One comment on “Movie Review: Les Misérables

  1. Michael, really like your review. Just saw it and agree on almost all accounts. I love the stage show, so I was a little nervous going into the film.

    Thought Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Eddie Redmayne as Marius stood out. Had to look up Eddie Redmayne, but I kept thinking to myself, “Who is this kid playing Marius? He’s outstanding.”

    High points for me:
    – “I Dreamed a Dream” – Haunting
    – “Red and Black”
    – “In My Life”
    – “One Day More” – Medleys cutting between characters like “One Day More” are a strong point for the movie medium
    – “On My Own” – Thought Samantha Barks as grown Eponine was excellent here
    – The ending and the “Do You Hear the People Sing?” reprise – sweeping and powerful

    Not so high points for me:
    – Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter – I feel like the Thenardier characters provide more relief in the stage production. I know what the movie was going for but I just didn’t care for it.
    – Russell Crowe – You said it, he’s a good actor and filled the part just fine. But he doesn’t have the vocal range required of Javert. “Stars” should be a show-stopper and it was simply flat. Vocal give-and-take with Hugh Jackman was really one-sided.
    – “Castle on a Cloud” – I just don’t like this song. 🙂

    I did think it was cool to see the show “come to life” in the way a movie can deliver that a stage show never will. Most everything was visually impressive. The movie had a bit more of a narrative feel and was probably a little easier to “follow” compared to the stage show. Overall, the decision to let the characters sing their scenes rather than dubbing was a good call. I was prepared to dislike Anne Hathaway but I thought she did a great job.

    There’s just something special about the stage show. The entire crescendo that is Act I, leading to the building of the barricade and the epic “Do You Hear the People Sing?” And the vocal quality of stage actors blows the movie away.

    Overall, a satisfying movie, but everyone should see Les Miserables on the stage. Thanks for a great review.

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