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Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by KirbyCat 2012-12-25 02:24:10


I know there are countless threads on the Les Miz movie right now, but I don't see any official spot where people have started to chat it up in terms of what they thought post-opening.
I just saw a 10 PM showing of it, and it honestly took my breath away. I can't post my thoughts just yet, because I'm still kind of recovering... that said, I absolutely adored it. Beyond moving, and beyond gorgeous.

Also, a highlight of the film for me was "Master of the House." Absolutely hysterical. Sacha and Helena freaking killed it.

I'll be back to see it again within the next two days.

Les MisŁrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by TheatreDiva90016 2012-12-25 02:26:23


"I know there are countless threads on the Les Miz movie right now..."


So let me start another one!

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by JP2 2012-12-25 02:30:48


When I saw it last week I had the same experience as you in that I couldn't put it into words for a while.

I found it astonishing. Honestly, everything that the few detractors have complained about, I find absolutely compelling. The editing, the camera work, etc.

Eddie Redmayne, Anne Hathaway, and Hugh Jackman deserve every praise, nomination, and award they (should) receive.

My only minor complaint is Seyfried, but being Cosette, she's hardly there anyway.

Cannot wait to see it again.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ChanceEncounter 2012-12-25 02:36:40


The direction completely stunted the emotionality of it. Every solo being shot in extreme close up became dull and respective quickly and distracted from the songs. The performances were fine (I unlike a lot of people enjoyed Crowe's Javert) but I was severely underwhelmed by the film as a whole.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Rainbowhigh23 2012-12-25 02:47:25


I'm still processing what I saw, it was simply stunning. Not a dull moment or weak link. The Bishop at the end during Finale had me crying.

I saw it in Imax and it truly is an experience.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-25 03:10:21


I'm finding interesting parallels in opinions about the original stage production and the film in the area of direction.

Not many, but some people over the years have said how unimaginative they thought John Caird's and Trevor Nunn's taking a character, giving them the stage, and letting them own it for their big moment with little to no visuals and minimal blocking, was. And some would say it was a bore to see one person up there emoting for 3-4 minutes.

Now, with the film, people, not many, but some think Hooper's zooming into a character's face, essentially letting them own the film for their big moments, is also a bore.

My question is, is it a bore as in, there are no zipping camera movements and variety? No flashiness and eye candy? If that's the case, then I've always thought that to be the opinion of people who don't care much about the story and are there to be distracted for nearly 3 hours into skimming off the surface a story fed to them via simplistic cues. These are the people who just want to go and cry for three hours.

If that isn't the case, is there something about that technique of giving the character their moment that is somehow at fault? If so, why?

I've always found Caird's and Nunn's clearing the stage, making time stop, and handing it over to a character as a platform to elaborate about their internal situation to be absolutely brilliant and incredibly effective. It doesn't stop the story, it's like an elaboration of a detail connected to the bigger events before us, so by the time we reach that finale, we are acquainted with each character's inner conflict as well as the bigger picture, and that's why I personally feel swept away by it. I never cry from sadness. It's always from the uplift with this musical, which is why the finale is has me in a puddle of my own tears! And I leave the theatre inspired, motivated, and happy.

I will never understand why some people leave sad and in sorrow for Valjean's tragic death, LOL.

And I'm equally perplexed by the focus on the story at large and each character's internal story being said by some to be a terrible approach.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CHOOKA2 2012-12-25 03:31:13


Excuse me Kirby Cat-did we see the same movie?--Master of the House was a complete mess-there was nothing hysterical about it.The camera was on a roler coster trying to be oh so clever catching every bit of slight of hand/pick pocket-Artful Dodger stuff and that revolting making mince out of a wooden leg-as if, that you weren't even aware of that show stopping song that demanded a reprise on stage.Don't get me started on Russell,Amanda,Samantha,Helena-with so many to choose from-this is the best they could get??Even Hugh had a tough time and only Aron and Eddie and of course Colm made me sit up and take a real interest.Closed my eyes for all the close ups and the CD is DEFINATELY not on my Christmas list.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-25 06:37:38


Chock seems to be under the delusion that we all have to share their opinion....

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Ghostfan2 2012-12-25 12:21:08


I thought the movie was amazing. Eponine and Fantines death made me cry. The part with Santa Claus made me laugh. I had no issues with Russel Crowe. I thought Ann Hathaway was perfect for the role of Fantine. The battle scenes were a little boring, but I sat through it. I think I might want to see it again!

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by steven22 2012-12-25 14:39:31


The movie was excellent...my only problem was the zooming in on the character during their solo i.e. Anne during I Dreamed a Dream...Sam Barks and Aaron Tveit were standouts...Eddie Redmayne was also excellent!

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-25 14:43:54


I loved it. I thought it was perfect.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by RippedMan 2012-12-25 15:06:08


If you remember, Sweeny Todd was shot in the same way - with closeups for all the solos - and it did not work in that film. I just don't think most directors know how to make a movie musical these days. They get scared that the audience is going to wonder why they're singing so they just shoot an extreme close-up. Dumb choice. Look at all the great Disney musicals. They're shot so well and so well thought-out.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by PapaGe 2012-12-25 15:10:42


I thought it was a mess. Anne Hathaway deserves the Oscar and Eddie Redmayne probably deserves a nomination, but Crowe was an embarrassment and Jackman was very weak. Samantha Barks was as good as I expected, Aaron Tveit a little less so. Gavroche was great.

There were too many weird cuts in weird places (I understand the need to trim for the film, but this did not feel organic), awkward orchestrations in their attempt to match the music to the "singing" after the fact, and weird lyric changes that erased rhymes ("Come in sir for you are weary/and the night is cold out here/though our lives are very humble/what we have we have to..." sheer? Also, "Come on ladies, settle down/I am the mayor of this town/I run a business of repute" ruined the scansion of that part). There were some stunning scenes, but much of the filming felt amateur--not every song needs to be a three-minute close up, Mr. Hooper. The sound mixing was not great. The new song was boring. Of course it managed to wring tears out of me, but much of the movie felt flat (as did some of the singing).

I've been avidly following this movie ever since the 25th Anniversary showing announced that it was forthcoming, and I was fully prepared to be blown away. Even after I was unhappy about some of the casting I tried to keep an open mind. I went to see it today hoping that the musical I knew so well had been immortalized in a film I would like to see again and again. That was not the case. I would have liked to have shoved Javert into that river thirty seconds into "Javert's Suicide". Oh, well. Time to go rewatch the anniversary concerts.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ljay889 2012-12-25 15:49:17


If you remember, Sweeny Todd was shot in the same way - with closeups for all the solos - and it did not work in that film.

Well Sweeney did get far better reviews than Les Mis. And with all choral numbers cut, solo vocals were really the only parts of the score left. Aside from two or three people singing together in an occasional duet or trio.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by justoldbill 2012-12-25 15:49:27


I'm spending Christmas watching FLOWER DRUM SONG and FINIAN'S RAINBOW. Can't miss. Merry, merry, everyone!


Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Plum 2012-12-25 16:57:09


Not bad. Not amazing, either, and I'm mixed on Hooper's direction, but I think the staging of the "Do You Hear the People Sing?" reprise did a lot of good work so I ended up walking out of the theater fairly satisfied.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by PB ENT. 2012-12-25 17:11:37


Say Hello to this Year's Oscars "Best Actor/Best Actor/Best Film" Nominations. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Les Miserables!
For me...the wait is over! Saw this epic at 10am.

Quick review: Overall totally wonderful production! Will everyone agree? Probably not...but this one has WINNER written all over it, IMO.

Probably one of the best musical movies I've ever seen. True to the book. Leads were all excellent, made the roles their own portraying each iconic role extremely well. Hugh Jackman (Valjean) Ann Hathaway (Fantine) are a shoe- in for Oscar noms. Russell Crowe (Javert) very effective but needed to show more anger in his pursuit of 24601. Gavroche was very well cast! Thenardies were perfectly matched with a fresh gritty wit. Aaron Tveit's Enjolras was rivetting while Eddie Redmayne's Maruis was not as impressive, other than his great singing voice.

Vocally: This are NOT an all "classically trained Broadway voices" to my knowledge. So one needs to go in not expecting to hear a Craig Schulman, Terrance Mann,Judy Kuhn.

But the whole cast moves the story line through their songs. Never feels like staged solos, even Fantine's money song stayed in character,but filled the screen! Standout songs "I Dreamed a Dream" and” On My Own" being the biggest heart breakers. Jackman's "Bring Him Home” was heartfelt but he appeares to use every vocal trick to push out the song. Crowe's "Stars" was poignant as was his acting throughout but lacked any vocal WOW factor. (Insp. Javert rarely shows much emotion, and Crowe followed suit with this character). What fun to see Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop. His love if being part of this shines in his face.

Samantha Barks (Eponine) vocally, emotionally perfect and rose to the top . Amanda S.(Cossett) sweet but thin voice reminded me of Minnie Mouse a bit too much.

Cinematography and Direction: Simply brilliant! From the massive city scenes, the sewer, the street people, to the gritty Inn and the clever logistics of the barricade scenes. Yes, it was an "in your face" of many solo vocals, but I think this is just what they(actors/director) were aiming for and hit their target. One unfixable fault...Valjean never ages much more than a little "Grecian formual" run through hair.

If you didn't get a lump in your throat through the heartbreaking songs from Fantine & Eponine, Jackman's dying scene will do you in! The One Day More ending scene is well done and leaves you totally satisfied.

Pati Buehler - BWW "Philly" writer



Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-25 17:12:56


I'd rate it about 85 out of 100.
Yes 2 much closeup work. I wondered if that was cos it was easier to remove the earpieces in that format than from a medium shot?

Jackman ( whom I love & adore) did sound a bit nasal 2 @ times and Bring Him Home was definitely strained @ points.

Master of the House was trying too hard. Tho SBC came off a bit better than HBC.

Banks was good. I knew of her work but was really taken w her in this.

Hathaway was simply harrowing in some of her scenes in I Dreamed a Dream not to mention vocally nailing it. Nomination & probably a win.

Crowe was definitely the weakest -he was never off key or screeching just not particularly moving. ( xcept 4 Confrontation w Jackman) as an actor he was really weak in Javert's Suicide.

All that being said - still enjoyed it and would even go again.


Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by qolbinau 2012-12-25 17:32:42


I loved the movie and I feel that if I was a fan of the musical there isn't much more I would ask for. I can't wait to see it again. I agree with Tom Hooper who (I think) said in a Q&A that there is no one else in the world who could play Hugh Jackman's role. An A-list actor who is both a great actor and a good singer, it was a great fit and I hope he is nominated for an Oscar. The one real weakness in casting for me was that Russel Crowe just wasn't very threatening. He kind of looked and sounded like an aged bunny rabbit.

But at the end of the day, I think the writing (of the musical) limited the film. I thought there was often very obvious rhymes, boring recitative singing and just general cringeworthyness. ("Suddenly you're here, suddenly it starts, can two anxious hearts beat as one..."the world seems a different place, full of grace")...does anyone really like that kind of fluffy disney language? I cringed so hard when Hugh Jackman's character was singing in that trio about how he knew he couldn't keep Cosette for himself forever. Urgh. Could it get any more clich├ę?

Sweeney Todd was intensely more thrilling and moving if only because of Sondheim's wonderful music and lyrics.









Les MisŁrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 17:49:36


SWEENEY could have been an amazing film if onlyit featured actors that could sing and had a director that trusted the material. I'll never understand the love for that film since I think it's beyond disrespectful to the source material.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Plum 2012-12-25 18:10:10


Sadly, Jordan, it's one of my favorites of the modern movie musical era because at least it doesn't futz around pretending to be anything but a musical from the start. Les Mis does the same, thankfully, with none of that po-mo winking "trala we know singing is soooo implausible" crap. But where Sweeney may have hacked and slashed too much (and definitely suffered from vocally inadequate leads), Les Mis might have been too respectful of the musical's score. Cutting more might have given the remaining songs some room to breathe.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-25 18:10:15


To summarize, I thought it was very well done ... and WAY TOO LONG. The film only pointed out what I felt about the stage show when I first saw the OBC. The story, after Fantine meets her fate, slows down to a crawl. There are too many introspective ballads where nothing happens (on stage or screen). Every major character has one (or two or three). I would have used the opportunity in adapting it for the screen to trim about 40 minutes out of it. Cut a verse (at least) from several of the numbers.

Aside from calling out the inherent faults of the stage show, I thought the film was very well made. The performances were very good to great. On the "great" side were Ann Hathaway (had me in tears during "I Dreamed a Dream"), the young Cosette, Gavroche, and Eddie Redmayne as Marius. The good: Hugh Jackman, who was at times great, but my god his wobbly voice was FAR more annoying on many occasions than any "tremolo" coming out of Amanda Seyfried. Her voice only irritated me once. Mostly, I thought she did a fine job. I liked the Thenardiers and Eponine and Enjolras and the Bishop. All good.

The costumes, sets, art direction and makeup were all fine ... although the main town square set looked just a tad too "Diagon Alley" for me with that crooked building in the center of the split streets. It felt false for whatever reason.

The other major complaint I have is with the sound mixing. The voices were all coming from the center channel, with very few exceptions (not even on all the chorus numbers did they utilize the surrounds or even side channels), and it felt very flat to me. It created a distance between me and the action. The live singing itself wasn't the problem (and in fact I loved most of that), not the actors voices either, but the sound design itself. I also felt that the orchestra wasn't spread out enough in the channels. Over 90 percent of it came from the front left and right sources. Very rarely did it fill the surrounds, and only during the battle scenes did I suddenly remember this was a full surround mix film. BAD, bad, bad. That decision did the singers and musicians no favors. At times I thought it was way too soft, too.

All in all, I liked the movie in spite of its faults, largely because the performances were so good, and the overall story is strong even if the pacing, by virtue of the source material, is not.

As far as taking its place in the stream of current stage-to-film adaptations, I would put it somewhere in the middle. It's not anywhere near as good as Chicago, Dreamgirls, or Hairspray. I would put it even with Nine (despite its faults, it's an equally entertaining and engaging film overall) and Sweeney Todd (also good despite its many faults). It's better than Mamma Mia! and much better than Phantom of the Opera, which is at the bottom of the heap and pretty unwatchable to me.

As far as Oscars go, I could see it getting up for Best Picture, but it won't win. Ann Hatahway has the best shot at winning. Hugh Jackman may or may not get nominated, but I found a few key scenes to be let downs because of his wobbly and slightly overblown voice. Russell Crowe could get nominated, but his biggest "private moment" fell completely flat to me ("Stars") where he sing about how "restless" he is and there is no sign whatsoever to that point that he has been restless. Obsessed, yes, but never restless. Way too composed, in fact. Eddie Redmayne could also get nominated, but I doubt it. And it should rack up nominations for Art Direction, Costumes, and Makeup.

I know the cinematography bothers some, but I had no problem with it. I don't agree at all that the shots are all "too close" or "too wobbly," There were plenty of medium shots, wide shots, etc. I have no idea how anybody gets that impression. Still, I don't think it will get an Oscar nod for it (or for editing). I would be surprised. And the sound was atrocious, so no awards there.

I predict the word-of-mouth on this will be, "Yeah, it's pretty good, but it's really long and kinda boring for long stretches."

That doesn't spell "blockbuster" to me.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by jasonf 2012-12-25 18:39:34


I just got back from it, and personally, I found it to be tremendous. Granted, I've been a fan for 25 years and not nearly close to an "average" film goer on this one, but it met every expectation I had.

Honestly, I loved the editing. Things that are skimmed over in the show actually made more sense in the movie. The performances were across the board fantastic. Hathaway deserves an Oscar. Jackman should get nominated, as should Redmayne.

The only quibble I had was some of Hooper's shots were bizarrely placed - pushing people into the corners of the screen for no real reason. There weren't THAT many shots like that, but enough that it was noticable.

Overall though - easily my favorite movie of the year, and definitely one of the best musicals of all time.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by goldenboy 2012-12-25 19:00:43


I am probably in the minority (my friends who I went with all liked it) but i found the film to be a colossal bore. In fact, I left after and hour and 15 minutes. Everyone was so "earnest." Every one seemed to have two emotions: miserable and more miserable. Yawn. It was kind of like Sweeney Todd the movie part two. (Didn't like that either but I managed to stay for the whole of Sweeney)
I didn't care about any of the characters. They were pathetic at the beginning, they were more pathetic as it went on and I just couldn't care about anyone. I kept thinking of the line from" Jeffrey." " All that over a loaf of bread. Get over it."I have seen the Broadway Show twice but I couldn't follow the plot of this plodding movie.
Please keep Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen away from musicals.
Bring back Vincent Minelli, Stanley Dolan, George Cukor--even Carol Reed.
Does no one know how to make a movie musical anymore??
I don't care if they are dead. Bring them home!

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by michellek45 2012-12-25 19:05:01


Overall, I thought it was very good. Not amazing, but very good. I'm going to see it again tomorrow, so I'd definitely say it was successful overall. But I do have my qualms with it.

