Sometimes, it’s really worth your time, money and energy to attend the movies. If you want to see something you’ll really enjoy, go see Les Miserable.
Although nothing can trump seeing the live musical, this comes close. Unlike the play, you can see some unbelievable scenery and powerful camera shots. The costumes are realistic, and the makeup makes everyone look pretty miserable (the pathetic crowd). Since the movie is so up close, you get a better idea of the characters and their relationships to each other. You get to see the nuances of expression, and feel the characters emotions. I could lose myself in this movie, and I was unaware of the time it took to watch. (It is over 2 hours).
There’s been much made out of the fact that the director made the actors actually sing their parts instead of using recorded soundtracks. He also uses a lot of closeups. . You can actually see every mark on their faces, and some of their neglected looking teeth. I liked the fact that they were really singing when it was filmed.
Anne Hathaway plays Fantine to perfection, and her singing doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t take her long to turn into a prostitute. It’s almost painful to watch her go through her misery. Although she isn’t on screen that long, her part leaves a lasting impression.
Hugh Jackman makes a good Jean Valjean, our hero and makes a good transformation from a convict (stealing bread) to a moral person. He certainly looks pathetic in the beginning of the movie, and looks like a dashing hero for the rest of it. His voice is fairly strong, and his acting is excellent. If he doesn’t deserve an Oscar, I don’t know who does.
Russell Crowe has the least powerful voice in the production, but I think it’s adequate.( It seems hard to believe the director couldn’t find someone with a bigger voice to play the role.) He plays the villain, Javert convincingly I had heard he was inadequate in the part, so I was pleasantly surprised. I managed to hate him during the movie.
I think Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the slimy innkeepers steal the show when they’re on screen. They both have a lot of charisma that comes through even though their characters are unsympathetic. All the children in the production also do a terrific job, especially the little boy who plays a rebel.
My favorite female in this production was Samantha Brooks as Eponine. When she sings “On My own” in the rain, I loved it. She’s beautiful and has the voice we’ve come to expect when we see a live production of this show.
Amanda Seyfried as the adult Cosette was very believable. She looks the part and her voice is sweet.
If you’re looking for the biggest voices you’ve ever heard in this production, you might be disappointed, but the group choral numbers are quite strong, and Eddie Redmay as Marius lives up to expectations. If you’re looking for a moving story, fantastic scenery, a great reprieve, and something that will bring a tear to your eye, go see this movie.
I would give this production an A!
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean
Les Miserable, the movie
Samantha Barks as Eponine
Russel Crowe as Javert