Thursday, December 27, 2012

movie review: les miserables 2012

i was so excited to see this movie that i couldn't wait until opening day.
so on christmas eve when we discovered a 10pm showing, off i went with my sistren!

i've seen the musical 4 times on stage, grew up watching the 10th anniversary edition on VHS and probably can't quantify the number of hours i've spent playing/singing the songs on my parents' you might say i have a slight emotional attachment.

and to everyone who has complained that it has "too much singing"...
seriously, be gone from me.

my overall opinion? i loved it.
i knew going into this one that it would be different than the stage version, less broadway singing and more raw acting, which is exactly what it was. so while some of the singing could have been better, overall it was good for what i expected. i loved seeing the characters up close and the scenery was gorgeous, which are both advantages over the stage version.

let's do this character by character...

jean valjean
hugh jackman
he nails the raw emotion and acting. definitely could have done with more falsetto on "bring him home," because those final notes should not be belted in such a manner. i think he captures the desperation of the character quite perfectly, and really hits the bitterness-to-gentle-soul switch.


russell crowe
i feel like i want to give this guy a pat on the back because i know no one else will, but....yeah, could've used a whole lot more out of this character.


anne hathaway
same as valjean, nails the raw emotion and acting. i actually liked this character very much versus the usual operatic version -- it made her suffering seem more real. "i dreamed a dream" was nothing short of fantastic.


amanda seyfried
my best answer is probably "mehhh" but i always feel kind of "mehhh" about cosette so i wouldn't blame that on amanda seyfried necessarily. she nails the whole doe-eyed love-struck thing though, which makes sense because she seems to play the same character in all movies.


thenardier & wife
sacha baron cohen & helena bonham carter
given the actors (and the fact that i will perpetually picture carter as a harry potter villainess), i think i expected something nastier out of them. definitely quieter than the typical raucous stage version, but still, i think they did an acceptable job.


eddie redmayne
be. still. my. heart. you know, it could be hormones talking (or my undying love of freckles) (which would still be hormones i guess) but i really think he nailed the vocals. actually, "empty chairs at empty tables" was maybe my favorite in the show. if only we could get him to stop shaking so much when vibrato kicks in.


aaron tveit
same as marius, this guy rocked the vocals. one of my favorites in the cast and, yeah, homeboy can sing. i loved the chance to see this character up close, since i've never quite connected with him in the stage version.


samantha barks
admittedly, i expected more out of this one because i know she's been in the stage version. seems like she held back from belting it all out, but since that's the overall style of the movie maybe she was instructed to do it that way...? still, i liked her.


...and let's not forget that colm wilkinson, the original valjean actor, showed up as the bishop in this film. love that little treat!

aaaand that's a wrap!
have you seen it?
have you seen the stage version? thoughts?

RED the color of the raspberries in my oatmeal!
BLACK the color of the banana because i dropped it yesterday and bruised it!


Katie said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I was waiting [im]patiently for your review because I always trust your opinion!

Unknown said...

You forgot to mention that really awesome French army captain "give up or die" guy who had an almost distractingly great voice. Otherwise I agree heartily with your review.

katilda said...

Oh my gosh! Jeph I forgot to include it but I've said it to everyone. I leaned over to my sister and said, "Why is THAT guy not Javert??"

Becca said...

Oh goodness. I agree with this. Definitely. I was raised on this music and so I was hoping that that aspect would be better, but with the emotion I totally understand why it was the way that it was. I was a bit disappointed with Javert, but, what can ya do? Also, I was SOOOO not looking forward to Anne Hathaway as Fantine just because I've never really loved her, but the emotion that I felt from her was just so amazing. When they cut her hair, I almost started bawling cause...I have a strong emotional bond with my hair. Haha.

Becca said...

Oh yes. I almost could I forget? EDDIE REDMAYNE! What a good looking young man. Not to mention the voice. I agree with everything that you said about him. Freckles, shaking, and all! :)

Tyson J Oliver said...

Doing this character by character. I agree with everything, but would emphasize certain opinions more.
In defense of Amanda Seyfried, Cosette is an incredibly bland character. I think she did it justice. And if you think of the character, I think Russell Crowe did pretty solid. He's a pretty stiff, mechanical type of character.

katilda said...

That's a good point about Javert, my sister Monica said the same thing. I guess I would have liked his singing to be more...strong? He did the mechanical part right but maybe didn't have the religious-zealot-fervor vibe I prefer from Javert. I still love Russell Crowe though.

katilda said...

The part about your hair made my day. I always think it's so bold when actresses are willing to chop their hair for a role. Then again, if I got paid as much as they do...

Unknown said...

By the way, when they first showed the rebellion kids meeting in the street and the fuzz came around the corner, I had to physically restrain myself from yelling "Let's soak 'em for Crutchie!"

Anonymous said...

Ahh ive been dying to see this movie! Thanks for the review!

Sierra @ Sierra's View said...

Holy crap...I agree with you 110 percent on EVERYTHING you said. amen sista, amen.

Harley said...

bring him home was definitely a let down for me.

and the vibrato of that BOY! oh my heck. i just kept thinking... whoever trained him must be kicking themselves, but then again his is famous so maybe not.

WHY WAS HER WAIST SO SKINNY. instead of looking poor and hungry she looked anorexic to the max.

Monica Christiansen said...

Well here I was, about to comment on this post about how I actually liked Russell Crowe. And here it is. Written for me :) But yes, I liked him... but still could have used a moment or two of breaking out of his stone-cold persona. Would have shown more of his internal conflict.
But hey, maybe those moments ARE there.
Maybe I just need to see it again.
And again...
And again.....