Sunday, January 27, 2013

Les Mis - Film Review

Before I start I should admit I have never seen the stage show.  There, I've said it.  I know, it's disgraceful etc. etc. but the fact is I had a teacher in school that absolutely drooled over it and it put me off for life.  Only the epic movie trailer changed my mind.

I think I must be the only person in the world that didn't like the Les Miserables movie.  More and more facebook statuses are coming at me with tales of floods of tears and hearts touched and I'm starting to think I have a heart of stone.  But then I remember that, no, I actually just don't like Acting.  The culprit here is Hugh Jackman.  What's so disappointing here is that he can actually sing (check Happy Feet and Flushed Away for example), but in Les Mis he gives such a Performance and really puts his all into Singing that it leaves me cold. I don't have anything against vibrato per se, it's just not necessary on every single note, and when it is clearly not natural for your voice, but put on for the Musical Performance, it really ruins it.  Honestly it's not over stating it to say I was relieved when he died.

Now the even more controversial part....I liked Russell Crowe's performance. Here is a man that can play a baddie so sensitively that you totally understand where he is coming from.  I mean the words are all there in the songs, but I believed it from Crowe. And yes, I nearly shed a tear at his demise. I felt more akin to him than to Jean Valjean.  Maybe that says more about me than about the acting.

Yes, Hathaway was incredible, and the fact that everyone is saying it might water it down a bit but it's true.  Who knew?  She was amazing.  Ditto Eddie Redmayne.  Beautiful.  However the real star of the show for me was Aaron Tveit.  Who?  Indeed.  Young American, and boy can that guy sing.  I could have watched the revolutionaries for the entire movie.  I actually wished I had done I'd have left feeling happier.

As a side note, Samantha Barks has the thinnest waist I think I have seen in the modern age.  Apparently she was discovered on a reality talent show.  She was fabulous and let's be honest here, given the choice between Eponine and Cosette only a fool would go for the latter.

And finally...why make the first scene so epic when the rest of it is quite stagey?  How incongruous and misleading to those of us quite uninitiated.

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