LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews

tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 11:50am
There were wonderful performances from leading actresses but none that really seem to get people thrilled and talking. There's no Streep v. Davis. There's nothing arousing passionate support.

This.

We're talking in the context of awards prognostication, not in the context of quality performances.

The other 3 acting categories already have front runners and horse races. Lead actress seems to be missing any one or two performances that have people talking.
"Weak year" is referring to buzz, not quality.




....but the world goes 'round
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 11:50am
OK, but prestige awards movies don't always mean major bucks, and the relative lack of female-driven big bucks movies is hardly anything new. It still doesn't explain the buzz bout this being a weak year for leading women.

Not to mention it would not be surprising if Silver Linings Playbook or Zero Dark Thirty are hits, right? To be added to the bigtime girl power of Hunger Games and Twilight. Sure, less blockbuster than those movies, but hey big pulp movies like those are generally not awards fodder.




Updated On: 12/9/12 at 11:50 AM
Plum
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/04
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 11:54am
So basically, what's wrong isn't female performances but the categorization of what constitutes a "buzzworthy" one to movie pundits? Wow, I'm gonna need a moment to contain my surprise.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 12:02pm
Nothing is "wrong" with anything. There just hasn't been a lead actress performance that galvanized the critics like some past years.

I mean, can you mention a lead female role that has everyone talking about it in terms of winning an Oscar like Daniel Day Lewis or Anne Hathaway?

Chastain, Cotillard, and Lawrence have all been mentioned, but not with the same level of excitement that the other category's contenders have.



....but the world goes 'round
Updated On: 12/9/12 at 12:02 PM
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 12:05pm
I think the problem is that the casts of most movies are majority male. On top of that, the movies most people want to go see are not necessarily what the film community deems of sufficient quality to vie for awards, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

As to what's buzzworthy in terms of the best of the movie season, well that's a great deal about marketing. As evidenced by the discussion of what will win by a multitude of people - myself included - who haven't seen a great many of the contenders.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 12:11pm
Yes! It's 100% about marketing, henrik.

That's what I trying to get across. There are a lot of amazing lead actress performances but for whatever reason the Hollywood machine hasn't latched onto one particular role this year.

That's where I'm coming from when I mention "buzz". I don't mean there was a lack of strong female characters on display this year.
....but the world goes 'round
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/9/12 at 12:23pm
Right. But not latching on to a single performance is a good thing; and it could well change by the time the guild awards get going, leading to the end of the season boredom.
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 12:21pm
David Edelstein from New York Magazine seems to have hated it (and again, heavily criticizes the source material, pointing to one of the worst lines of dialogue in the show: "I'm Javert/Do not forget my name"):

The tasteless bombardment that is Les Misérables would, under most circumstances, send audiences screaming from the theater, but the film is going to be a monster hit and award winner, and not entirely unjustly. After 30 or so of its 157 minutes, you build up a tolerance for those it’s-alive-alive-alive! close-ups and begin to admire the ­gumption—along with the novelty of being worked over by such a big, shameless Broadway musical without having to pay Broadway prices. The authors (there are four credited screenwriters) have pared down Victor Hugo’s great wallow of a novel to its dumb, pious moral (Christian forgiveness always wins, though you might not live to break out the Champagne), but the show has been audience-tested for decades and defiantly holds the screen, much like its French revolutionaries at the barricades.
Hugo’s hero, Jean Valjean, is played by Hugh Jackman, who is shockingly emaciated in his first scenes as a prisoner—I mistook him for Ron Moody’s Fagin. Jackman is, of course, an old hand at musicals and looks great when allowed to grow his Wolverine sideburns. He can play Valjean’s unwavering goodness without being a simp. But he’d have come off better if he hadn’t been forced to sing at the tippy-top of his register—and higher. On the other hand, no transposition would have helped Russell Crowe as the lawman Javert, Valjean’s unyielding antagonist: His voice is tight and comes from the head, the sound of a foghorn ending in a wheeze. But he stands and delivers his ­numbers—I can’t believe I’m using this adverb—manfully, and I salute him. It can’t have been easy for an untrained singer to handle Claude-Michel Schönberg’s awful recitativo, which does not—unlike Schönberg’s near namesake, Schoenberg—have the excuse of being purposefully atonal. “And I’m Javert?/?Do not forget my name!” would have crumpled a lesser man on the spot.

David Edelstein's Review
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 12:29pm

I agree with Edelstein as often as I disagree with him, but he’s a smart critic, and his review is dispiriting.

CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 12:31pm
Growl, where in the hell have you been?
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 12:36pm

I'm here! I'm here!

Busy at work = less posting, but I read every day!
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 12:50pm
Excuses are like (_o_)'s...
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 01:29pm
I have to say that I always hate that line too. Watching Crowe deliver it in the clip that's circulating however was the first time it ever sounded like a real line and not needless exposition.


