to what it means to run a race." Yet in this 2012 version of Les Mis, we are supposed to praise amateurs for their INABILITY to sing. Pathetic.
But does it matter? The truth is that one could drop the finest singers in history into this "musical," and they would still be stuck performing the musical equivalent of singing the phone book.
Dreadful, dreadful stuff. The stuff of adult nightmares, in fact.
Were there a "zero" rating available, I'd give it to this turkey.
I actually loved Phantom of the Opera, watched it 3 times. Thought I'd give this one a chance. After 45 minutes I shut it off. Ann Hathaway was just awful and Hugh Jackman wasn't any better. I never gave Crow a chance to see if he was any better. BORING- BORING. Glad I didn't waste my time and money to see it in the theater. There was way to MUCH singing, would have been better if at least half of it were just talking. Phantom was also singing when the time was right, but there was half of it just speaking too. If you want to watch the story, and it really is a good story, watch the one with Liam Neison and Jeffery Rush, excellent movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start off by saying I was really looking forward to the film,
and I love musicals. I haven't seen the stage version or read the book
or watched any other film adaptations, so I knew absolutely nothing
about it. When the film started, I thought it was the lamest thing
ever. The singing was a bit off and everything felt awkward to watch.
And then Anne Hathaway showed up, and I cried like a baby 5 minutes
later. Seeing a close-up of her singing "I Dreamed a Dream" in one take
is easily the best part in the film. And when she died, it's apparent
the film's strongest asset was gone.
After that, I was counting the minutes to the end credits. I didn't care for any of the other characters. In fact, the poor story leaves a lot to be desired: Why does Fantine die? No reason. Why does Jean Valjean die? No reason. Why do Cosette and Éponine like Marius? No reason. There is absolutely no build-up or development to make these choices feel motivated. Why should I feel sorry for Éponine? Why should I want Cosette and Marius to be together? Why the hell did Éponine sacrifice herself to save Marius?
After asking all these questions, the answer is obvious: The filmmakers are trying to make the audience cry. You throw logic out the window and aim for their hearts. Why do these incomprehensible and completely unmotivated scenes happen? So we would cry and feel sorry for these characters. Some people fell for it. I didn't. I saw how emotionally manipulative it all was, and I was honestly bored by it all. Imagine sitting in the theater for over 150 minutes being told to "CRY. WEEP FOR THESE MISERABLE PEOPLE." It gets funny after awhile.
If some people liked the film, fine, but I didn't care for it. I didn't care for the miserable characters in it. They aren't characters. They are plot devices to make people cry.
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