Cinematography/Directing/Editing: These are the categories I know/care the least about, so I haven't got a lot to say. I echo the sentiments of people saying that the close-ups for every. single. solo. did not work well at all after the first couple of songs. It became repetitive and dull, and I found myself saying "OK, he/she's going to turn or walk around or move a bit or something." I think "On My Own" was one of the most effective because Samantha Barks was allowed to move around, so that even though the camera was basically up in her face the whole time, there was some sort of movement. "ECAET" was the worst in this regard, I think- I kept expecting us to get to see a different angle of the cafe, Marius looking out into the street, anything to change the scene a bit. There were two moments of cinematography I really loved, the change from the "Soliloquy" to "At the End of the Day" and the transition between "Javert's Suicide" and "Turning."

Plot Changes: I think they only work if you've read the book. My parents, who don't really know the plot, both thought they crammed too much in what seemed like only one night during "Lovely Ladies" for Fantine. I agree that up until we meet the Thenardiers the show felt rushed, probably because they went through more locations than the stage show does. There was more physical movement of the characters than there is in the stage version. My dad asked "Who?" when I asked if he was confused about Marius' grandfather, but I thought it was very emotional when Marius woke up after being shot and saw his grandfather. So they don't really detract, but if you don't come in with knowledge of the book, they don't mean much, either. Although I think having Eponine get shot saving Marius was a great addition, and the audience did a collective gasp when I saw it.

Song Changes: Again, for the most part, it was OK. There were a couple of spots here and there, like someone said earlier, where they seemed to have rearranged lines for no reason and they tried to cut things out, which is fine, but sometimes it was done awkwardly and the next line became jarring. I thought the new placement of songs was VERY effective, except for "On My Own." I didn't like how it transitioned into "One Day More," and it made Eponine's entire story jumbled into a very tiny bit of time. The new song was alright, it fit in well with the other songs, but eh, it didn't do much for me. Loved the reprise of "DYHTPS" at the barricades, though cutting "Drink With Me" down so much made it seem random and unnecessary.

Sets/Lighting: The sets were beautiful, both the locations and the sound stages. The shots of Digne were astounding, it was exactly like I pictured. The Bishop's sanctuary was also gorgeous, and I liked the repeated imagery of the candlesticks. The lighting was good all-around, and it stuck out especially in the sewers and "Who Am I?" They made it dark without it making it difficult to see, and the lighting during the barricade scenes gave it a true open-air feel.

Sound Mixing: No. Just...The orchestra was a ghost for half the film, it didn't grow when it needed to grow, maybe because the dynamic range of the mix itself was too compressed to allow for too much variation in the crescendos and decrescendos. There were a couple of moments when they switched between ensemble singing and a solo singer that were jarring, seemingly mixed or recorded with different equipment. I will say that the ensemble itself sounded amazing, and the vocals were well recorded- it was just the mixing that I had issues with.

Orchestrations: I was very, very, very disappointed with these, but I don't completely blame the orchestrator. It seemed like everyone either couldn't belt or was told not to, which negatively affected the orchestrations. You couldn't have the full, epic brass sound that I associate with many of the songs, and I thought the low brass especially was not nearly as present as I wanted it to be. And where was the percussion? Xylophones, suspended cymbals, timpani...I missed all of them. Too many strings, not nearly enough variety in the instrumentation. This was the most disappointing of the film for me.

Performances: The only ones I was truly disappointed with were Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. I seriously disliked "Bring Him Home"- he strained most of the time, had to belt, and diminished the impact that the final verse usually has when the actor DOES finally belt. The whole time I felt he was "acting," not "being." He was trying so hard, and it showed too much. Russell Crowe I thought was amazing in every respect except for his two big solos, which were huge let-downs. The whole time I liked his constrained, monotone singing, but "Stars" and his suicide should have been more emotional. Anne Hathaway I thought was very good until her death, which was a bit excessive and over-the-top. Amanda was fine, and she turned me into a mess during the Epilogue. She was a sweet Cosette, and she and Redmayne played off each other well. Redmayne, Tveit, and Barks were the true stand-outs for me. It helped that they didn't seem to be concentrating on being "gritty" or the singing, they just went for it. Redmayne was amazingly sweet as Marius, and he seemed truly conflicted over his place in the world. Tveit was both angelic and scary, perfect for Enjolras, calculating yet passionate. Barks had so much written across her face, she didn't even need to open her mouth for you to know what she was feeling. She and Redmayne gave one of the best "ALFOR" renditions I've ever heard. Overall I was pleased with this film, and I will probably be buying it when it comes out on DVD.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Mattbrain 2012-12-25 19:16:19


And of course, goldenboy, you'll be repeating your review verbatim whenever you're given the opportunity.

Les MisŁrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 19:28:43


My favorite reviews are "I didn't like it. I mean, I didn't hate it but it wasn't very good. I'm seeing again tonight and again tomorrow and then over the weekend but it wasn't my kind of movie"

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-25 19:31:01


Wow, what a great review, Michelle, touching on the various aspects. Love your thought on the orchestrations and, even if I am very happy with what I've heard so far of the new work done for the film, I did immediately notice the bizarre absence of 90% of the percussion. I am still very happy that it follows the original orchestrations to the point I am truly surprised John Cameron isn't credited, but like you've pointed out, a great deal of instrumentation isn't there and sounds like a big string fest. I know that in itself could actually bring it down for the lack of variety of colors and textures. They've been obsessed with cutting out every last hint of anything not deemed "orchestral" which is so strange because the original orchestration had great variety and a huge orchestral group of musicians. Not to mention, the sound was very, very exciting.

There is a trend as of late to avoid anything deemed "stagey" into movie musicals. The orchestrations being toned down could be because of that. I'm still on the fence about that whole approach overall (not just the orchs) in this film version, as I can certainly see why, but am not completely convinced our own discomfort at seeing stagey elements on screen is due to it actually not working. I've considered the possibility we are just worrying too much about what non-musical theatre people are going to think. I've never been one to be preoccupied with what others think, but I do want this film to be a success, and maybe the worry is coming from that.

Maybe that's why I'm avoiding seeing the film at theatres ASAP. I want to enjoy it as much as possible and being around people who are harshly judgmental of musicals on screen brings down the joy for me because I want to slap them silly, lol.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Plum 2012-12-25 19:36:06


My Oh My, the sold-out audience I watched with was just fine - quiet, rapt, and without a single electronic interruption. Go ahead and watch in the next few days.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by jasonf 2012-12-25 20:00:11


Maybe the avoidance of "staginess" in movies is a blowback from The Producers which many (including me) felt was TOO stagey. Lane and Broderick played the whole movie like they were on stage and it looked ridiculous for much of it. I don't blame people from shying away from that style.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by michellek45 2012-12-25 20:00:52


My Oh My- Thanks! Yeah, I noticed the percussion quickly, too, probably because that's what I play. Also there was a complete absence of the iconic keyboards, which I've never loved, so I didn't miss them at first...but then after 2.5 hours of hearing 70% strings, I did. You're pretty much right about Hooper wanting to avoid seeming "stagey"- Barks' "but he never saw me THERE" and Redmayne's "oh my friends, my FRIENDS" are pretty much the only huge belting moments left in the show, other than big ensemble numbers. It also seemed like everyone was instructed not to a) sing too loudly and b) hold notes to their full length.

And I have to echo what Plum said- although there was certainly a lot of sniffling.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-25 20:05:52


Saw it this morning in a theater which reported the first three shows as sold out.

Anyway, I liked it very much. I was experiencing the pleasure of watching a stunning film, and hearing the voices of some really strong singers who make it seem easy as talking when all of a sudden - SPLAT- Russell Crowe arrives, straining to sing on key with a not so pleasant voice, completely out of league with the rest. Each time he had a song or a scene, I was throttled back to Earth.

And as a former fan of Crowe's acting (my fav was Gladiator), here I thought he was too weak for the role. Miscast, IMO.

Hugh Jackman should win an award for his magnificent performance in a huge, demanding role. And Hathaway too. In the short amout of time we see her, she was strong enough for the entirety of the film.

Loved the closeups.



Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by qolbinau 2012-12-25 20:12:39


Hugh Grant??? lol

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-25 20:13:51


Jasonf, I saw the film version of The Producers at the theatre and must agree that I was at times jarred disturbingly at all the uber stagey elements. In the end, it had a very sneaky way of making me appreciate the stage even more. Not only did the shameless song over the credits about musicals being awesome help, it all had a certain charm to it with the aggressive way it shoved all those things we avoid like the plague in film musicals these days.

The only serious reservation I had was it also did a great job at giving people COMPLETELY stereotypical ideas of what musical theatre and musical theatre people are all about. I thought maybe people aren't so dumb and can see it's a satire but I'm not so sure. :S

Jane2...Hugh Grant?

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-25 20:19:17


Don't drop your pearls folks, human error!

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-12-25 20:26:32


I just got back. I am in the minority here in that I was pretty disappointed.
THE BAD
-Neither Hugh Jackman or Russell Crowe did anything for me, and I did not care for their voices at all.
-I thought the orchestrations were way too quiet, and the sound itself was just not that great. I definitely agree with those that there were way too many closeup shots. I thought it worked well for I Dreamed a Dream and On My Own, but other than those scenes I felt like there were way too many of them.
-The changes made to lyrics, songs, and the order of songs and scenes did nothing to enhance the story or the film.
THE GOOD
-Anne Hathaway was the saving grace of the film, and I really do hope she wins the Oscar because she deserves it. She was sensational. She ripped my heart out, gave me goosebumps, and had me on the verge of tears.
-Samantha Barks blew me away with On My Own. I also loved how they filmed this scene with her walking through the empty streets in the pouring rain. Very effective.
-Master of the House was very well done. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were great.
It was nowhere near as big of a disappointment as Nine was, but I just feel like this could have been a lot better and "epic".

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by americanboy99 2012-12-25 20:32:27


I thought Hathaway was the film's biggest asset while simultaneously being the film's biggest problem.

She's simply too good. Those first 45 minutes of the film are so intense, raw and exciting that the jump to Paris (and the love story side of the film) pales in comparison and comes off as a little silly. Felt a bit like two different films.

Hooper really brought it together by the end though. I am definitely a fan of the film and have only a few minor quibbles (many of which are these ridiculous camerawork choices, which I also found distracting in "The King's Speech").

All of the big solos are stunning. I actually quite liked Crowe. I thought his vocals were a nice relief from the sometimes painfully shrill singing done by Jackman, who I thought was excellent in a dog of a role.

I will say that the Thenardiers never registered as even mildly sinister, which I think is unfortunate.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-25 20:40:11


Don't know how I missed your review Best12bars, but I really dug your insight.

The sound mixing...oh dear. It's the one thing I haven't liked at all from what I've heard. Even the soundtrack album is mixed that way. Nothing is more painful than to watch a musical film where the music AND vocals are mixed in a distracting fashion. It's not horrendous from what I've heard but, again, it seems they worried people wouldn't believe it was sung live if they did any significant mixing typically done of regular, non-singing films, and felt they had to make it sound as unprocessed as possible.

I keep wondering how amazing it could have sounded had they done a thorough mixing job. It sounds like they, like you said, restricted vocals to the center channel and the orchestra floating around like a ghost. Not only am I an orchestration nutcase, I'm an audiophile! I don't say that proudly, it's hard being so picky! LOL. Ah, well, we'll see.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-25 20:43:14


My showing also was quiet & rapt tho there was one cell phone that went off.

Les MisŁrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-12-25 20:56:31


She's simply too good. Those first 45 minutes of the film are so intense, raw and exciting that the jump to Paris (and the love story side of the film) pales in comparison and comes off as a little silly. Felt a bit like two different films.

Agreed. Anne Hathaway made Fantine real, heartbreaking, and striking. The last time I felt that way about a character in a movie was Natalie Portman in Black Swan. I will definitely be seeing the film again just for Anne Hathaway. She was THAT good.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-25 20:58:07


Anyone else bothered/shocked by something technical and seemingly small: the image ratio? (1.85:1)

I couldn't believe the narrowness of the image when it began, and we were staring at that GWTW-sized square (and I saw it on a very big screen). I believe many of the problems people have with the preponderance of close-ups are in part due to the decision to shoot the film in a traditional ratio. The absence of sweeping panoramic vistas doubles the sense of claustrophobia. We don't get a really vivid establishing shot (one with moving human beings) until the second act, the exterior sequence following "One Day More" with the military parade and students (singing "Do You Hear the People Sing," moved until later, yes?) also the first genuine daylight in the film. The absence of a real sky and real light, coupled with this slivered view of the story, contributes to the artifice, which crescendos during "Stars," (which looks like something cut from MOULIN ROUGE).

This narrow ratio makes the characters sit literally in our faces, often cut-off mid-forehead (an annoying choice). We long for neutral space around these singing heads, shrouded in studio lit chiaroscuro, and there's precious little room. And so this boxed in feeling doesn't help the overall cause. If the goal is to present a minimalist epic, we get the minimalism with too little epic in design, alas. No dig at the art direction, which is solid (if again, artificial in places; the central portion of Paris kept reminding me of the sets for VICTOR/VICTORIA).

A small thing, but with a running time of nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes, a contributing factor. And while we're on the subject of irritating technical issues: Hugh's final deathbed makes-up, which looked like Wolverine aged to age 70, was ghastly. It took me out of the sequence, despite the actor giving solid work (as he does throughout).

One more thought: Is Anne Hathaway's work over-rated? No. Well, not yet. Poll people three weeks from now. I think we're already weary of hearing how the movie dips after her number (didn't happen for me, but I get it). She is remarkable, and Hooper shoots the number brilliantly. But I expect a backlash to the performance's praise. Hugh carries this movie, and Eddie is his partner. They do yeoman's work, and as much as I appreciate Hathaways's impact, she's on screen about 15 minutes.



Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Kad 2012-12-25 20:59:38


I mostly liked. I found that it dragged a good deal at around the midpoint, leading up to "One Day More". But then, it was the third movie I saw today so I could've just been on sensory overload. Some of the repositioning made a good deal of it seem so superfluous.


And I liked all of the cast. Yes. Even Russell Crowe. Hathaway steals the film and is indeed the highlight. She suffers beautifully.

I don't know what the fuss is about the sound mixing. I thought it was fine. But then I don't fuss over the minute audio and music details.

I thought Javert's actual suicide was... excessive. Really, Hooper? You tease the audience with his suicide twice in that song, and then go with "let's see him break his spine"? In fact, I'd say the film succeeded despite Hooper. It felt like he kept trying to make the film very small- except when he decided to make it unnecessarily huge to show that he could do that, too. And then, "hey, let's do a shaky handheld camera shot when they're fighting!" It felt like Hooper was dumping out a bag of tricks.

It'll rack up some Oscar nods for Hathaway, Best Picture, and creative awards. Hathaway is its best bet for a win. But otherwise, this doesn't compare to the other Best Picture hopefuls. But I have no doubt, judging by the copious tears and applause at the end, that it'll do good business.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Wishing Only Wounds 2012-12-25 21:09:42


Also saw it at 10 PM last night. I loved it. I was skeptical, but I really, really enjoyed it. The standouts for me were Eddie Redmayne, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks, Daniel Huttlestone, and to my surprise, Hugh Jackman.

Thinking more about it, I think the direction hurt Russell Crowe's performance, more so than him just being "weak." He has a loud, rough voice, and the instant closeups and quick lead in to songs did nothing for his voice. I don't know, maybe I'm being too nice.

Did anyone else laugh during (SPOILER if you know nothing about Les Mis) Javert's suicide with the very audible "cracking" of the spine? My friend and I lost it.

I also saw it in IMAX. If you have the chance, go in IMAX. I'm not a big fan of it, in general, but the sound was amazing.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-25 21:10:59


Anyone else bothered/shocked by something techical and seemingly so small: the image ratio? (1.85:1)

Yes, I was surprised that they used the standard widescreen ratio instead of the wider 2.35:1. It did make the film feel smaller, and I don't know why Hooper made this decision.

As far as Hathaway being "too good" and the rest of the actors can't live up to that, i think this is wrong. It's the story of Fantine that is the most compelling, along with the first part of Jean Valjean's story.

Once we jump to the Thenardiers and little Cosette, the story (while still good) slows down quite a bit. Then when the young lovers are introduced, it almost becomes cloying. That's a problem in this particular adaptation of the novel, but it's also a problem of the novel itself.

The most widely known part of Les Miserables prior to the musical was the story of the Bishop's candlesticks, which is right at the beginning. The musical helped to bring out Fantine's story (especially with I Dreamed a Dream). But after that it's downhill ... and Hathaway, as wonderful as she is, can't be blamed for that.

It's really in the writing.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by chrisampm2 2012-12-25 21:34:06


Auggie27, I'm confused by your referring to the 1:85:1 ratio as "narrow." You wish it had been in 2:35:1 which is much more narrow. Also, we're not looking at the Gone With the Wind-sized square. That was made in 1:37:1 and shown in the square 1:33:1.

None of that means you shouldn't be disappointed with what you got. Hooper seems to think the solos are akin to Shakespearean monologues, which are also usually shot in close-up.

