Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Les Miserables Review
Well, I saw it. The very first showing at my local movie theatre. I've loved the musical for nearly 10 years and me being a huge fan of the musical genre, my hopes were high. Was I disappointed?
NOPE!!! It was truly terrific, the direction was fantastic, and the singers live performances really gave the film a unique boost that made it all powerfully work. I think it succeeded in creating a new creation of it and not just copying the musical or botching it. The epic look of the film was also superb. The sets were SPECTACULAR!! AS were the costumes, but THE SETS! Wow!!!! I personally love the category of Best Art Direction and I really want it to win that category!!
Now the performances. Hugh Jackman was great. He takes a challenging role and does a terrific job at it. His singing is a bit off key on the high notes, but that's fine and all his ballads work. It's amazing how he can play all the different variations and transformations of Valjean so well. I'm not sure if he was better then Daniel Day Lewis, but I'll have to see Lincoln again because I had trouble understanding a lot of the political stuff in it. As for Anne Hathaway, I thought she was fantastic. She brought so emotion and commitment to the part of Fantine and she makes her character arc build and build to a truly gut-wrenching explosion of emotion. I sure hope she wins the Oscar, as much as I love Sally Field in Lincoln. The rest of the cast was very good too, though Russel Crowe doesn't add enough vitality and power to Javert. He understands the character, but never fully brings him to life. He gets better as the film goes on and he's not nearly as bad as people say, but I still prefer Phillip Quast from the 10th Anniversary Version. Eddie Reymane and Samantha Barks are very strong as Marius and Eponine respectfully, but Reymane is a bit too puny to be Marius when compared to Michael Ball. Amanda Seyfried is fine as Cosette, but the part is small and I missed Judy Kuhn. The Enjolras is nothing compared to Michael Maguire, but who could compare? The Thenardiers are fun, but you can't help feel Sacha Baren Coen and Helena Bonham Carter might be miscast in the parts, though she fares better then he does.
So my overall grade is probably a 4 and a half, because it is not perfect (It runs a little long and some of the changes are lacking, like the thenardiers seeing Valjean for an additional time and the tooth pulling in Lovely Ladies), but what art in this world isn't perfect? And what's here is spectcbular and first rate all around.