Get the reference?
It’s Les Miserables!!
Les Mis (as it’s affectionally known) is in the top three of my personal favorite musicals (The other two being Wicked and Rent), I’ve seen it eight times on stage (both Broadway and touring company) and I know people who have been in it (which adds to the reasons of why I’ve seen it so many times). One of the times I saw it was when Ricky Martin starred as Marius – just before he hit it HUGE in the US and my best friend and I waited at the stage door for him to come out, he was so nice and we got autographs and squealed like schoolgirls – after all, he WAS in Menudo … LOL.
All in all I thought this was a really good adaptation of the musical. I knew Hugh and Anne could sing (Having seen Hugh in The Boy from Oz on Broadway and I’ve heard Anne sing in movies as well) and I had heard Russell Crowe was in a band, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can sing broadway caliber music. Boy was I surprised. Russell did a FANTASTIC job as Javert. Anne was heartbreakingly sad and pathetic (in a good way) as the doomed Fantine and Hugh Jackman’s portrayal as Jean Val Jean was tailor made for him.
The supporting cast is excellent as well. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers are funny and clever and slimy and Amanda Seyfried as Cossette was a fantastic choice, although I think I would have preferred an unknown in the role because every time I saw her I thought Sofie from Mamma Mia LOL. The live singing was a great choice as opposed to lip synching to pre-recorded tracks. It gave the movie a more live theater feel. The singing by most was really good and as I said I was surprised by some as well.
As usual the movie version did tweak up the source material (as I’m sure the musical did to the book) but I didn’t find it overly bad. I would have liked to see more Eponine (she’s my personal favorite character) but I can understand why they condensed a lot of the action.
The movie is NOT a happy feel good movie and yes, sap that I am I cried, but I always do (eight times and it always tears me up) it’s dark and sad and tragic and yet you still come away feeling energized and good. Maybe it’s the ending where those we lost come back to offer a glimpse of hope or whatever, I don’t know.
My only beef with the movie is that whenever someone sang the camera was right on them in a tight closeup. I would have liked them to pan back as I felt I could count the pores on Hugh Jackman’s nose and see right up Russell Crowe’s (Thank goodness no bats in the belfrey). I would have liked to see the whole of the inn while Master of the House was going on or seeing the barracade go up.
Pleasant surprise of the movie was seeing Colm Wilkinson – the original Jean Val Jean do a cameo in the movie (won’t say where in case you want to be surprised as well).
Sooo all in all I recommend this if you’re a fan of the musical or of any of the actors, or if you want a new experience in the theater. Give it a shot.
Until Next Time,