For my taste, the film wobbles more when it pulls back than when in close-up. It hasn't been made like a traditional epic (perhaps due to the very fast sched to get the pic ready for this Christmas). Hooper doesn't seem to have the eye for that, coming off of TV. Whenever the solos are shot with wider framing, it looks more like Oliver! and, for better and worse, that's not what they're going for here.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by americanboy99 2012-12-25 21:35:32


best12, I wasn't implying that the other actors don't live up to Hathaway. I actually agree with all that you said completely. Perhaps I should've said that the other actors simply can't live up to her impact-- thanks both to her performance and to the material.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-25 21:40:59


2.35:1 ratio (also known as "Cinemascope") is not narrower than 1.85:1 (also known as "Academy flat.")

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060423235253/tovid/images/b/bd/Aspect_ratios.png

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Plum 2012-12-25 21:43:21


Okay, wow, I thought I was weird for thinking the film loses momentum once it hits 1832 and expands to the younger generation - so many people are all about the love triangle and it does pretty much nothing for me. If Eponine wasn't such a hook for the show I'd say "cut her." It would have left room to establish the ABC crew a bit more, give Cosette a tiny bit of characterization, and maybe even go back to Valjean a bit more, since he's the spine of the thing and he kind of gets lost there for a while.

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-25 21:45:36


Thank you, chrisampm2, for correcting me. I read the ratio in a review, but it didn't seem right to me. The film looks smaller in width than any film of comparable scope in recent memory. If the ratio is wrong, I apologize.

But I much appreciate what you said about the tighter close-ups providing the more successful material. If I adjust my thinking, I absolutely agree. The OLIVER-ization is where Hooper fails, because the vaster canvases do look somewhat thrown together for the big screen, done on the quick/slash/cheap. I take your point.

It's when we pull back that the slender image fails to help us suspend disbelief. I simply didn't feel in Paris often enough (and stand by my statement about VICTOR/VICTORIA in the central Parisian design.)

But speaking of OLIVER-ization: I'm watching the Albert Finney SCROOGE as I type this (an OLIVER rip-off in tone and style), shot in Panavision, and though studio-built in its studied artifice, the film is more pleasing and oddly enough creates more genuine feeling in its faked approximation of time and place.

Someone please find out: what is the damned ratio?

Les MisÚrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Kad 2012-12-25 21:53:32


I had the same thought re: Eponine for the film, Plum.

Les MisŁrables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 21:53:39


Does anyone know what Fantine and Valjean die from? I've always wondered.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-25 22:04:35


Fantine has consumption (aka tuberculosis). I can't remember what Valjean has.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 22:05:44


I figured it was TB. Valjean just seems to die for no reason all of a sudden.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ashley77 2012-12-25 22:05:45


Fantine dies from tuberculosis.

I always figured that Valjean's death was more symbolic--he finally has someone to take care of Cosette, and he can finally die and be at rest. The practical thought is that he got an infection from dragging Marius through the **** in the sewers and died from it lol

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 22:07:15


Ah yes. The symbolic shlt death.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-25 22:07:20


I think Valjean is just old, or at least old enough to die from natural causes back then, especially after spending 19 years in prison.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-25 22:09:04


I think Wikipedia said Fantine died from unnamed disease.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 22:09:08


He symbolically ate one of Minnie's pies.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-25 22:10:12


I noticed Ann Hathaway's hospital gown had bloodstains near the neckline when she was in bed, as if she had been coughing up blood.

(What a horrible disease to die from.)

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by PapaGe 2012-12-25 22:10:27


In the novel Jean Valjean dies of starvation after Marius evicts him once Valjean confesses to having been a convict. I think in the movie they tried to show him suffering a heart attack just after leaving Marius's house. On stage it's usually just attributed to old age, maybe following the trauma of carrying a young man through the sewers (since he's played as older on stage than he was in the movie).

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-25 22:10:40


If there had been universal health care in Paris, Fantine could have met Satine from Moulin Rouge at the TB clinic.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-25 22:16:13


I just wish they had pulled her front teeth out so that she would have looked like a jack-o-lantern, just to add some humor to the film.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ashley77 2012-12-25 22:20:38


Saw the movie this afternoon and loved it immensely. Agree with everyone about Anne (she deserves every single bit of hype) and that most of the supporting cast were excellent (the children especially were perfectly cast. Gavroche stole his scenes). Russell Crowe worked for me ultimately, mainly because of his acting choices, and I felt sympathetic towards him. I think Javert can easily be played like a Disney villain, but I thought Crowe brought subtlety to the role. Amanda's voice was far more offensive to my ears, but she did look beautiful, so there is that.

I thought Hugh Jackman was utterly committed and convincing, even if his voice wasn't perfect. I hope he gets an Oscar nomination, and I don't think anyone else of his fame level could have done that role any more justice.

Colm was perfect. I loved the addition of the Bishop at the end, bringing things full circle.

The person that struck me the most (besides Anne) was Eddie Redmayne. I've never seen him in anything before and came out a true believer. Also, the close-ups did wonders for him, and his face was absolutely striking. My brother-in-law summed it up in the car: "you look at him and think 'what a weird looking guy', but by the end of the movie you think he's the most attractive fellow in the world." LOL the power of freckles, I suppose.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-25 22:20:41


I didn't remember the teeth pulling in the stage version. Is it in there? Anne's teeth were crazy during Fantine's Death.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-25 22:26:10


Valjean dies of a broken heart. He just loses his will to live after Marius forbids him to see Cosette. He stops eating and taking care of himself.

Fantine sells her two front teeth in the novel but not the stage version.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-25 22:27:47


I *think* Fantine's COD is TB. Many literary characters died from it. ;D9

I checked the novel and ValJean just stops eating and gets weaker after Cosette marries. Kinda a passive suicide to hide his convict status from her and prevent her from the stain of association w a convicted felon. ( is there such a thing as an unconvicted felon?)

this is on the final page of the novel

He sleeps. Although so much he was denied
He lived; and when his dear love left him, died.
It happened of itself, in the calm way
That in the evening night-time follows day.


Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-25 22:28:21


Oh, and Fantine dies from what is most likely TB. They call it a "lung disease" in the novel. They say that it was incubating in her and the snowball down her dress (right before she gets arrested) caused her to stop perspiring, which caused the disease to manifest in full force.



Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-25 22:42:04


'Also, the close-ups did wonders for him, and his face was absolutely striking. '

During his closeups I was wishing the camera would pull back, lol. From a distance, I thought he was much better looking . (I had never seen him before).

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ashley77 2012-12-25 22:44:21


Ha, he does have an odd face, but I thought by the end of it that it was quite interesting and strangely beautiful. It could be because I thought he was wonderful in the role, and I love freckles.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ACL2006 2012-12-25 22:49:35


well, on RottenTomatoes.com, the audience rating is at 83% with over 66,000 people summitting some kind of review. That's pretty solid so far.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-25 22:49:42


I agree. And I believe he modeled also.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-25 23:45:38


He symbolically ate one of Minnie's pies.


HAHAHA I can't...

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Idiot 2012-12-25 23:56:41


Saw it this afternoon and loved it. Pretty much everything I've heard people bitching about didn't bother me.

Of note: an audience member brought a tattered flag and waved it at the 'act break' and during the finale. Though horribly obnoxious, the audience seemed to appreciate it. Made me smile.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-26 00:02:52


^ That's aggressive.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-26 00:03:12


Anybody else have audience members clapping after iconic scenes? There was enthusiastic applause after several of the numbers...but no overall standing ovation at the end...which I have never seen at a film. I myself clapped at the end if I Dreamed a Dream, just like if I was at the Imperial or at the Broadhust *The Broadway Theater for this show was before me time!"

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-26 00:08:59


^ That's awesome and funny at the same time. XD

It's wonderful that people could lose themselves in the film like that. It's funny that they're clapping for actors that can't hear them, hehe!

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by PB ENT. 2012-12-26 00:11:20


RE: Les Miz...so much to digest. Did anyone else lose it when Javert bends down to pin his medal of honor on the body of the young Gavroche? What a great directional choice!

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-26 00:15:54


^^ that moment was one of my favorite moments of the entire film.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-26 00:29:15


I loved when Tveit got shot and fell out of the window and gets stuck in the iconic pose from the barricade in the live theatrical version. I did wish that Eponine had gone with Fantine to get JVJ at the end. From a movie story telling sense, though it made no sense for the to be there with Fantine, while JVJ is dying.
I'm sure that we were not the only ones thinking of the Newtown, CT children, when Gavroche was shot.


Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by baerenjunge 2012-12-26 00:33:28


Here's some (admittedly long-winded) observations I made on my facebook page earlier today.

Anne Hathaway invests herself fully and shines for her third of the film. Her big song will no doubt snag her an Oscar nod. Her scenes are almost uniformly affecting.

Eddie Redmayne is a dashing Marius and while he occasionally sings with a raised larynx (a "Kn├Âdel" to us classical singers), his tenor is a pleasing one. Very strong film presence.

Samantha Barks ought to win the award for making the most of a small part. Her "On My Own" is heartbreaking...anyone who has ever experienced unrequited love will weep!

Isabelle Allen was a charming Little Cosette, with a beautiful young voice. Daniel Huttlestone's Gavroche was an utter delight!

Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter squeeze every bit of comedy and snarl possible from Msr. & Mme Th├ęnardier...and never do their antics seem overwrought. The costume/hair/makeup team really made them look as nasty on the exterior as they are on the inside. "Master of the House" is a highlight!

Hugh Jackman gave a mostly solid performance. I've been on the record saying that his vocal technique suffers from a nasality on certain vowels, but luckily this problem wasn't prevalent. I wish though, that they'd lowered the key a step for "Bring Him Home"...I usually don't like toying with original keys, but this was one case where I'd have accepted it. Hugh was deeply affecting during "What Have I Done?" as well as his final scenes. Tom Hooper couldn't have done much better than casting this Aussie!

Amanda Seyfried was a lovely, sympathetic Cosette. Her middle register is definitely stronger than at the very wispy upper register...a definite drawback.

Russell Crowe fell into the unfortunate trap of compensating for his lack of vocal finesse by over-singing (i.e. barking) through 90% of his lines. Where some actors in the piece needed to put more VOICE into the sung lines, Crowe should have acted/spoke more of his lines to tell the story more effectively. By the end of his story arc, one hopefully leaves the theater/cinema with some morsel of compassion for Javert...and sadly I didn't feel much for him. Very conflicted about his performance. Thumbs down...

Tom Hooper keeps the pacing moving along at a clip, which makes the nearly three-hour runtime seem less taxing. I wasn't too annoyed by his closeups for the most part. I will say that he should have allowed his actors to put more VOICE into more of the conversational recits. Also at times, some phrases might sound unintelligible to those who may not know the libretto inside and out. Nevertheless, Hooper has a great feel on what emotions make this musical "tick" and he more often than not taps into said emotions. (SEE the last ten minutes of the film!) Special thanks to Hooper for casting Colm Wilkinson (the original Jean Valjean) as the Bishop of Digne and Frances Ruffelle (the original Eponine) as a featured prostitute. Great way to pay homage and respect!

Finally...I will say that it wasn't going to be easy for Tom Hooper (or ANY director for that matter) to create a "perfect" film version of "Les Mis├ęrables" that would please every last fan of the musical or newcomer to the film. The source material is a big, lumbering, epic modern opera with a 25+ year following of fans--a group of which I proudly claim membership...and a decoder ring. He has created a film with some flaws, but also a great number of successes.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by eatlasagna 2012-12-26 00:40:22


what did you all think of the doctor singing during EVERY DAY... it bothered me but it didn't... it was more... oh he's singing now?!?!

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-26 00:44:45


Someone posted somewhere that they thought that this was not as good as the Chicago Movie. Can someone explain that to me? Am I too much in love with the stage version that I can't see the movie as others? DO all movie reviews go in trying to forget what they have previously seen on stage, if they have scene the musical?

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Pan_Am_L-1011 2012-12-26 00:46:14


I thought it was complete and utter ****. I absolutely hated it. Aside from Hathaway and Barks, I didn't think there was another good performance. Carter and Cohen were terrible and Master of the House was a mess. No one in the theater laughted at any point during it, however, there was a lot of awkward laughter when Valjean was in the woods with young Cosette (who was charming) and when Valjean spoke of Marius. I am embarrassed for Russell Crowe, who's no better singer than I. The orchestrations were terrible and completely ruined At The End of the Day and Master of the House. It was boring to death. Were I not with friends I would have walked out. IMO it was worse than the POTO movie and I didn't think it was possible. They took one of the greatest and most beloved musicals and made it **** by casting big names who cannot sing. A collassal disappointment.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Plum 2012-12-26 00:57:43


Ugh, yes, the death of Gavroche was utterly disturbing.

There was also this shot of Enjolras I really liked during...I think it was "Do You Hear the People Sing?", when he's standing on General Lamarque's funeral carriage. He's waving the flag around, and for a moment he just looks like he's having a hard time with it because it's heavy and unwieldy, and he looks like the physically vulnerable idiot that, on one level, he is, and it hurts to know he'll be dying later. I wish we'd gotten more of that.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 01:43:51


when Javert bends down to pin his medal of honor on the body of the young Gavroche? What a great directional choice!

Yes, and I wish he'd shown more of this w Crowe. This is the 1st crack in Javert but not enough to let u care w his suicide.

( I think the "back crack" was just 2 make sure everyone knew- yup he reeeely is dead!)

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 01:44:18


double post due to an error message. sorry.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by DAME 2012-12-26 02:00:56


Saw it again this evening. Enjoyed it just as much. The first time I saw it was with a industry crowd in one of those screenings. Tonight I saw it at the Sherman Oaks Galleria with a family audience. The audience was really into it . So glad it appears to be doing well. I know lots of non theater or musical loving folks that plan to see it this weekend. After the disasters of Rock Of Ages , Nine, and Rent.. it is a relief that this looks like a hit.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by rosscoe(au) 2012-12-26 02:07:13


I posted this on Saturday in the other thread...

Just got home from a packed screening in Brisbane Australia, loved some things, hated others. Crowe was a major surprise, On My Own was stunning, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables was heartbreaking. The last forty or so minutes was very emotion.

It's a pity someone like David Lean was not around to direct this, it should have been a grand sweeping 70mm movie or at least widescreen, at times it felt like a chamber piece.

Liked it a lot , just wanted more epic story telling.

Should also add that the Continuity in this movie was awful and beyond sloppy

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by aasjb4ever 2012-12-26 02:16:37


Saw it at Noon earlier today (yesterday at this point) with my mom and was reduced to a blubbering mess. Went again tonight (last night) at 10:45 with friends and I definitely didn┬ĺt have the same reaction at all. When I was with my mom, Fantine, Eponine, Gavroche and Valjean┬ĺs deaths were deeply moving, visceral experiences that barely returned when I went again tonight with my friends.

I┬ĺm dead from these cumulative 6 hours of beauty to put real thoughts down, but this adaptation sets the new standard for how movie musicals will be made and received from here on out.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by kyl3fong2 2012-12-26 02:37:09


@best12bars -- Interesting that you noticed those things about the sound mixing! I thought it was just the speakers in my movie theatre broken since all the sound from the singing only came from the front two speakers so it came a bit soft.


Other than that, I LOVED the movie. Definitely going to go see it again. Amanda Seyfried thoroughly surprised me, and I thought that her vocals worked in the context of the film and was actually very sweet.

Aaron Tveit, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Anne Hathaway were all phenomenal. And the close-ups didn't bother me as much as everyone has been saying they would.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-26 06:20:53


I hated it, almost every single thing about it. It was boring, the shaky camera was annoying, hated Jackman's voice. Very disappointed in his "Bring Him Home" and dreaded each time he opened his mouth to sing, which was almost all the time.

Also, the whole thing felt rushed; hardly any character development. It was like an abridged version of the stage show itself. So many unnecessary cuts and odd lyric replacements/rearrangements. They really butchered the score.

I definitely won't be seeing it again. The inadequate voices and talk-singing were like nails on a chalkboard. The live singing seemed like a good idea at the time, but it needed good voices to pull it off. Other than Jackman, the voices of Crowe and Seyfried were pretty bad, as well. Crowe sounded like it hurt to sing and Seyfried sounded like a squeaky toy. Redmayne was okay (he sounded like he swallowed an apple), but his "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" was surprisingly good although too little too late. Barks, Tveit, and Hathaway fared better, especially when they were allowed to belt a little though Tveit's voice wasn't very commanding.

In short, the whole thing was a mess. I couldn't wait for it to end. Very different from the screenplay that was leaked in the fall. That kept more of the score intact and a lot of potential, I thought. When I read it, I got very excited. But the final product left a lot to be desired.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-26 07:31:15


It's funny you thought it felt rushed, and after Cosette grows up, I couldn't wait for them to pick up the pace with the plot. I thought the rest of the story right to the end dragged horribly. (A fault of the original stage show.)

