I loved it.
After hearing all the commentary from my friends and family who’ve already seen it, I finally went to see Le Miserable over the weekend, slightly worried. Some have loved it, some have not, and I wanted to love it because I love the story of Le Mis and I love the musical Le Mis and I didn’t want to be disappointed.
It was everything I hoped it would be—dramatic, tragic, romantic, intense, and beautifully flawed.
It wasn’t meant to be a Broadway musical production, folks. It’s a cinematic musical production and therefore the application is going to be different. Their voices weren’t supposed to be perfect. It was supposed to be imperfect, like the characters in this story—like life.
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean stole the show. He was A-MAZ-ING. A friend of mine didn’t buy his portrayal of the hero because she said Wolverine shouldn’t sing, but I disagree.
Any actor who can play a rugged metal-structured superhero, then voice the Easter Bunny, and still look hot while hitting a high A wearing an English blouse and knickers, has a range to be reckoned with.
Over Christmas, I heard dramatic English tenor phenom Alfie Boe, fresh from the London production of Le Mis starring as Jean Valjean, sing Bring Him Home at the MoTab concert and it was indeed vocal perfection. No, Hugh’s rendition was certainly no comparison vocally, but it fit perfectly for the cinematic interpretation.
Anne Hathaway isn’t known for her pipes either, but her portrayal of Fantine in combination of acting and emotion in addition to her worthy vocal performance were spot on and beautifully heartbreaking.
Just before going to see the show I read an article about actress/singer Lea Michele and how she’d hoped to get the part of Eponine when they were casting the movie, but was disappointed when they cast Hollywood-unknown Samantha Barks. Though I’m not a Glee fan, I think Lea has one of the most incredible voices I’ve ever heard and I was interested to see who could possibly bump Lea for a part it seems she was born to play.
Samantha is certainly no Lea vocally, but as I watched her performance in perspective of the overall production I can see why she was chosen. Lea would have overpowered the part. While I would have LOVED to have heard her sing On My Own, it would actually have been too perfect for this particular application.
If there was one part of the movie that was a little too real and flawed for my taste, it was scenes at the Thenardier’s disgusting inn. I know the conditions for the lower French classes of the early 19th century were crude, but vivid portrayal seemed hardly necessary.
I closed my eyes through most of Master of House.
Helena Bonham Carter seriously needs to beg for A Room With a View sequel. Isn’t she tired of playing psychos?
Marius and Cosette were dreamy. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked the cast choice for Marius, but Eddie Redmayne grew on me quickly and I was smitten by the end.
Russell Crowe made up in intensity what he lacked vocally—almost. Did anyone check to see if Geoffrey Rush could sing? If so, he should have been recast as Javert since he nailed the part in the 1998 dramatic version.
I love when a movie makes me bawl, and not because I’m so glad it’s over.