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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Movie Thoughts: Les Misérables

Posted by Irish in Movie Thoughts9 Comments

Title: Les Misérables (Official site)
Tag Line: Fight. Dream. Hope. Love.
Release Date: 25 December 2012

Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 157 min
Genres: Drama, Romance, Musical
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Where Seen: Theatre
Production Company: Working Title Films, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Director(s): Tom Hooper
Writer(s): Claude-Michel Schönberg (book), Alain Boublil (book), Victor Hugo (novel), 
Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics), and William Nicholson (screenplay)

Stars: Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Sacha Baron Cohen (Thénardier), Helena Bonham Carter (Madame Thénardier), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), Aaron Tveit (Enjolras), Samantha Barks (Éponine), and Daniel Huttlestone (Gavroche)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Growing up one of my favorite things to do was to go to the theatre with my mom and my sister. Oh I loved the movies but there was just something magical about seeing a musical on the stage. My mother would take weekend trips to NYC with my sister and aunt and they’d come back all aglow with the latest show they’d seen and I couldn’t wait until I was deemed old enough to go with them. But I wasn’t theatreless as my mom would often bring us to see musicals at the Providence Performing Arts Center and while not as grand as a NYC Broadway production they were still really good shows. These visits to the theatre sparked a life long love for me for the musical performance and they remain my preferred stage production. Its been a long time since I’ve seen the live version of Les Misérables but you can imagine my excitement when I heard that it was being made into a movie. 

At first I was a little wary when I heard about the star studded ensemble cast that would populate this movie but once I saw the first previews I knew that my fears were in vain. In my opinion I think that all the actors did a wonderful job in their roles. Especially Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne who brought tears to my eyes with their versions of I Dreamed a Dream and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. I also loved Daniel Huttlestone in every scene that he was in. Huttlestone was really talented and I think he has an amazing stage and screen career ahead of him. 

I liked how the movie contained almost all of the songs in the stage version of Les Misérables but I was disappointed in how they shortened most of them and then didn’t include them in the order that they appeared on stage. Though as the movie was already clocking in at almost 3 hours I do understand why many of the songs were shortened. Because while a stage production might get a nice intermission for the audience to stretch and take a break movie goers have no such luxury. And if I am honest I was a little stiff by the end of the movie. But I was also lost in the magic of the production for Les Misérables was visually stunning and I forgot that I was sitting in a theatre as I watched. 

For me, I was able to see some flaws in the stage to screen adaptation of Les Misérables but they weren’t enough to take away my love of the film for what it was. This is definitely a movie that I would recommend seeing and I think that most who know the stage version will enjoy it as well. Although I do know of a few people who really did not like it but as with books that is what makes us all human. I really loved this movie and I can’t wait until its on DVD and I can see it again. Until then though I’ll have the soundtrack to sing along to.

9 Responses to “Movie Thoughts: Les Misérables”

  1. Dana @ Little Lovely Books

    I only saw this after a friend’s big, hunk of a trucker husband saw it and loved it. My reaction was the reaction I have to every musical I’ve ever seen… I spent the first 30 minutes wishing they would stop singing and then end up loving it by the end. It was sweeping and grand and the actors did such a lovely, wonderful job. Glad I saw it in theaters for sure!

  2. Becca Lostinbooks

    I thought it was a really great film. Hugh Jackman was disappointing, though. Especially on some of the last songs he sounded very nasally. He is supposed to be this Broadway star but I thought almost everyone else was a better singer. Not many people liked Russell Crowe in it but I thought he had exceptional range. I also that Eddie Redmayne was wonderful and that Anne Hathaway deserves an Oscar.

  3. Jenna

    I love Les Mis. And I thought the movie did a pretty great job of portraying the play. Now I need to read the book.

    Anna Hathaway was phenomenal in the movie.


  4. QNPoohBear

    I’ve seen it twice. My sister surprised me with tickets to the preview at the PPM. I liked it but it wasn’t as good as seeing it live. Russell Crowe was terrible and Sashca Barrett Cohen wasn’t good either. I was so annoyed at the changing of the order of the songs and cutting some short in favor of a whole new song. It lacked some of the emotional connection of seeing it live. A full review is on my blog.
    QNPoohBear <--- obsessed with Les Mis

  5. Vivien

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen this yet. But I can’t wait to!! I’ve been so excited for months. It looks like it’s SO good.