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by madbrian 2012-12-26 07:34:45


I saw it last night, and for me it lived up to both the hype as well as my expectations. Hathaway was even better than advertized. Eddie Redmayne was incredible, and I can't believe he's not getting award recognition (Alan Arkin, really?).

I had to go to a much later show than I had expected, because shows were selling out here in northern NJ.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Patash 2012-12-26 08:17:23


I loved that the movie became something other than being about "singing". I loved that the actors put emotions (or ACTING) above vocal training (whether it was because they lacked the training, or were simply doing it to be more effective). The only one who didn't get that memo was Crowe who tried so hard to SING rather than ACT songs that were way beyond his vocal ability. His struggle to sing really hurt his performance, in my opinion.

Incidentally, having seen the stage version maybe four times, I will say that the film did a great job of "explaining" the time jumps, character relations, etc, which always seem a little confusing to those seeing the musical for the first time. The overall editing was excellent in my book.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-26 09:22:39


I just want to say that I was more surprised with Crowe than anything else. Listening to re soundtrack before seeing the film I was tally unimpressed but on screen watching him, I thought he was fabulous. And I do think that by the time he kills himself, you get a better sense of why he's doing it than you get watching the show the stage. I think that's a fault of the show itself though in not fleshing out that character, but on screen it comes across as clear as it's ever going to.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by michellek45 2012-12-26 09:57:29


eatlasagna- That's not a doctor, that's Marius' grandfather. In the book they have a very troubled relationship, with Marius' grandfather lying to Marius about his father so that he never meets him. Long story short, Marius finds out the truth, becomes obsessed with his father, and basically disowns his grandfather. That's why he, a rich boy, is living in the same squalor that the Thenardiers do, and it's how he meets Eponine and her parents. He also goes to ask his grandfather for permission to marry Cosette, which the grandfather denies. Then at the end Valjean carries Marius back to the grandfather's house and they reconcile.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-26 10:32:25


Besty, I agree with you about the pace. It was so slow at times, I admit to closing my eyes and starting to drift off in certain places.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by YouWantitWhen???? 2012-12-26 10:43:52


I saw it Monday night - I did not love it as much as some of you. I found the closeups distracting, and Crowe's singing very disappointing. I guess I am too familiar with the cast recordings, and used to a much stronger, more robust Javert. I thought singing wise he was the weakest link by far. I also thought that those not familiar with the story would be lost.

I was bored in parts.

Hathaway was the best thing in the film, and deserves the accolades she is getting. Jackman was fine, though sometime his voice was better than others. The younger cast was strong, though the story does plod along.

But, I found the focus on closeups, and some of the shaky camera work distracting, and at times I was looking at my watch.

Maybe I was expecting too much, and I know that some folks loved it. I loved parts of it, but the sum of the entire movie was not as great for me as its parts.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-26 10:49:56


You weren't alone, Jane & YWIW. I saw a lot of watch-checking in the audience after the first 90 minutes.

They did applaud at the start of the credits, though. Not a lot, but a respectful response.

By comparison, they applauded more at the end of Lincoln, and at the end of The King's Speech, there was huge applause.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-26 10:51:42


"I can't believe he's not getting award recognition (Alan Arkin, really?)."

It wouldn't be the first time Alan Arkin stole an Oscar from someone... (/Still Bitter about Blood Diamond)

So "Everyday" is in the movie? So we have to hear Seyfried sing a C6? Oy.

I've seen a few people talk about the movie's storyline having poor continuity. I'll have to see if I agree, as I am a stickler about continuity.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by YouWantitWhen???? 2012-12-26 11:00:47


BTW - I think the live singing only worked "kinda". I think for Hathaway, Barks and Tveit it was magical.

For Jackman, Crowe and even Redmayne (I found his specific singing face very distracting for some reason, though his voice was great), it was not as successful (IMO only).

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-26 11:06:20


Redmayne and Jackman have a lot of tension in their faces when they sing. I actually didn't have a problem with the shots being too close technically, but too close artistically since the camera was picking up all these nervous ticks and head shaking from those two singers.

I don't need to see the earthquake going on inside their heads and necks (instead of their diaphragms) in order to produce those constricted sounds.

They both have good voices. Neither one of them sing correctly (not that this matters for musical theatre unless you want to sustain an operatic-level role eight times a week).

With Crowe, I wish he had been comfortable enough with his singing to ACT the part better. A pre-record would have helped him a little with that. And it would have gotten rid of the Katharine Hepburn closeups during the introspective power ballads.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by DEClarke 2012-12-26 11:20:51


Initial Reactions: The film is great! So intimate! So emotional! I love this new take in the music┬Śnot epic, more introspective! Changed song order works really well. "Dog Eats Dog" not missed. Shortened "Turning" is great transition. Loved how this experience felt so NEW despite being so familiar with the material!

The film utilizes a lot of close up shots and puts a nice introspective spin on most of the music. It's fantastic! All the actors are great, and I wish Crowe was getting more press. While he is not vocally as strong as the others, he does great things with the score!

Reactions after about 12 hours of mulling it over: First off, you know it's good because I can't stop thinking about it, and I want to see it again! The introsepctive, conversational, quietly downplayed vocal stylings were refreshing in this adaptation. I never missed the bombastic Broadway-style belting. All in all, I'm excited that now I'll have a whole new take on the Les Miserables - Musical score. I like the film version for different reasons than I like the stage version, and the scores will appeal to me on different days for different reasons.

Qualms with the movie: Marius finally sold me on "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables." Until then, he sounds a little muppet-y.

Qualms with other people's posts about the movie: I like Russel Crowe's Javert because it was so rigidly static. Javert is perhaps one of the most unchanging characters ever written, and Crowe's voice and acting acumen captured that perfectly.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Fosse76 2012-12-26 11:23:26


Russell Crowe had no business being in this movie. VICI the robot from Small Wonder could have emoted better. Amanda Seyfried fared just as bad, as she was pitchy and warbled so horrendously I wanted to just slap her. She was right in the interviews she's given where she said she was told she wasn't right for the part. I thought Hugh Jackman was fine, if a bit over the top at the end and right after reading Marius' note (both times illicited laughter from my Manhattan-base audience).

The new song Suddenly is horrendous. It's boring and doesn't match anything else in the score. They should have just written a song for the end credits if they wanted an Academy Award eligible song.

Structurally, I thought the scene placement was fine. The only two scenes that didn't seem to work structurally were from Eponine. It just magically started raining, without any warning, everytime she had a song. On My Own seemed to come out of nowhere, and A Little Fall of Rain seemed bizarre because, up to that point, it seems like Marius barely knows her. I think too much was cut from the student "revolutionaries," with much of the music not flowing well, and transitions between songs were horribly non-existent. It's hard to sympathize with them when you don't know what they are fighting for.

I did like how Do You Hear the People Sing lead to the rise of the barricades...however it was too contrived that the barricades weren't built until then...as if the army and police wouldn't have been able to stop them before that could occur.

I found Gavroche's death heartbreaking...and Javert seeing him lying dead was the only time Russel Crowe seemed to realize he was in a movie and needed to act. I also thought it was great how once the students realized all was lost they tried to get away...the fear of their mortality was a brilliant directorial choice.

However, another aspect that didn't work was Javert as a spy. Both Eponine and Gavroche know who Javert is, and both are present at the barricades when he volunteers to find out the plans. I know it's a minor quibble, but it still annoyed me. Master of the House didn't work for me because there didn't seem to be any energy. I did like the "gags" in the scene, but it was just lacking. It was clearly a directorial problem, because the acting was great.

Marius commenting to Cosette, wondering about how he survived the barricade, was also inexplicably cut. Doing so makes Cosette's line about not worrying about it and his subsequent lines to Thenardier about Valjean rescuing hime make no sense. Beggars at the Feast was clearly just thrown in, because it made no sense, and the only fun part about it was SBC's ad-lib "How dare you?"

I loved how we see Valjean demonstrate his strength in front of Javert before being paroled, and how Valjean's unaware of Fantine's dismissal because he is distracted by Javert's arrival. I agree with most that it makes more sense that the Bishop should be there at the end instead of Eponine, but it seemed a little too contrived since we only see him that one time at the beginning. A quick dialogue exchange to Valjean that he had dies would have at least given it some credibility.

All in all it was decent adaptation, though I found myself comparing it to the non-musical Liam Neeson version. I know it's based on the same source, but there were scenes in the non-musical that showed up in the musical that weren't in the stage version, which made it seem like "borrowing" (of course, the non-musical looks like it took much of its structure from the musical anyway). I did enjoy the film for the most part, but that was my reaction.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-26 11:31:18


"Russell Crowe had no business being in this movie."

Wholeheartedly agree. I don't understand why or how he was cast. I've been a fan of Crowe, but this isn't his role.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by faithzilla 2012-12-26 11:37:31


Wow I love hearing everyone's opinions!

I loved it. I only had a few problems. I hated Amanda Seyfried. So. Much. Every time she sang I wanted to punch her in the throat. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were not funny. Helena only provided maybe two laugh lines. Master of the House did not play well on film AT ALL. And that meat grinder? Too far...

I agree that Crowe was not great. I also agree that the close ups got tiresome. However, it was PERFECT for I Dreamed a Dream. Just throwing that camera on Hathaway and letting her do her thing was the best choice they made.

The last issue was Bring Him Home. Yawn.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Fosse76 2012-12-26 11:44:39


"is there such a thing as an unconvicted felon?"

Techinically, yes. If you steal something, you are still guilty of theft because you actually did it. It is something you are regardless of whether or not you get caught and are convicted.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by peachesr82 2012-12-26 12:34:48


As it turns out I won't get to see this until February when it opens in France, but I will get to see in a cinema a few streets away from where the real rebellion happened so it should be quite special.
Anyway, I'm asking this genuinely because I'm curious. To those who think Crowe was miscast. Given that they seemed very determined to have someone equally as famous as Jackman playing Javert, and I completely understand that, who would you have cast instead?
Because honestly, while I think Crowe is out of his depth even having not seen it, I'm struggling to think of any actors who are that famous who could have taken on the role. And yes, I know they could have picked someone less famous and I'm sure you can come up with a dozen names that could do that but clearly they wanted a star.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by americanboy99 2012-12-26 13:11:59


I agree with much of what has been said about "Master of the House." I was especially bothered that Hooper allowed SBC to break the fourth wall and sing to the camera (I believe he's under the bed?), which is the only moment this happens in the film.

The meat grinder seemed like a silly SWEENEY reference that played a little uncomfortably. I did quite like Carter's take on her verse in the song-- the seduction thing. Different from anything I've seen done before at least.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by all that jazz 2012-12-26 13:17:47


I saw it last night and I can honestly say it was the best cinematographic experience of my life. First of all, I live in Puerto Rico where musicals are usually not appreciated and sometimes are shown only in exclusive "fine arts" theaters. It completely blew me away not just to see a sold out audience on Christmas Day, but to see every single person in that room crying and and applauding, yes APPLAUDING!!!!

I understand what some of the critics had to say about the "flashy" cinematography and I must admit, when the film started I was kind of apprehensive about it, but that all went away as soon as At the end of the day started. I feel like the frantic cutting and extreme close ups added a kind of edgy and modern touch to such a grand and ethereal story. It even reminded me a little of the great Bob Fosse, who was also sometimes criticized for his raze dazzle style of filming. I think Hooper's style is not for everyone and it's still developing but I'm definitely anxious to see some of his next films.

All of the sets, costumes, the art direction, the make up, were absolutely breathtaking. The Thernadier's costumes and the sanctuary/church sets were standouts. It was overall a visually stunning film.

The orchestrations although not as powerful as I would've liked them didn't bother me that much. I thought the rearranging of the songs was smart and served the story. I was disappointed with some of the rewriting of the lyrics, particularly cutting drink with me and turning which are some of my favorite songs. But these are only minor details which people who are not familiar with the source material would not notice at all. I also appreciated the additions from the book.

Undoubtedly the film's best features were its stellar performances. Anne Hathaway gave the performance of a lifetime and one of the most memorable musical performances in the history of Hollywood. She will obviously win the Oscar. Another spectacular performance to me was Marius. Eddie Redmayne was just perfection, and added a much needed vocal power to the film. His voice was incredibly powerful, yet vulnerable and beautiful at the same time. ECAET had me in tears, it was honestly one of the best renditions I've ever heard. He is sure to get nominated, and I really hope he wins as well. Samantha Barks and Aaron Tveit were spot on perfection as well. I sobbed all the way through on my own and wanted to stand up and sing during red and black. The Thernadiers were terrific and I really appreciated the human emotions which subtly arose from underneath Helena's craziness. Cohen was not as outrageous as I would've liked him but he definately had me laughing, particularly when he found Valjean in the sewers. Crowe was definitely vocally underwhelming, and his suicide wasn't too powerful, but again I didn't expect much from him. Still, his voice was much better than I thought it would be and I kind of liked stars. Honestly if weren't familiar with the musical I wouldn't have a problem with it. The scene were he puts his medal on gavroche's corpse was very moving. Hugh Jackman was certainly not vocally at the level of Willkinson or Boe but he did not disappoint. His occasional glimpses of vocal power like the 24601 belting and bring him home were quite impressive. His finale was absolute perfection.
Overall the cast was very impressive and Oscar worthy. Even young Cossete and Gavroche were perfect.

As a whole the film was an unprecedented success and officially my new favorite movie. I will probably see it two or three times more during its run. I hope this landmark of a film will lead the way to a new golden age of movie musicals. It was certainly not perfect but some of the greatest milestones in musical's history like Meet me in St. Louis, An American in Paris and Singing in the Rain were not perfect. Musiclas portray human beings, and captures their esscence and emotions more than any other artform. A movie that provokes emotion in you and digs into you deppest despairs cannot be perfect.

Overall I give Les Mis... ??????????

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-26 13:39:06


"who would you have cast instead?"

I wouldn't have minded Joaquin Phoenix.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-12-26 13:53:46


I was especially bothered that Hooper allowed SBC to break the fourth wall and sing to the camera (I believe he's under the bed?), which is the only moment this happens in the film.

I guess it's a debatable point, but it sure felt like Jackman was singing directly to the camera during Valjean's Soliloquy.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by DAME 2012-12-26 14:00:38


See.. I thought he was singing to me.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 14:00:48


Then, technically, Thank You Fosse! ;D

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by PalJoey 2012-12-26 14:01:48


Lee Miser-Mad-Libs:

Saw LES MIZ last night and [past tense verb] it! Anne Hathaway was [adjective], and Russell Crowe [past tense intransitive verb]. The moment I saw [character]'s face, I thought "[Exclamation]!" The fact that the singing was live made some moments [adjective] and others [adverb] [adjective], while all the close-ups added to the sense of [noun]. I spent so much time thinking, "Wow, if only [celebrity] were playing [French name] in this!" My favorite part of the musical was always [song title], and the movie completely [past tense verb] it. My friend [girl's name] totally disagreed, but she doesn't know the show, so [verb] her. In summary, I have to say the movie was [adjective] and will probably win [number] Oscars, even though it should win [number]. Everyone should see it--even you, [boy's name, tagged]!--if only to [verb] its many [plural noun]. Good job, [celebrity]...and [celebrity], better luck next time.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 14:16:14


Yowza PJ! I TOT ally agree w u!! It's like we share the same mind!

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-26 14:18:50


"Anyway, I'm asking this genuinely because I'm curious. To those who think Crowe was miscast. Given that they seemed very determined to have someone equally as famous as Jackman playing Javert, and I completely understand that, who would you have cast instead?"

I don't nec. think Crowe was miscast, but others who might have been interesting as Javert: Kelsey Grammer, Damian Lewis, Hugh Laurie, Robert Downey Jr., John C. Reilly, and, if he weren't playing Valjean, Hugh Jackman.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-26 14:21:34


I have been waiting for a Les Miserables movie since I saw 13. It was the first professional show I ever saw (the Broadway tour) and I would go home from school and google, almost everyday, “Les Miserables Movie”to see of there was any news.

Needless to say, I was terribly nervous/excited to finally see the film last night. As the lights were going down last night, my legs where shaking and I was all but praying that this was a good film.

I had problems with it but they are all pretty tiny and don┬ĺt really affect the outcome of the film as a whole (except two).

Let┬ĺs start with the script. This is a huge movie, spanning many years, and you can feel the ┬ôbigness┬ö of it while watching it. It feels like an epic. Having read the script before seeing the film, there are things I hate that were cut. One involved Gavroche crying and commenting that Eponine was his sister after her death. I thought it was a really nice bit of detail.

My other problem was one of the two that really bummed me out: the omission of Dog Eat Dog. Les Miserables had this beautiful trinity of songs about God that the three adult male leads sing: Javert has his song about a militant God (Stars), Valjean about a merciful God (Bring Him Home), and Thenardier has a song about a God that is dead (Dog Eat Dog). No other song or musical passage was cut from the film and I can think of many that I would rather see cut. Time was obviously not much of a limitation due to the almost three hour running time so I don┬ĺt understand the cutting of this song.

Except for that quibble, the script is everything and more that could have been asked for. The rearrangement of songs works perfectly in a cinematic format and it was good to see the (almost) entire score there. It truly felt like the epic work that it is.