....but the world goes 'round
MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 02:40pm
Dave Poland:

"I am not a moron. I can deal with building the factual reality in my head when the style of the film decides against being literal. But that is what is so much the failure of Les Misérables… it wants it both ways. It wants to be profoundly intimate, suffering in extreme close-up, the singing-on-the-set choice (the endless hype about which has turned it from “choice” to “stunt), and shooting almost completely in singles and tight doubles. Edit. Edit. Edit.

But the material is HUGE and EPIC and MELODRAMATIC.

So the effect of director Tom Hooper’s is like looking at Mount Everest through the wrong side of the binoculars."

http://moviecitynews.com/2012/12/review-les-miserables/
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
kidbroadway2
Leading Actor
joined:3/26/10
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/10/12 at 09:06pm
If all these reviewed are indeed true, props to the P.R team for Les Mis. After that premiere performance, they convinced a lot of people this had serious BP potential.
NYC4Life
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/06
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/11/12 at 01:07am
Maybe it is because I live in new york and go to a lot of screenings but Jennifer Lawerence and Jessica Chastain are getting phenomenal buzz. Chastain is winning awards left and right.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/11/12 at 01:30am
Of course they are in New York. Much of the rest of the country hasn't seen Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook is performing, at best, modestly.

This has actually been an outstanding year for women in film. Brave, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsman were massive box office successes and all had female protagonists.

But again, Best Actress is typically one of the most closely followed categories- it's one of the few that people get very passionate about. Arguably more than the other three acting categories, I think. But right now no one is especially passionate. If Jennifer Lawrence beats Chastain, or vice-versa, it's not going to ignite the blogs. As of now.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/11/12 at 09:08am
I remember this same thing happened recently to "Dreamgirls" and to "Nine," where film critics pointed out major flaws in plot and dialogue from the original source material.

It's hard for Broadway fans to realize their beloved stage show is being criticized and raked over the coals in some cases as much as the film itself, particularly when the complaints are aimed at the original stage songs, dialogue, and plot construction.

EDIT: I have to say this about "Zero Dark Thirty," the latest critics' darling. If it's anything like The Hurt Locker, I will hate it. I think that movie is the single dullest Best Picture winner in history, and that's going all the way back to the early talkies. It's redundant and lets the "importance" of the subject matter pass for good storytelling and filmmaking.

If Kathryn Bigelow strikes again with that approach, count me out, big-time.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 12/11/12 at 09:08 AM
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/11/12 at 09:18am

I'm totally with you on "The Hurt Locker," bestie. I'm cautiously optimistic about "Zero Dark Thirty" because I love Jessica Chastain with every fiber of my being, but I'm really hoping she changes up her style. "The Hurt Locker" wasn't an awful movie, but it was a snooze.

Also, that David Edelstein review has been classed by RottenTomatoes as "fresh." So, you know... what?
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Plum
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/04
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/12/12 at 12:46am
Arguably, you can summarize Edelstein's review as "it wasn't my thing, here's why, but I think it's going to be a huge soppy hit anyway". Arguably. :P
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/12/12 at 07:47pm
I usually agree with Lisa Schwarzbaum's reviews, so this makes me nervous. She gave it a "C" and says it made her "long for a guillotine."
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20620444,00.html
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Tony2600
Chorus Member
joined:12/5/09
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/12/12 at 11:09pm
I think Lisa Schwarzbaum is spot on and is being quite generous in giving it a”C”.
Just got back from a screening at the DGA and have to say the film is pretty awful.
Tom Hooper seems to have directed his actors to project their dialogue/songs to the third mezzanine of Radio City Music Hall while holding the camera twelve inches from their face.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/12/12 at 11:45pm
Attention, everyone, we have gone from a backlash watch to a backlash warning.
Mattbrain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/13/12 at 07:51am
Schwarzbaum also gave Battleship a B+. Just sayin'.
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/13/12 at 08:10am
I shouldn't pay too much attention to Lisa Schwarzbaum's review.

The only 2 things she mentions are the fact that Russel Crowe can't sing broadway style. That's true and we knew that from the beginning, that's the fault of the filmmakers.

And that Fantine looks happy when she sings about her glory days.
I'm glad she does.

But if that's all you can come up with after having seen the film I wonder what she has been doing while sitting in the cinema.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
LES MISERABLES Film Official Reviews
Posted: 12/13/12 at 08:15am
That Schwartzbaum review is transparent. She seems hung up on the Awards buzz and hype, mentioning it not once but several times, and clearly it clouded her perspective watching the film. She also admits to hating the stage musical in her final paragraph. So it didn't stand a chance with her.

EDIT: I admit to chuckling over her "Captn. Crunch" comment about Crowe's wardrobe, though. Hey, that was the style back then ... for both Javert and Crunch!
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 12/13/12 at 08:15 AM