So my husband asked me what I would like to do for my birthday this year. (I will be hitting the big 40 on Saturday.) I was able to convince him to take me to see Les Miserables. I have been wanting to see this film for awhile now and it seemed like a good time to get payback for all the action/Superhero movies I have sat through in the past year. (Avengers, anyone? Eeek.) He got a bit squirmy a few times, but he made it through like a champ! I had a hard time not bursting out singing in the middle of the theater. I held back the tears though, although an older couple in front of us were holding each other by the end and bawling.
Here is my two cents about the film:
Overall, it held up quite well to the Broadway musical. I enjoyed the fact that the actors actually did “live” takes of their songs and it wasn’t pre-taped and lip synched. You could truly read the emotions and passion on their faces as they sang. That process made all the difference in the world.
From the beginning shot of Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, I knew he would steal the show. His transformation into a slave was incredible. He was barely recognizable due to his weight loss and his hair cut short. His voice was wonderful throughout and he deserves all the accolades he has been receiving. (My husband kept waiting for Wolverines claws to come out and kill everyone. Would have made it a completely different, yet entertaining movie!)
LOVED Anne Hathaway as Fantine. The fact that she allowed her hair to be chopped off to keep the authenticity of the role made Fantine seem so much more real. Her version of “I Dreamed a Dream” blew me away. I was hoping her character would live longer so I could hear more of her beautiful voice. Anne has come a LONG way from the Princess Diaries!
As for Russell Crowe…His acting as Javert was great. He definitely embraced the character. But, as for his singing…maybe he could have used a few more vocal lessons. It was good for what it was, but it couldn’t hold up to the other voice talents in the film. I honestly have to say it took me out of the movie a bit.
Amanda Seyfried was wonderful as Cosette. Her vocals, as always, were impeccable. Some of her high notes blew me away. She played quite well off of Hugh Jackman and Eddie Redmayne. The only time I almost shed tears was at the end when Jean Valjean is dying (Sorry. Spoiler alert!) and Cosette is weeping. Such beautiful acting by all.
Eddie Redmayne was perfect as Marius. I had never heard Eddie sing before, but was pleasantly surprised! He has such a beautiful tone. (Decent eye candy as well!) His scenes with both Amanda and Samantha Barks were wonderful.
Samantha Barks as Eponine was ingenious. It is hard to believe that this is her first feature film role! I had seen her play the role in the 25th Anniversary version of the musical. She was just as breathtaking on the big screen. Samantha’s version of “On My Own” was mesmerizing. That is my favorite song from the musical and she is now my favorite artist to sing it.
Isabelle Allen as young Cosette and Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche were adorable. Isabelle was spot on singing “Castle on a Cloud”. She was amusing while trying to get away from the innkeeper and his wife! Daniel was hilarious with “Little People”. Such a little bad ass! I knew his death scene (Again, sorry. Spoiler alert!) was imminent, but it still shocked me. I hated to see him go.
The parts that concerned me the most were of the innkeeper and his wife. When I heard that the wife would be Helena Bonham Carter, that seemed fitting. She always does wacky roles. When I heard Sacha Baron Cohen was cast as the innkeeper I wasn’t as thrilled. Never been a huge fan of his. He just seems like a total jerk to me. But, singing aside, they both did the roles justice. They were quite entertaining and I guess that is the bottom line.
Overall, I would say that I quite enjoyed the film. The music and vocal talents were outstanding and the acting was wonderful. I would easily recommend it to those that enjoy musicals and to those that need to get payback for all the action movies you have endured! (Love you hubby!) I would give it an 81/2 out of 10.