The inclusion of The Bishop over Eponine in the finale is brilliant and one that I hope is included in future stage productions.

There is a scene that is not in the musical featuring Crowe that was one of the best moments in the film for me. It was one of the most moving points in the entire film.

I have heard people complain about the direction/camera work in the film but I thought it was one of its greatest assets. It felt big went it needed to be big and it felt tiny and intimate at the same time.

Onto the acting.

Hugh Jackman is the captain of this film. There is no one else who could have played this role in the film. His Valjean is equal parts touching, merciful, and intimidating. I felt as though Jackman 100% lost himself in the role beautifully and his singing voice has everything I could have hoped for. I do wish they could have lowered Bring Him Home even one step, though. Bring Him Home should be the “act two” equivalent to I Dreamed a Dream but it did not seem to impact me as much as I wanted it to.

Believe the hype. Anne Hathaway is better than you could imagine. I don┬ĺt really know what else to say. I hope she has award speeches prepared because she is going to sweep. I Dreamed a Dream is one of the biggest highlights of the film and her performance is one that will be remembered as long as humans inhabit this earth. It┬ĺs that good.

Russell Crowe seems to be dividing almost everyone. I throughly enjoyed his performance and hopes he gets a supporting actor nomination. I did not expect a booming lyrical baritone out of his singing voice and I don┬ĺt think that type of performance would have worked with this film. His gravelly and very rigid singing worker perfectly for me. I teared up at his death and, like I said earlier, he has one of the most moving moments in the entire film (and its one that I refuse to spoil). I can┬ĺt think of any better casting.

I said earlier that Bring Him Home is not the emotional center peace of act two like I felt it would be. That honor instead goes to Eddie Redmayne┬ĺs Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. Redmayne is giving his star turn and is one of the best assets of the film. It┬ĺs hard to do the ┬ôlove at first sight┬ö thing and make it work but he finds a way to do so. He has an amazing voice and I loved watching him. He won┬ĺt but I feel like he should take home the best supporting actor Oscar.

Amanda Seyfried makes the most out of what is usually a thankless role. Her voice, though heavy on fast vibrato, worked very well for the role and her chemistry with Redmayne was lovely.

Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are every thing you would expect as the Thenariders. Their moments are so needed because the audience needs those laughs so badly. And they deliver them beautifully. I do wish we could have seen moments where they were a bit more sinister but I feel like the inclusion of Dog Eat Dog would have done that.

Special shout out to the brilliant Daniel Huttlestone who plays the young Gavroche. Around me in the theatre there were audible ┬ôNO!┬ô┬Ĺs when the audience realized what his faith might be. I also loved George Blagden who was very moving as Grantaire.

Samantha Barks is a bit throwaway to me. We never really register with her character but she does very well with what she was given. I was not overly moved by her performance but I never really am with Eponine┬ĺs arch. I┬ĺm happy that they gave her a hero┬ĺs death, though. It made her character so much more likable. But, overall, Eponine just sort of fades into the background of the film.

And speaking of fading into the background, here is my second big problem with the film: Aaron Tveit as Enjolras. There was no power on us voice, no power in his choices, and did not for one second believed him capable of leading a revolution. He was the weakest point of the film for me and if they wanted to go with an unknown, so many better choices could have been made.

Overall, this is the movie that fans have been waiting for and the movie that will make millions of new fans for this piece. It is big while being small. It at times loud and at times soft. It knows when to move an audience and when to let them laugh. And it is 100% engaging.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ashley77 2012-12-26 14:29:08


Henrik, I don't think any of those people have the comparative stature of Russell Crowe (except for RDJ) but going with the basic argument against RC (his voice), can any of those people you mentioned sing the role better than him?

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by trentsketch 2012-12-26 14:32:35


Why bother choreographing and staging a movie musical if you're just going to shoot every actor in close-up from the chest-up in every scene? Why bother? And every actor took pauses wide enough to drive a tractor trailer through in every song. Rubato, how does that work?

Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, and Eddie Redmayne were excellent. Master of the House and Lovely Ladies were great numbers. I liked the play on the bridge in Stars and Soliloquy. Really playing up the humor and relationships helped. But those solos that made acting looking like the hardest and most painful thing in the world to do? Woof.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 14:38:56


Hugh Laurie as Javert would have been interesting. ( he was the 1st one to come to my mind when the ? re alternatives was asked) I know he has the singing chops ( I own his blues album) and the gravitas. Whether or not HE would have wanted to do it is another question entirely.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by all that jazz 2012-12-26 14:47:13


I think either Antonio Banderas or Ricky Martin would've been amazing as Javert. And may sound a bit weird but I think John Travolta would've been incredible, and it would have been nice to have someone from another era of musicals.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 14:55:12


Martin would seem too young. Banderas would be ok- except for the few moments when Javert actually speaks- the Spanish accent wouldn't have worked. Well, for me anyways.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-26 14:56:09


I would love someone like Hugh Laurie as Javert, and I wouldn't even care if he were dubbed (well) on certain parts.

But here's his singing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV1Ymtz1a9w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AibZ6E13Iao

Maybe they tried to get him and he wasn't available. Who knows?

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Joviedamian 2012-12-26 15:01:25


"Master of the House didn't work for me because there didn't seem to be any energy. I did like the "gags" in the scene, but it was just lacking. It was clearly a directorial problem, because the acting was great."


Everyone is commenting how ill impressed they were on "Master of the House", yes it was not what it could have been, but I just realized that it might have been because of HBC and SBC schedule. If I remember correctly this was one of the scenes filmed last because of their schedules...the lack of the energy may all had to do with how much time they had to film it. Sometimes you get to a point and say "ok, this is what is has to be", more than what you really want it to be!

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by kyl3fong2 2012-12-26 15:06:24


I remember reading somewhere of Tom Hooper saying that they went back and fixed only about 30% of the audio. I was trying to see where they could have had to go back and fix, and do you guys think that the auto-tuning happened with Russell Crowe's last note in "Javert's Suicide" and "Stars", and in Seyfried's high note in "A Heart Full Of Love"?

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 15:08:48


His blues Album "Let Them Talk" is great. BUT he talks about iit and Blues seems to be his genre. So like I said, wheather he would have done it is in my mind a big ???

But he definitely has the ability. BOATLOADS of it.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-26 15:14:55


David Bowie, who has major acting and singing chops, would have been a very interesting Javert, as would the aforementioned Hugh Laurie or Robert Downey Junior.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by all that jazz 2012-12-26 15:22:31


I wouldn't be surprised if they tuned Crowe because some of the confrontation scenes sounded a bit unnatural and the last note on stars never ended... And the high note was kind of shady!

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-26 15:24:06


"Henrik, I don't think any of those people have the comparative stature of Russell Crowe (except for RDJ) but going with the basic argument against RC (his voice), can any of those people you mentioned sing the role better than him?"

Reilly is a great singer as he proved in Chicago. And is certainly renowned as an actor.

My other suggestions (all of whom sing) were more in response to the argument - one I don't nec. share - that Crowe was miscast (which I didn't nec. take as referring to vocals; I have not seen the movie yet btw). And while stature wasn't my concern, as you mentioned, Downey certainly has a stature as an actor and celebrity comparable to Crowe's. Laurie and Lewis have enormous stature as actors and are well known from tv. Grammer is a big star and a Broadway musical performer. I didn't see La Cage but I assume he can sing at least as well as Crowe; maybe I'm wrong. He certainly would be very well cast as Javert. There are of course many others who are lesser known who could have played the role in the movie and perhaps have become stars by doing so.




Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-26 16:35:32


I definitely heard at least 30% fixed. I actually believe "Bring Him Home" was re-done, and if you watch, they opted for a lot of profile shots, which make it easier to match (I kept thinking of the Mother Abyss singing "Climb Every Mountain.") It doesn't matter, Jackman sang for two hours. But there was sweetening throughout, clearly.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-26 16:41:35


Joaquin Phoenix would have been great because he has strong acting chops and can sing (Walk the Line).

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Fan2 2012-12-26 16:45:17


The only "fixing" done according to some of the principals was some of the crowd scenes and background singing. None of the main actors were autotuned or re-did their songs after filming was complete. It was also said that the beginning of the film in the water wasn't "live" (or it was but they had to fix it, I remember reading tweets from some of the "convicts" saying they had to do ADR) because the microphones kept getting wet and it was noisy from all the water splashing, but that was it.

Sasha Baron Cohen had lost his voice and they had to shut down for a week and he was on voice rest, and he was on the Today Show this weekend and he said he had to do "Master of the House" while he was on steroids.


Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by qolbinau 2012-12-26 16:58:32


I mean I believe that is just simply incorrect. They either are lying or are not aware of it, but there is some heavy autotuning going on particularly with Russel Crowe's voice. It's so sickeningly obvious, he sounds like a machine at points. That last night of STARS sounds so unnatural to me.



Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by trentsketch 2012-12-26 17:07:33


Actors are rarely, if ever, told they're autotuned or dubbed. I remember Liz Calloway telling a story about the red carpet premiere of Anastasia. She bumped into Meg Ryan after the screening and introduced herself as her singing double. Meg Ryan was shocked because she was told that was her singing voice in the film.

Seyfried's high soprano notes were autotuned. They lacked her typical vibrato. Crowe's last note was altered in Stars and covered up by not actually ending the song. Some of Jackman's stuff was enhanced to cover for vocal strain on set.

There are a number of actors in the film who didn't sound like funny things were done to their vocals: Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathawy, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samantha Barks, and the smaller ensemble roles (the one line soloists, the women at the factory, the monsignor, etc.). Jackman, Crowe, and Seyfried sound like their vocals were sweetened a little.

It honestly feels like Jackman's didn't have a consistent enough low range throughout filming, so they fixed it in post. Crowe didn't have a high enough range to fully sing Javert, so they fixed it in post. Seyfried was a nervous wreck on set (by her own admission on Chelsea Lately), so they strengthened her vocal in post. It's their voices, just tweaked.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by luvbrdway 2012-12-26 17:27:55


Anne Hathaway, BRILLANT. I saw Alfie Boe last week with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. After hearing him sing "Bring Him Home", I was spoiled and thought the song was too much for Hugh Jackman. Didn't mind his dying version of it, though. I will buy "I Dreamed A Dream" on iTunes, but forgo the rest and stick to my OBC CD.

Les Mis?rables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 18:12:00


The only "fixing" done according to some of the principals was some of the crowd scenes and background singing. None of the main actors were autotuned or re-did their songs after filming was complete.

Mmm hmm...of course they are going to stick to the "party line". There was a lot of post production tweaking done on the vocals. It was clearly evident, especially with Crowe, Jackman and Seyfried.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Broadway Baby8 2012-12-26 18:14:46


Having seen Les Miserables on stage 5 times (once on Broadway, twice in London and twice in Philadelphia) and having seen Hugh Jackman live twice (Boy from Oz and his one man show last year), I had very high expectations of the movie. Overall, I was not disappointed. I thought Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne were wonderful in their roles! And I loved Colm Wilkinson (original Jean Valjean) as the Bishop. I agree with some that Master of the House was weak, as well as Russell Crowe's voice. But I thought overall, it came pretty close to perfection.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by metropolis10111 2012-12-26 18:24:59


When Hugh stepped into Cosette's room to tell her they must leave did anyone else wonder where the Michael Landon wardrobe came from? Even Hugh's hair was like his ... it totally had the giggles every other moment i saw him with that hair..

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-26 18:44:04


I thought the deathbed scene make-up was sub-par. The brown smudges under the eyes and elaborate yet dull and fake looking hair and beard stuff (far too Wolverine, The Later Year, oddly enough) drew attention to itself. Less is more, and simply keeping Jackman pale would've sufficed (he's not 30 year old anymore, after all.) He looked honestly older in the opening shots, when he was so thin (why not shoot them when he was at that weight?). We don't need all of that stuff piled on. The camera atop his face, he looked powdered up and senior class play-ish.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-26 18:49:19


Interesting interview w Hugh Jackman- esp the Javert reference!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-26 19:04:55


While I don't think it was perfect, I did love the experience.

Performances I loved: Hathaway, Redmayne, Tveit, Barks, Gavroche & young Cosette (sorry that I am unfamiliar with their names)

Performances I got nothing from: Cohen, Carter, Seyfried, Crowe

On the fence, but mostly liked: Jackman

There was almost NO time that I liked Crowe's performance, I just felt he was out of his league at all times. I also felt there were really odd directorial choices for his filming -- ie. Both for Stars and for his suicide, he is high up...and we see his same exact (and calm!) footsteps on the precipice. (I didn't take the SE of his suicide as being his spine cracking, just of his impact.)

I really did love Hathaway's performance. I found her riveting. I also loved the Biship returning to welcome Valjean to heaven -- made so much more sense than Eponine being there -- and of course it was made sweeter being played by Wilkinson.

***Possible Spoiler (if you've never seen LM)**** When the first shot was taken at Gavroche, the woman next to me had such a loud and gutteral reaction...I sat there thinking: really? You didn't know the kid bought the farm? But then I realized, my 16 year old (on the other side of me) hadn't realize it either, although she's listened to the cd for a few years. (I had the same reaction when I produced West Side Story a number of years ago, and people were SHOCKED when Bernardo and Riff were killed, too. I forget that for some, THAT moment is their first.)

I don't mind saying, I cried. A lot. I found it very satisfying and emotionally fulfilling.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Ghostfan2 2012-12-26 19:09:27


Stop nitpicking!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-26 19:29:23


When Hugh stepped into Cosette's room to tell her they must leave did anyone else wonder where the Michael Landon wardrobe came from? Even Hugh's hair was like his ... it totally had the giggles every other moment i saw him with that hair..

Also, his shirt was unbuttoned at the top and chest hair was peeking out like a Harlequin Romance cover model, and the way he entered with his hair mussed looked like he was gonna seduce her. haha

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by trentsketch 2012-12-26 19:46:20


Regarding that Cosette/Val Jean scene in the bedroom, Seyfried and Jackman thought the same thing. Amanda Seyfried had a really funny interview with Chelsea Handler where she said she and Hugh joked about the sexual undertones of the screenplay and the staging. The rest of the cast was disgusted, but they thought it was a riot. Even the actors in that scene thought it was a little ridiculous. I didn't mind it--they acted it well and it wasn't a huge distraction--but it just had an awkward edge that was hard to shake.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-26 19:51:31


Well, it's kind of in the novel too. Hugo says that Valjean never had a wife or daughter or anyone that he loved, so Cosette kind of fills all of those roles for him.

Edit: I should add that my Les Mis viewing plans were foiled due to my fiance's awful work schedule. I am HOPEFULLY going to see it either late tonight or tomorrow.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Addison D. 2012-12-26 19:52:36


Thanks, PJ, for the Mad-Lib!

Enjoyed
Delightful
Disappointed
Marius
F**k Me!!!
Beautiful
Surprisingly intimate
Toaster (??? Not sure this spot really calls for a noun┬ů)
Denzel
Javert
Empty Chairs and Empty Tables
Nailed
Lori
Crucify
Enjoyable
Very few
Three
Anaximander
Enjoy
Pleasures
Hugh Jackman
Russel Crowe


Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 20:04:35


OH FOR CRAP'S SAKE!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-26 20:09:45


^Meaning?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 20:15:04


Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Idiot 2012-12-26 20:20:05


Dramamom -- I wept like mad during the first hour of the film in spots that never moved me as much in the stage version (which I saw more than 10 times all around the globe). Oddly, at the end when Fantine came to take Valjean home, I was moved but didn't cry. I'm fascinated by the difference in the emotional heartbeat of the film version vs. the stage version.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-26 20:30:34


Fantine singing I Dreamed A Dream after she had gone through so much suffering made more sense. The lyrics became more meaningful, especially the part "...I dreamed a dream my life would be so different from this HELL I am living." On stage, Fantine sings I Dreamed A Dream right after she is thrown out of the factory. In the movie, Fantine sings it after she had gone through so much pain - physical and emotional - so you understand what the song means on a deeper level.












Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-26 20:33:37


Made more sense than what? She goes through the same things in the stage version.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-26 20:37:59


Okay...so I'm trying to give myself some time to let it all sink in as I left the theater with a lot of thoughts floating around in my brain.

Firstly, the performances are without fault. They are truly all exceptional, except for maybe Crowe, who I thought was still pretty good. It's really nice to see Jackman carry a meaty role and film like this on his shoulders, and he does so effortlessly. His "Soliloquy" was beautifully performed. Redmayne also impressed me, especially his "Empty Chairs..." which was a highlight. Trumping everyone though, is Hathaway. Everyone else has praised her enough, so in hopes of trying not to just repeat the general consensus, I will say that for someone who is in the film for all of twenty five minutes, I couldn't stop thinking about her for the remainder of the movie.

Now, here's where my thoughts get a little messy. Tom Hooper shouldn't have directed this film, period. To me, he didn't know how to film any of the musical numbers, or the battle sequences. Some of the singing is a bit jarring, which I can't help but blame on Hooper not really knowing how to approach the musicality of the piece. The close-ups didn't bother me as much as the constant shaky-cam, at least for the first hour or so. At some points, it was unnerving. And this is from someone who has enjoyed quite a handful of "found footage" films that use that technique for their entirety. Secondly, the "bigness" of the film is wasted on scenes that don't need it, which leads to a lot of overblown melodramatics and soapiness, leading a lot of the film to be bombastic. Save that grandiosity for the climactic musical numbers and the battle sequences! Thirdly, the editing is just a travesty. There are sequences that are so confusingly edited (ie: the section of "Lovely Ladies" with Fantine's haircut, teeth pulling, etc.) Parts of the film look as though they were edited by Edward Scissorhands. The beginning of "At The End of The Day," "Master of the House," and "One Day More" stand out in my mind as being way too choppy when it came to editing. My eyes barely adjusted to one frame before it was replaced with another.

I really thought the film came alive for extended periods of time when Hathaway was on screen and then for the segment of the movie starting with "In My Life..." and beginning again after the battle scenes. There is no denying the power of the film's final ten minutes, though. The finale is gorgeously mounted and rendered...it definitely got me choked up.

But let's be fair...I couldn't help but wonder how I would feel about the movie if I wasn't so familiar with the musical. I can't figure out if I would have liked it less, or more. I am probably being a little hard on it. But while my thoughts are all over the place, I do have to say that this ensemble is so wonderful that it made me really sad someone better fit for this piece didn't direct it. I don't think Hooper is an untalented director by any means, but I could almost feel his uneasy hand radiating throughout large stretches of the movie.

The film looks lovely (in terms of art direction, costumes, makeup, special effects, etc) sounds great, and is performed with sincerity and clear devotion, particularly by Jackman, Hathaway, Redmayne, Barks, and (I was surprised I felt this way) Seyfried. The live singing absolutely adds to the experience (I almost couldn't imagine this piece being performed to a prerecorded track, as I was watching it).

I really do think the performances elevate the film and make it worth seeing, but I wish it was executed with a more steady and sure approach. While still disappointed, overall I appreciated and enjoyed it for what it was One thing's for sure, you can definitely not call this film unambitious. That being said it's not the best film of the year and it's not a great movie musical. It's probably not even one of the top ten films of the year. At least those are my personal opinions.


I know there's a lot going on in this post, so I apologize for any contradictions it may include. Regardless of everything, it is very heartening to know that audiences are turning out to see a two hour and forty minute sung-through movie musical.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-26 20:39:23


Made more sense than what? She goes through the same things in the stage version.

But on stage, she sings "I Dreamed a Dream" immediately after she gets sacked from the factory. She hasn't sold her hair yet or resorted to prostitution, so the line "I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I'm living" doesn't ring true. But in the film, she sings it after she's hit rock bottom, which AlanAntonio says makes more sense, and I agree.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-26 20:41:30


Read my updated message.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ComingUpRoses2 2012-12-26 20:42:27


I thought the whole film was quite good. Probably the best movie musical since Chicago. No gimmicks, no apologies for being a musical, pretty much everyone can sing quite well, etc.

Cal me crazy, but I think it works much better on film than on stage, which is rare.

As far as I'm concerned, Hathaway already has her Oscar. There's not another performance this year that's moved me as much.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-26 20:43:41


....I'd totally forgotten that. Thanks for reminding me. I guess in my mind, KNOWING what happens, mushed it together.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 20:51:28


I wish they would have stuck to the original novel and had Fantine sell her two FRONT teeth. What a sight to have Anne Hathaway warble "I Dreamed A Dream" with her two front teeth missing!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-26 20:54:08


Mwahahahahahahahahaha HAHA

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-26 20:57:10


Oh and someone needs to feed Samantha Barks a hamburger, ASAP.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 21:00:49


Noooooo!!!!! They were all MISERABLE, living a rotting, stinking life in a Paris where they were all resorted to stealing loaves of bread and selling their bodies, teeth and hair just to survive! DON'T. YOU. GET. IT? She was SUPPOSED to look like that!



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-26 21:05:08


....I said Samantha Barks, not Eponine. Samantha Barks is skinny in real life too. Eponine is not a real person. Samantha Barks is. She needs a hamburger. DON'T. YOU. GET. IT?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 21:06:21


It's called METHOD ACTING. Hugh and Anne lost a TON OF WEIGHT for their craft. If Hugh would have taken some singing lessons and Anne would have REALLY pulled out her teeth and become a prostitute I would have been more impressed.

Give Amanda Seyfried an Oscar for her dead on impression of Jeannette McDonald. Trilly high-pitched Minnie Mouse singing is definitely going to make a comeback if she has her way.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by metropolis10111 2012-12-26 21:06:47




Yet Samantha had enough money to get her eyebrows plucked and have her dress tailored and her hair Pantened shiny for some odd reason

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 21:07:34


NO.. She starved herself for her ART. YOU CLEARLY..DON'T GET.IT.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 21:09:52


@ metropolis10111: That wasn't Pantene...that was the wetness of the rain giving her that shine to her long tresses. The moisture of that rain was also responsible for her dewey lips and her clingy wardrobe. She looked good in her MISERY albeit a little on the thin side!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-26 21:14:13


Can you imagine how much better the movie would have become if the producers dared to cast a really strong, albeit unknown actor, to essay Javert? There are so many fantastic, insanely talented actors on Broadway and the West End, for example (and I bet they were all cringing watching Russell Crowe). Crowe's portrayal was weak, and his singing was bland, deprived of conviction.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Luscious 2012-12-26 21:16:27


Wanted to love it... but didn't. Some of it is very good. Most of it is not. Unfortunately, Hooper got more wrong than right. Loved Hathaway. Hated Crowe. Jackman was very good, but far from perfect. Never could get past the fact that I was watching Hugh Jackman. For me, he never became Valjean.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 21:20:09


Noooooo Luscious!!! You have to LOVE IT!!! This is broadwayworld.com!! If you don't ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT, then you are considered a traitor: against musicals, musical film and THEE-AY-TURR in general!! You musn't say that!!!

Don't you know that Anne Hathaway already HAS her Oscar and that giving it to her in March, during the ceremony is just a formality?!?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Luscious 2012-12-26 21:24:22


LOL! Well... I DID love Hathaway. Don't know if she'll be taking home Oscar, but she was the best thing in the movie. It wouldn't bother me one bit if everyone else involved were overlooked come Oscar time.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by metropolis10111 2012-12-26 21:24:33


Luscious can come have a drink with me. I didn't loth it but it was a LONG 3 hours of my life I'll never get back.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-26 21:27:42


Luscious can have a drink...or is that rink..with me as well. I loved Hathaway, Redmayne and Barks...oh and Isabelle Allen and the kid who played Gavroche.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-26 21:31:26


I really hope Hooper gets shut out of the Best Director nominees, if nothing else. His was hardly one of the five best directorial efforts of the year.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Joviedamian 2012-12-26 21:59:05


I wish Robert Downey, Jr. would have been Javert!

This guy sings "Stars" better than Russell did, and this kid is only 15 at the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQI_NqpNsIM

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by PTOPhan 2012-12-26 22:46:58


I never saw "Les Mis" on Broadway or in the Kennedy Center, and was not very impressed with the production I attended at Wolf Trap. The movie beats the play out by quite a margin, in my view. First, some of the less important songs have been shortened (e.g., "Little People," which always bored me to tears). Second, they've moved "Do You Hear the People Sing?" to a spot that I think makes more sense. Third, they've added some spoken dialogue and scene changes that help explain the otherwise confusing story. Fourth, they've added introductions to some of the songs that also help explain the action. Fifth, they've revived some of the important bits from the novel that the play cut out (e.g., Marius's grandfather appears in the movie, and Fantine sells something that she doesn't in the play). Sixth, in my view, the slight change in Javert's motivation for his soliloquy makes his character more believable, although some might disagree. Seventh, Jean Valjean's love for his adopted daughter comes through much more strongly than in the stage version.

On the other hand, I think that the much vaunted live singing technique falls flat. Most of the main actors -- especially Russell Crowe -- simply lack the voice to record the songs as part of the action, instead of in the studio. Second, the scenes on the streets are so gritty (literally and figuratively) that they can become almost stomach-turning. Third, the Thenardiers are over the top. There is a danger in making child abusers the comic relief, but the play manages to pull it off without appearing exceptionally tasteless. However, the campy humor of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter doesn't fit, especially when sandwiched between the other relentlessly depressing scenes. As for the action during the "liver of a cat" line...the less said, the better.

Still, I can almost guarantee that, if you cried during "E.T.," you will cry at the end of "Les Miserables," despite the flaws. I'm sure the film will be up for numerous Oscars.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by GlindatheGood22 2012-12-26 23:12:48


Saw it this afternoon and enjoyed it for the most part. I'm not really that familiar with the show so I'm probably not the best person to judge, but I did like it. The only thing that bothered me was Do You Hear The People Sing - seemed too contained to me.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by kec 2012-12-27 00:07:52


"Did anyone else lose it when Javert bends down to pin his medal of honor on the body of the young Gavroche? What a great directional choice!"

OMG YES!!!!!! I was already in tears by this time, and that scene killed me!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-12-27 00:10:33


Third, the Thenardiers are over the top. There is a danger in making child abusers the comic relief, but the play manages to pull it off without appearing exceptionally tasteless.


I guess you weren't paying attention when you saw the show onstage.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-27 00:34:21


"First, some of the less important songs have been shortened (e.g., "Little People," which always bored me to tears)."

When, since (and including) the original Broadway production, has "Little People" ever been anything but a short reprise-style snippet?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by HumATune 2012-12-27 01:43:25


Just got home from seeing the film.

I really enjoyed it. My biggest quibble is that they should have lowered the key for Hugh Jackman's "Bring Him Home" because it was rather painful. I mean he sang "What Have I Done" and "Who Am I" in lower keys. A friend of mine thought the problem was that he was belting the whole time instead of using head voice/falsetto. But overall I thought Hugh gave a moving performance.

Russell Crowe isn't the best singer, but on film with his acting, he makes it work.

I enjoyed Samantha Barks much more here than I did on the 25th Anniversary DVD. On that, I found her acting to be rather wooden, but she kicked her acting up several notches for the film.

Also, I may or may not have been the only person in the theater cheering with Colm Wilkinson's name came up in the credits.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by philly03 2012-12-27 02:22:32


I thought Crowe did a sufficient job as well - not the strongest, but much better watching than just listening on the recording.

The close-ups distracted me terribly, particular Eddie Redmayne and his singing style (wobbling jaw).

I thought Sam Barks gave a wonderful performance, but the movie makes Eponine more whiny than the musical. "A Heart Full of Love," "On My Own," and "One Day More" practically back to back - overkill on the "all on my own"/unrequited love that makes her seem pathetic rather than spunky. I also found it bizarre that it manages to rain only for "On my Own" and "A Little Fall of Rain," then quickly stops. Lousy editing to me.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Page2Stage 2 2012-12-27 04:14:35


I agree with you 100 percent on that. I think that Burton should have left the music and the songs alone, and sorry you don't have to cast your wife, and your best actor boy in everything you do, especially if they are not great singers, and don't fit the role they are playing. I hope Disney does a better job at being true to the Into the Woods musical film they are producing with Sandhime. Hav not seen Les Mis yet, but want to really badly.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 06:19:55


I hope Disney does a better job at being true to the Into the Woods musical film they are producing with Sandhime.

Who on God's green earth is Sandhime?!!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-27 06:25:00


You know, Stefayne Sandhime! The dude who wrote the tunes!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ladyanderson 2012-12-27 07:54:10


message deleted

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-12-27 08:06:22


One of the worst movies I've had the displeasure of sitting through all year. Long, ugly, and boring. The idea to have the actors sing live may have been genius but choosing to film every big musical number in one long jittery close up was not.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 08:09:08


You know, Stefayne Sandhime! The dude who wrote the tunes!

^ LUV!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 08:11:19


Who the heck is "Colm Wilkerson"? And more importantly, did his name appear in the credits in quotation marks, 'cause that's cool if they actually did that.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 08:12:58


One of the worst movies I've had the displeasure of sitting through all year. Long, ugly, and boring. The idea to have the actors sing live may have been genius but choosing to film every big musical number in one long jittery close up was not.

But no, really. Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-27 08:45:08


So, Carlos -- your entire job here is to trash anyone that has any opinion? You mock those that love it, you mock those that hate it, you mock those with a typo. You are truly more "you" than usual. (And yes, including the quotation marks.)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-27 09:02:06


This is blasphemy! You don't know who Colm Wilkinson is? Google it.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-27 09:05:01


Read more carefully -- the poster that mentioned the applause for his name spelled it wrong. Carlos knows who he is.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-27 09:09:26


Bring Him Home is a prayer and should have been sung in the movie softly and solemnly, the way it is done on stage. Nonetheless, Hugh Jackman did a terrific job. Anne Hathaway was phenomenal. Her I Dreamed A Dream reduced the audience to a slobbery mess.

No movie is perfect, but this one is pretty darn good. It did the material justice. Victor Hugo would not be complaining.



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AlanAntonio 2012-12-27 09:10:28


Oh, I see. I was just kidding.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-27 09:13:35


I think only a couple of you have mentioned this, but why on earth did someone decide to remove nearly all of the percussion from the movie orchestrations? While not as fatal a crime as cutting every trace of choral singing from Sweeney Todd, in many cases, the lack of percussion sucks the life right out of this score.

Did they think they were removing the "pop" sound and making it more legit or "timeless?" If so, they should have cast opera singers (which would have been awful with this score, in my opinion).

The source material for Les Miz is what it is. No less ... but no more either.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-27 09:23:43


Excellent point; the orchestra is muted, and sounds, well, added. As it was. Can't imagine any reason to listen repeatedly to this soundtrack. But I've been listening to this score since I bought the French LP in London, two days after seeing the show at the Barbicon. For a new audience, this film may be definitive. Those of us with decades of experience with the show may be the least likely to embrace its pleasures.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by metropolis10111 2012-12-27 09:26:33


To me it had to be removed as to not overwhelm the live singing. IMHO the live singing hampered the score. If they have used it for the smaller more intimate numbers it would have been fine but the large numbers get lost in translation. The percussion may very well be there but to in the background as to almost be inaudible. Also there are cues in the music as to when things should happen that didn't and I found it distracting when then didn't. Not because I wanted it to be like the stage show but rather it was like the action was a beat to two behind the score. The most glaring was the jump at the end of Stars. That soaring last note and the swell of the music is glorious and it was not their on either count.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-27 09:58:59


"So, Carlos -- your entire job here is to trash anyone that has any opinion? You mock those that love it, you mock those that hate it, you mock those with a typo. You are truly more "you" than usual. (And yes, including the quotation marks.)"


Drammamama - my hero!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 10:03:21


I can only be true to myself. I'm an equal opportunity mocker. It's just too easy around these parts.

Oh by the way, lighten up...it's not that serious.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 10:04:14


Yeah, just slap a cape on her and watch her fly. She's a "hero". (Yes, quotation marks intended)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Jane2 2012-12-27 10:05:27


someone needs a hug.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Freeman5 2012-12-27 10:48:32


I felt that 75% of the film deserves an A and 25% deserves a C, so I give it a B+.

What I loved the most about the movie were the wonderful performances - in order of preference: Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Amanda Seyfried (I love her singing voice; Cosette simply doesn't have a standout solo like Fantine and Eponine), Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Colm Wilkinson, Helena Bonham Carter, Sasha Boren Cohen, Russell Crowe.

I prefer the second half of the movie to the first half - the younger quartet enthralled me. Once I accepted that musicals have a different set of rules, I could enjoy the "love at first sight" hokiness and relax and enjoy it.

O.K., my quibbles: I disliked the too grand opening - the images were wrong imo - love the song but the images needed to start out more simply; there was a lack of menace when Inspector Jalvert shows up - Crowe plays the role conflicted whereas Charles Laughton and Charles Vanel (the best film Jalvert) play it without conflict, as someone who knows he is right all the way through to the end; a few scenes go on too long and lose focus; the new song, "Suddenly", is O.K. but needed to be better; the scene at Marius' family house after their wedding was jarring for me - why was Marius involved in the student rebellion? In the novel and the 1934 movie, this is explored better; some of the editing and camera work is brilliant but some of it is off kilter; I get that the Thenadiers are meant to be musical comedy relief but I am used to seeing them as outright villains in other film versions and the novel.

However, the vocal performances are wonderful and the performances kept me involved throughout the film. I am now a huge Samantha Barks fan and hope she has more film roles for us to enjoy. As for the Oscars, I'd like to see the film nominated for Best Picture, Actor (Hugh Jackman), Supporting Actor (Eddie Redmayne), and Supporting Actress (Samantha Barks and Anne Hathaway), as well as many technical nods for art direction, costumes, and sound editing/mixing.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by mamaleh 2012-12-27 11:00:02


I have seen the film three times already and will be back for another visit soon. Hugh Jackman's heart and soul carried the film beautifully; I do hope he gets the Oscar nomination he so deserves. Someone on this board praised the "directional choice" of Javert's placing the medal on the body of little Gavroche. I read an interview in which it was revealed that it was Russell Crowe's idea; Hooper liked it so much he kept it in. On my first viewing, I thought that touch took away from the image of Javert as a villain, but then realized Crowe was humanizing him, even after singing that the "schoolboys" will "wet themselves in blood." These are all complicated individuals, from Valjean on down, so adding shades of gray only added to their humanity.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 11:02:56


THREE TIMES?!!! Bless your soul!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by HumATune 2012-12-27 11:56:21


Yes, I misspelled Colm Wilkinson. That's what I get for typing while tired and not proofreading.

Carry on with your bickering; I shall pop some popcorn and continue to read this thread. :)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-27 12:05:31


Why was Marius involved in the student rebellion? In the novel and the 1934 movie, this is explored better.

I agree Freeman5. This really bugged me when I saw the movie. I think Eddie Redmayne does a great job with the material he's given, but I also think one of the reasons he's not receiving more attention for his fine work is that his character is pretty two-dimensional. He's almost put into the story just as a "Ken doll" love interest for Cosette. We don't hear any of his motivations in his life outside of his love for her.

Even with his performance having depth, his character does not. I give him all the more credit for making Marius "flesh and blood" on the big screen in this adaptation. He made more out of the material than is actually there.

I'll also add that Samantha Barks did a fine job. I was not a fan of her Eponine in the concert video. She didn't connect to the material as an actress at all (to me), but in the film she did. Her voice is fine, better than most, but not extraordinary. Her acting, combined with her singing (some of the best among this particular cast), put her in the "really good" category. I think she will get more film work out of this. She proved she can act and has an interesting look for film. I wish her luck. A promising screen debut.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 12:09:46


What an ingenious idea HumATune, I think I will pop some popcorn as well. This thread is quite entertaining.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by BroadwayKiwi 2012-12-27 12:30:29


I would like to give my thoughts in the style of parody lyrics, thus:

There was a time when rhymes were rhymes
And orchestrations weren't soft
Tempo changes weren't biting
There was a time when pitch was right
And a song was a song
Songs which had no re-writing
There was a time...

Then the movie came.

(Segue to)

HUGH VALJEAN:
Enter Monsieur, please take your seat
But not too close, or you'll see what we eat
The shoot was no fun but this cast's so diverse
Screenings will sell 'til cheques break my purse.
Have you seen the show? Tears flowed from your eyes?
Well here's a Les Mis├ęrables you won't re-cog-nise...

Music you can't hear!
Cuts you won't believe!
Claude-Michel and Alain watched it once and heaved.
Con-tin-u-i-ty? What the hell is that?
Fauchelevent is gardening after being crushed flat!

What's the rule-of-thumb in theatre?
"Must be faithful to the text."
Well, that doesn't matter. Here's a bit of what you can expect...
Marius, quite good
Enjolras, just wood
Cosette, much less vibrato, only if she could!
Here, a sweeping view. There, extreme close up.
Looks like he directed it with his eyes shut!
When it came to making Les Mis
Tom used ev'ry trick he knows
Most of ya won't like it
Well, get on yer bike it's
Worth destroying hist'ry for the gross!!!

ENSEMBLE (SEWING AND LOADING RIFLES IN PERFECT RHYTHM):
Les Mis On The Screen!
Hear non-singers sing!
Javert should be a baritone but tone-deaf zings!
Hugh's easy to watch
There it's either just
Wide-eyed-looks-of-shock or chest-hair-bared-in-lust
Russell said we'd join the students
But he joined them by himself
Then he goes and pins a medal onto Gavroche the blonde elf.

FANTANNE HATHAWAY:
I used to dream that I would play Fantine
But now this movie's gone and killed the Dream I Dreamed...
Les Mis on the screen? Should have been a hit.
Decades of great theatre now reduced to ****.
Doesn't Valjean age? Why not grey his hair?
'Bring Him Home' falsetto? Well it's just not there.
Wish I'd run it by my agent...
Tom and this Ben Hur of his...
God knows how's I've lasted acting in this bastardized Les Mis!

BOTH:
Les Mis On The Screen.
Les Mis played for laughs!

Leaves you warm and fuzzy!
Get those whores a scarf!

Swim around in poo...
Swim until you drown...

Some guy steals a loaf of bread and **** goes down!

Everybody go and see it.
Just to say that it you've seen.

Everybody raise a glass!
Raise it up Tom Hooper's arse!

And make sure you use the bathroom
Before Les Mis On The Screen.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Iris Chacon 2012-12-27 12:39:56


LMis wonderful and a big freaking hit. Was so looking forward to all of you turning nasty and bitter and trying to top each other in viciousness.. BWW never disappoints.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by JP2 2012-12-27 12:42:21


Seriously!

Meanwhile the film has already earned $30 million at the box office, and looks to make back its entire budget (minus the sure to be huge promo budget) this weekend.

I realize not everything is for everyone, and some snark is expected (and if its funny, it's welcome) but if all some of you can do is reply to EVERY last post in this thread with bitterness and sarcasm, well, that's just a shame.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-12-27 12:46:30


You realize Forbidden Broadway took care of this decades ago, right?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 12:49:10


Yes BWW NEVER disappoints. Les Mis on the other hand DOES! Voila!

Some of you seriously need to get a grip...it's not that serious.



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by JP2 2012-12-27 12:51:41


Right on schedule.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 12:52:04


Hey, the legendary Iris Chacon has given it two buns up! Maybe I should reconsider?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 12:52:44


I aim to please JP2.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-12-27 12:58:59


I loved the movie, but as I said, I knew it was going to divide people.

But this comment is my favorite thing ever:

Still, I can almost guarantee that, if you cried during "E.T.," you will cry at the end of "Les Miserables," despite the flaws..

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-27 12:59:16


Hey Carlos.. sorry to hear you did not enjoy it . Did you happen to see it in a theater full of them Mexicans and Puerto Ricans?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-27 13:28:28


LOL @ BroadwayKiwi!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 13:30:00


I enjoyed it for the most part. I didn't HATE it. I also didn't think it was the second coming of movie musicals either. No, I didn't see it in a theater full of dem Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. I saw it in a theater full of white folks. Maybe that was the problem.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-27 13:32:17


Oh good. You know how sometimes you cant seem to get out of the barrio. But who said anything about it being the "second coming of musicals"?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 13:36:26


This is very true. But you know what they say, you can take the boy out of the barrio but you can't take the barrio out of the boy.
But can you imagine all the Puerto Ricans at a screening of Les Miserables? They wouldn't know how to act. They'd be hootin' and hollerin' and stinkin' up the theater with their arroz con pollo.

And the way some people are carrying on about this film you would think it was the "second coming of musicals".

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-27 13:40:02


Well.. it IS a musical. And this IS a Broadway chat board. What would you like them to be talking about on the week of a major movie musical opening? MENUDO?

And burritos make a lot less noise than the munching of popcorn.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by TheatreDiva90016 2012-12-27 13:40:51


I liked the part where Liza sang.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 13:44:50


I will take the burrito versus popcorn theory into consideration.

But while we are on the subject of MENUDO, maybe I am secretly pissed off they didn't cast Ricky Martin in this.

Instead they went with Wolverine, Catwoman, Gladiator and that chick from MAMMA MIA.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-27 13:46:08


Hmmm.. were there gay Puerto Ricans in the French revolution?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 13:48:35


There should have been. It would have added some much needed spice in this flick.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-27 13:50:05


Yeah.. but then they probably would have cast Mark Anthony. And who the hell needs to see so much ugly?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 13:50:43


^ This is a true statement.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Outoftowner2 2012-12-27 15:03:31


It's not perfect but I really liked most of it. Crowe just seemed to back off of every note..like he was self-conscious about singing. His presence is strong but the singing came across as tentative. He seemed to be trying for subtle and quietly seething when at times he needed to be big. I missed the bigness of some of the music, especially in the first half. Still, as a fan who's seen it probably 25 times on stages all over the world..it's good to have it permanently captured. Makes me want to get back to London soon for the live experience.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by matineeidol2013 2012-12-27 16:06:18


Just got back from a noon screening in Pittsburgh; I was very surprised that the theatre was as full as it was (about 3/4).

Enjoyed the movie over all; thought the acting and design elements were quite solid. It was certainly a feast for the eyes.

I had issues with understanding lyrics (I think I would've had an extremely difficult time understanding what anybody was singing/saying if I didn't know the score so well already) and with the way the film was edited. One shot would sometimes move to another so quickly that I was unsure of the action that had just occurred in the former shot.

Regardless of its flaws, any form of mainstream media that brings musical theatre to a forefront gets high marks in my book!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by qolbinau 2012-12-27 16:32:34


Can we revisit the aspect ratio issue?

It was weird seeing black bars at either side of the screen, such that it almost felt like watching a 4:3 movie. Why did they do this, and is this common for movies to do? (I.e. which other movies and musicals have done this recently?) I never really noticed it until this movie. I wondered if they made a mistake at my cinema..

Maybe in the past they have put the curtains in the right place so I haven't really noticed.



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-12-27 17:16:05


I just got back from the movie and it was FANTASTIC. The scenery and the music were both beautiful.

Hugh Jackman was perfection as Jean Valjean. His acting and singing were excellent.

Anne Hathaway was just wonderful as Fantine. Her singing was absolutely lovely and she gave the character so much depth.

I also enjoyed Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. Her singing voice was pretty and this was one of the best acting performances that I have seen from her.

Russell Crowe's singing wasn't awful like Pierce Brosnan's was in 'Mamma Mia'. It just was not strong enough for the role like Gerard Butler's was not in 'The Phantom of the Opera'. His acting was fine though.

When I first heard that Samantha Barks was cast as Eponine I was a little disappointed because I wanted to see someone new in the role. But she was very good like she was in the 25th Anniversary Concert.

Eddie Redmayne and Aaron Tveit's performances were terrific and I thought Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were great villains.

I plan on seeing the film again with my friend this weekend and I am very much looking forward to it.



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-27 17:26:37


If you saw "black bars" on the sides, they didn't set the theatre right for displaying the proper "Academy flat" ratio of 1.85:1.

"Les Miz" was filmed that way, for some unknown reason for an "epic" of this scale. The two most common aspect ratios for modern films are 1.85:1 and 2.35:1, also known as CinemaScope.

Both are widescreen formats, but CinemaScope is the widest. Most action movies today or big adventure movies are shot in the wider format. It makes the movies feel more expansive and just plain "bigger."

Many smaller dramas and comedies still use the Academy ratio. Up until recently Spielberg also preferred this ratio. Of his earlier films, Jaws and Close Encounters used CinemaScope, but E.T., The Color Purple, Schindler's List, etc., all used the Academy flat ratio. And Woody Allen always shoots in this format. There are other "epic" movies, such as Out of Africa, that were shot Academy flat, not the wider CinemaScope.

There is an opinion by many directors that this ratio is better for actors and "acting." Audiences will focus more on the acting and less on the expansive scenery. I disagree with this. A good director and cinematographer can frame scenes and capture performances very well in the wider CinemaScope ratio.

Although, I will say that a majority of the Oscar-winning performances since the 1970s have come from Academy ratio films, not CinemaScope, so there may be something psychologically to that format.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Rainbowhigh23 2012-12-27 17:31:55


I loved seeing some West End actresses in the credits; Alison Jiear, Dianne Pilkington, and Linzi Hately, the first Carrie!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by stagemom3 2012-12-27 17:34:44


Could not agree with you, more. Crowe was a major disappointment. No expression whatsoever, and a very marginal voice. Loved Ann Hathaway, and Hugh Jackman.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-12-27 17:41:51


"I loved seeing some West End actresses in the credits: Dianne Pilkington"

I read in previous articles that her 'Wicked' co-stars Kerry Ellis and Alexia Khadime were in the film but I did not know that she was a part of it as well.

I also forgot to mention in my previous post that the performances from the kids: Isabelle Allen, Daniel Huttlestone, and Natalya Angel Wallace were very good.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Plum 2012-12-27 17:42:33


Crowe wasn't as bad as I worried he'd be - as was pointed out, at least this wasn't a Pierce Brosnan situation - but yeah, even next to Jackman, who was struggling with the upper range of Valjean, Crowe just didn't have the vocal expressiveness of a real musical theater performer. I did enjoy the hell out of "The Confrontation," though, because there was actual staging and things happening, which let Crowe and Jackman's acting come to the fore.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by qolbinau 2012-12-27 18:50:07


I do think that saying that Crowe "even next to Jackman" sounded bad underrates Jackman's singing ability. Jackman is a 'true' musical theatre singer who gave a good performance, even if it was slightly strained sometimes and not perfect. He is not a non-singer cast in a singing role. Crowe simply cannot sing.


(p.s. thanks for the explanation, bars).

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-27 18:51:33


Recently I have found myself thinking about possible edits that could have reduced the running time and tightened things up.

Suddenly- Yea I get the point they want a new song for Academy eligibility but still- cut ( 2.3 mins)

Red & the Black. Some may love this song- I'd have reduce a least a chorus and maybe a verse. Slows down sooo much. 20 secs cut

At least one verse out of Master of the House. U can barely make out the lyrics anyway as the Rube Goldberg version of larceny spins in front of u. 15 205 secs

The early case sequence in the streets- gut by 10 secs & we still get the msg.

Drink With me cut a chorus. 15- 20 sec

Valjeans's wanderings after release -we get it NObody want u! 10-15 sec.

Any Others? ( no wholesale butchery like cutting out ALL for Crowe's singing!)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by JP2 2012-12-27 18:54:44


"Can we revisit the aspect ratio issue?"

Avengers was also filmed like that. It bothers me in the theater, yes, but once I own said film on dvd/bluray its a none issue since it generally fills my entire flatscreen.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-27 18:55:31


I wish they would have sexed things up a little. At least when they were getting ready for the revolution.. maybe have some boys, shirtless, getting dressed. Maybe some getting out of bed after making love to their women for the last time. Just something to humanize them a little more. This was my only complaint. But I say this about everything.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Kad 2012-12-27 18:57:04


So, sabrelady, you've cut less than four minutes from the film.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-27 18:57:35


Yeah, even the prostitutes were sexless in this one. Ugly and sexless.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by kec 2012-12-27 19:02:45


"I loved seeing some West End actresses in the credits: Dianne Pilkington"

I believe Katy Seacomb was also in the cast -- I think she was the woman with the red flag grabbed by Marius in one scene.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-27 19:06:02


Katy is also the daughter of Harry Seacomb, who played Mr. Bumble (brilliantly) in the movie "Oliver!"

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by justagirl2 2012-12-27 22:45:34


I loved it. Granted, I love Les Miserables anyway and will blindly enjoy any exposure to it, but I was pleased.

Anne Hathaway has never been a favorite of mine, but credit where it's due - she was phenomenal. The most honest Fantine I've ever seen.

I was also really surprised by Eddie Redmayne. I usually detest Marius and hate the fact that he's one of the few that survives, but I loved him in this and he turned "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" into a new favorite. He was charismatic, interesting...I can't rave about him enough.

Also impressive: Samantha Barks (she reminded me why I used to love Eponine so much), little Gavroche, Aaron Tveit (again reaffirming that Enjolras is actually the best character), Hugh Jackman (not perfect, but I was okay with him), and I actually really liked both SBC and HBC.

I didn't hate Russell Crowe - most of the time he acted it well enough that I could look past the voice. But "Stars" is my favorite song, so that hurt a bit. Amanda Seyfried was the only thing I truly hated. Cosette is tough to play, I assume - she generally doesn't get a big ballad like the others, nor much character development. But yikes. She couldn't sing it AT ALL. I usually like Amanda in other things, but I just can't with her in this.

Going back tomorrow...I expect I'll have a SLIGHTLY more critical eye this time around!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by AEA AGMA SM 2012-12-27 22:52:28


I'm mixed on it. The performances ranged from serviceable to wonderful, but I'm one of those people who just don't do well with nearly three hours of shaky-cam. I'll be able to watch it at home when it's released on blu ray and the screen is not filling my entire field of vision, but I certainly won't be a repeat viewer at the movies, as I don't need another bout of movie-induced motion sickness.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by YouWantitWhen???? 2012-12-27 23:34:16


PBS is airing the 25th Anniversary concert right now. Norm Lewis as Javert - swoon.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CHOOKA2 2012-12-28 01:35:09


I havn't read the book but does/did Jean Valjean ever have any female company? And maybe the book explains how he got to be mayor,owned a factory--there seemed to be so many gaps-also with the students-I never questioned this with the stage show-maybe a movie is more 'in your face' and the gaps more obvious[to me]-maybe I SHOULD read the book.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-28 02:07:38


I can see people having trouble coming up with a way to label the student cause in a concise manner, but do people really not at all get what they're fighting for?

It is only mentioned repeatedly that General Lamarque--the last man in the government to give a rat's ass about the plight of the poor--is deathly ill and, as Marius notes, "fading fast."

The impoverishment of the city has gotten out of control thanks to a corrupt, uncaring government and once Lamarque passes on, so will their last shred of hope. This is why upon notice of his death, Enjolras and his followers take to the streets handing out flyers that detail their cause and hope to rally civilian support in what they feel will culminate in an insurrection by the people against the government that they hope to overthrow.

Like I said, I understand not getting exactly what I detailed above from a single viewing of a version of the musical, but most know it is a fight for freedom and justice from a corrupt ruler by civilians that is initiated by idealistic students of a local university.

At bare minimum, the vast majority of audiences do seem to get that it's a fight on behalf of the impoverished, who are the victims of corruption. That's what I understood from it when I saw it for the first time at age 11.

It is based on an actual June rebellion that took place in France, and it is not the French Revolution.



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-28 02:17:37


It is based on an actual June rebellion that took place in France, and it is not the French Revolution.

Right you are, but in the film Enjolras for whatever reason shouts to the soldiers from the barricade something about it being "the French revolution," which I thought was just gonna confuse people even more. haha





Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-12-28 02:25:18


I am going to give the film a second viewing this weekend. My biggest problem with the film was that it lacked that "epic" feel I was expecting. I thought the orchestrations were WAY too quiet. I still can't get over that. This is an epic musical with a lush score, the music in the film lacked that epic touch and excitement because of how quiet the orchestrations were. That was definitely my biggest problem with the film - the lack of epicness in many aspects of the film.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Brave Sir Robin2 2012-12-28 02:58:16


I truly think that this film has a shot at Best Picture. I could not have imagined it any other way.

I think that Russell Crowe was perfect for Javert, but only if it were a non-singing adaptation. He didn't have a horrible voice, but it sounded as if the voice was not coming from his throat.

Anne Hathaway was perfect. Utterly perfect and heartbreaking. Having seen Sally Field in "Lincoln," her main competition, I think Anne should have it in the bag. Perfect.

I really think more accolades and recognition should be given to Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, and Samantha Barks. Tviet had the best voice out of any males, and Barks was a great Eponine. Minor thing: I really just wanted Barks to belt out "'One more day all on my own" - forget this "truthful vocals" nonsense for a moment.

I never usually like Sacha Baron Cohen or Helena Bonham Carter, but they were great for the role and I was very happy to be pleasantly surprised by them.

Hugh Jackman was great, for sure a lock for a Best Actor nomination, but I did not like his "Bring Him Home" or his insane vibrato. "Bring Him Home" was very brassy and belty, but out of place to me. I guess he just didn't have the falsetto range.

I think that Amanda Seyfried was a perfect Cosette. Cosette is not some difficult acting role, nor is it a showy/brassy role. Compared to Fantine and Eponine, she is supposed to be demure. I did not mind the vibrato and actually liked that her voice was a little quieter.

I loved the orchestrations and thought that all of the musical arrangements were great. I think the live vocals did not make a massive difference, but it did seem more real than the vocals on "Glee" or even in films like "Rock of Ages." I think this film is likely to win sound editing and mixing awards. Visually, I thought the film was stunning, and the many close-ups were not nearly as annoying as others made them seem. But could there have been more wide shots? Sure.

Is this eligible for Adapted Screenplay? There isn't much dialogue, but all of the cuts and rearrangements were perfect.

Overall, my qualms are minimal. This film was sheer brilliance, and I hope this leads to more movie musicals. Maybe we can get Spielberg to direct "Miss Saigon"?

Oscar Likeliness
Should Win: Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Supporting Actress, Best Score
Nominations: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Redmayne), Art Direction, Song, Costume Design, Makeup, Director, Adapted Screenplay.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-28 03:22:59


You need to remember: when the students began this squirmish, they believed it would be THE French Revolution. They could not know that it would be over nary before it began. (And of course, they could not know there would be something that would be called The French Revolution.)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-28 03:35:46


(And of course, they could not know there would be something that would be called The French Revolution.)

Why not? The June Rebellion occurred 40 years after the so-called French Revolution. Or is "French Revolution" a recent term for 1789-1799 upheaval?

At any rate, the filmmakers could've had Marius yell out something else, or simply "Revolution!" To most people, "French Revolution" is the Bastille, Marie Antoinette, and guillotines.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by sabrelady 2012-12-28 03:38:06


Valjean makes his money coming up w a method of creating cheap decorative elements for clothing- buckles & "jet" beads & jade and manufacturing same using the sale of the Bishop's silver to "start up". I *think* he learned the trick from another prisoner.

I wondered about that scene in the factory making rosaries- usually nuns and sometimes monks created those for their orders to sell but then u lose those bits o bizness like thrusting a crucifix in peoples faces or dropping them into their hands.

Women- cant really remember any specific but it's been a while since I read the book and I dimly recall some character- a widow? But then Valjean & Cosette run away to Paris but in the book HE becomes the gardener at the convent Cosette attends.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-28 04:26:36


"Right you are, but in the film Enjolras for whatever reason shouts to the soldiers from the barricade something about it being "the French revolution," which I thought was just gonna confuse people even more. haha"

Really? Interesting.

Technically, the June, 1832 rebellion was A French revolution but I don't know why they'd specifically call it that in the film as it is misleading enough without actually misleading. You throw in a deliberate misleading line, and now nobody can be blamed for thinking it's THAT French Revolution.

Not that I ever really blamed people for thinking that. It's totally understandable to assume it's that revolution of nearly half a century earlier. Ok, so most people stink when it comes to dates. Big deal, hehe. I'm not one to crucify the masses over stuff like that. It always got on my nerves how people in the fandom would flip out every time someone claimed Les Mis is set during THAT French Revolution. That and any hint of love toward Eponine twisted lots of fans' panties. It's somewhat different these days and not as ridiculous, but it remains. Haha.

I used to announce that I LOVE Eponine and that I could totally relate to her just to see the up-in-arms reaction and usual interrogation of, "so you have rotting teeth, are crazy, and want Marius killed, and are a ho, and...", LOL.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by chewy5000 2012-12-28 05:18:39


I wish this film would just go away already.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-28 07:25:31


Oops....sorry for my stupidity, history has never been a strong point -- and I almost double checked the dates before I hit post. I should listen to that voice in my head.

So, Chewy, if you want the film to go away why open the threads?(and I don't disagree there are about 10x more threads then there need be)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-28 07:29:28


There can never be too many Les Miserables threads. The world needs that right now.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by chewy5000 2012-12-28 07:43:27


But I need to let people know that the world would be a better place if they were to just shut up.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-28 07:46:15


^^ LOL!!! This one made my day!!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-28 07:49:17


I think we should make one more thread called "List Your Favorite Les Miz Threads," but make sure people know they can only post their top 20.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-28 08:01:18


LOL @ besty...you're capping it at 20? Surely you jest!!

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by EponineAmneris 2012-12-28 08:13:44


I saw the film on Christmas Day and was blown away. I loved the added touched from the novel and the "live" singing. Hugh and Anne deserve every award they can get for their performances. I can not say enough great things about the movie version of my favorite musical/novel.

Now... I found this on Yahoo! and thought it was very interesting.

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/les-miserables-five-film-facts-233312884.html?page=1

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by michellek45 2012-12-28 09:32:54


If I recall correctly, Enjolras yells "French Revolution!" to the soldiers in the book as well. For a team that seems to have meticulously gone through the source material, it wouldn't be strange for them to have included it. Also, I think there is some validity in questioning when the term was coined. Would people in France in 1832 have considered 1789 THE definitive French Revolution since it didn't really change things for them, but looking back in a historical context it was incredibly important? Or Enjolras could just be trying to draw a connection between their little rebellion and the big revolution of 1789.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-28 10:02:11


Not sure about the terminology. But all of Europe and its colonies (think Bolivar, Juarez) reeled in the wake of the Revolution of 1789, the birth of modern non-monarchical administration, the end of the ancien regime and the spread of revolutionary politics from it changed the entire face of the globe forever. The fact that it didn't sufficiently change the conditions of the poor is a process of disillusion with the government, and still continues to this day. But in no way changes the public perception of the importance of 1789 around the world. See A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, War and Peace (1812, but shows the way Europe reacted by processes of appeasement and opposition to Napoleon and republicanism on the one hand and the Emperors of Russia and Austria on the other), Voltaire, The Red and the Black. Even Lady Bracknell's one-liners much later.

I think it is more likely that Enjolras refers to "French Revolution" as a rallying cry to maintain the revolutionary zeal of 1789, to remember the cause and the historical continuity of it as it applies to those who have been let down by its execution. Moreover, by the time of Les Mis, the monarchy had been restored.

In fact, as I recall, the original French concert title of Les Mis was "The French Revolution".

The fact that people will be confused by the use of this phrase is a dramaturgical concern of course. One apparently the creators took a calculated risk with. For Hugo, of course, it was much less so as his readers were likely to understand the historical differential between 1789 and the action of the novel.



Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-28 10:26:26


It may not be "THE" French Revolution, but can we all agree that it WAS a revolution and they WERE french hence it WAS a french revolution and just stop the nit-picking.


(Nah, who am I kidding, they're gonna keep picking at that scab till it bleeds to death...)

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-28 10:48:43


Of course. But the question is not really nit-picky but rather addresses the confusion many have with the setting of Les Mis.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-28 10:51:35


^ Fair enough.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-28 10:52:40


But all of Europe and its colonies (think Washington and Bolivar) reeled in the wake of the Revolution of 1789,

The French Revolution came after the American Revolution. In fact, the French were inspired in part by the Americans to revolt.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by The Other One 2012-12-28 11:01:46


@Brave Sir Robin: It can't win Best Score. Only scores written directly for the screen are eligible for that award.

The new song is eligible for Best Song. I doubt anyone thinks it's deserving, but it is eligible.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-28 11:05:49


"I havn't read the book but does/did Jean Valjean ever have any female company? And maybe the book explains how he got to be mayor,owned a factory--there seemed to be so many gaps-also with the students-I never questioned this with the stage show-maybe a movie is more 'in your face' and the gaps more obvious[to me]-maybe I SHOULD read the book."

The book is 1500 pages. Of course it explains all of this. Les Mis is my favorite book ever and I've read it numerous times, but even I understand that they had to cut out a lot (even accounting for Hugo's 40 page diatribe about Napoleon and 50 page detailing of the Paris sewer systems). And I highly recommend reading it--I love the Les Mis musical, but IMO it can never come close to the novel. The novel is a masterpiece.

Anyway, I am finally seeing the movie this afternoon, so I'll be back later to post my thoughts. I'll try not to go on a psychotic rant about Amanda Seyfried.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by best12bars 2012-12-28 11:40:57


Anyway, I am finally seeing the movie this afternoon, so I'll be back later to post my thoughts. I'll try not to go on a psychotic rant about Amanda Seyfried.

You already know you'll do that before you even see it?

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-12-28 11:45:42


Some people are gifted that way.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by Idiot 2012-12-28 11:49:03


Chewey, you see that chess board in your icon? See that piece way over to the left and down a bit? The one that's alone?

That's you in regard to this topic.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-28 13:18:29


"You already know you'll do that before you even see it?"

Her singing in the soundtrack highlights was enough to make me do that already.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-28 13:34:03


"But all of Europe and its colonies (think Washington and Bolivar) reeled in the wake of the Revolution of 1789,

The French Revolution came after the American Revolution. In fact, the French were inspired in part by the Americans to revolt."

Stagemanager, I caught my admittedly ridiculous oversight before you did and corrected myself. I changed Washington to Juarez.

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1054750&page=11#ixzz2GNBrGPI9

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-28 16:53:09


No, you didn't 'cause it still said Washington and Bolivar when I copy/pasted and replied to it, as you can see from your post. So there.

Les Miserables: So, what did you think?
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-28 17:14:47


Just got home! I really liked it but overall I think the story is just too difficult to translate to film. The story holes in the musical were more obvious in the movie.

All of the acting was great except for Russell Crowe IMO--I feel like he was too busy trying to sing to really act. Amanda Seyfried wasn't that great IMO until the end, but she did a great job in the last scene. Anne Hathaway was fantastic.

The love story was really difficult for me to sit through, moreso than usual. It just seems so insipid compared to the rest of the story, although I know that we're kind of supposed to think that.

Singing-wise... everyone was pretty good except for Amanda Seyfried, although I actually found her bearable at times. Eddie Redmayne's jaw tension drove me crazy but he sounded good. Russell Crowe was very meh, it wasn't painful for me to hear but I thought his singing lacked emotion. Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks were the standouts, of course. Colm Wilkinson sounded less "Sean Connery"-ish than usual.

I agree that there were too many close-ups but I thought that there were some great moments in the direction, too. The beginning scene in the shipyards was really well-done, and I liked some of the transitions.

I also liked some of the nods to the novel, like Valjean giving Cosette the doll when he takes her from the Thenardiers.

It definitely beat the Liam Neeson version, though!

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by HowBoutJoey 2012-12-28 18:45:22


Check out my "Before You Go See Les Miz" Summary. It's only 3 minutes. If you agree, please share it.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Joviedamian 2012-12-28 18:51:13


So I had a weird and serious question. The scenes before and after "On My Own", there was not a single glimpse or thought of rain, but during it, there was a huge STORM..WTH? Was that just a scattered shower?

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-28 18:56:07


There was also rain during "A Little Fall of Rain," naturally, but there didn't seem to be rain at any other point during the barricade. :-/

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Joviedamian 2012-12-28 19:09:56


SM2 correct! Just seemed out of place...maybe that is why I felt that it was filmed like a music video to single out the song!

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by supportivemom 2012-12-28 20:33:48


Joey- LOVED your video! LOVED it! Thanks for posting and I will be sharing!

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-28 20:37:52


The rain! Yes, it drove me nuts in both instances.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Patti LuPone FANatic 2012-12-28 20:39:47


I finally saw Les Miz, though I hesitated because of the length of the film. I really loved Hugh Jackman's acting, along with Anne Hathaway. Eddie Redmayne's voice was surprisingly good. Russell Crowe's singing was not impressive. It would have had more impact had a professional singer taken on the role of Javert. Amanda Seyfried's voice seemed fragile, almost like it was ready to snap at any moment. My favorite singing came from Samatha Barks as Eponine. LOVED her! from RC in Austin,Texas

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-28 22:17:40


Sorry, Stagemanager, you are mistaken.

As you can see from my post I last updated it at 10.02 a.m. Your post correcting mine was at 10.52 a.m. What do you think I'm lying? I actually wrote that post, got on the subway, thought about it, realized I had misstated that the American revolution postdated the French Revolution and, embarrassed, corrected it as soon as I got back online.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-12-28 22:21:41


What a palaver, what an absolute treat!

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-28 22:33:06


When you update your posts, it doesn't update the time as well, inexplicably. For instance, your original post was posted at 10:02am, but the update is also listed as 10:02am, which is not possible 'cause, by your own admission, you took took a subway ride, pondered, realized your mistake, and corrected it when you were able to get back online. All that would've taken a long time. In the meantime, I saw your mistake and corrected it in my reply post, before you were able to go online again. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered if you had beaten me to it 'cause I wouldn't have seen it. But I did.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-28 23:05:04


OK, my mistake. I thought I saw that no one had caught my mistake before I corrected it (I was worried someone had, and, congrats, apparently you did!) but I'll take your word for it that you did. In any event....

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-29 00:28:49


Apology accepted.

Here's the Nostalgia Chick's review of the film for anyone who's interested:

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/team-nchick/specials/37785-les-miserables-2012


Here's the video she and her friends did last year about the musical, which she mentions in passing in the review above:

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/team-nchick/nostalgia-chick/31204-les-miserables-the-musical

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-29 00:33:19


Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-29 00:36:03


WTF! ROFLMAO.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by HowBoutJoey 2012-12-29 00:49:51


Thanks!

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by GavestonPS 2012-12-29 01:20:57


Saw it. Loved it. The film is much closer to the LES MIZ I always saw in my head while listening to the recording--as opposed to the stage show, which I found overly mechanical.

I agree that Seyfried wasn't great, but isn't that the major problem with the show as a whole? That the focal character (not the main or central character but the character with whom the main characters are concerned) is rather insipid and undeveloped?

I love Eponine, but I think it's a major dramaturgical problem in the musical that she takes up the time and music when we should be getting to know and forming an attachment to grown-up Cosette.

The film didn't solve the problem, but it didn't make it any worse.

And FWIW, watching it I finally understood what was being "barricaded". On stage, there just seemed to be a mountain of broken crap for the actors to climb while I was left to wonder why they called it a "barricade" rather than a "pile".

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by CHOOKA2 2012-12-29 01:24:39


I appreciated that a few replied to my previous questions so I want to sneak just one more in---why do the children sound like Cockneys and Master of the House seemed to be set in a jolly olde english pub-a la Dickens--did they skip across the Chanel at some point?

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-29 01:29:43


For the same reason that this takes place in France and everyone has British accents.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by GavestonPS 2012-12-29 01:35:14


Cockney is by no means the only working-class British accent, but it is commonly used to indicate working class characters of other cultures.

Best Les Miz Summary Ever
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-12-29 01:36:42


Especially those living in France.