Yeah me! I got to see Les Miserables the Movie!
I first learned about Les Mes from my dad who had Les Misérables: The Dream Cast in Concert playing on PBS. Of course I fell in love with it. I learned several of the songs and dreamed of seeing the play.
I was crushed when it finally came to San Diego and I couldn’t afford to go. I also felt it was ironic that the whole thing is about the poor being oppressed but you had to be rich to attend.
I did the next best thing and read the the book written by Victor Hugo. It was often grueling to get through but it was still wonderful. Besides learning all the details behind every character and appreciating them more it was a great history and geography lesson. The book is historical fiction and there is a lot of true history in it very meticulously detailed. I mean, Hugo describes the battlefield so that you would recognized practically every speak of dirt and rock. Naturally the play and now the movie leave out a ton of info but they still have done a good job of summing it all up.
Now about the 2012 movie. The acting was superb! Overall it was wonderful. I knew to take tissues with me cause I cried while watching the trailers. I used my tissues through out about the first third of the movie. It was heart wrenching sad. It lightened up after that as usually when the Thenardier’s, played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, came into the scene. Cohen did a perfect Thenardier but I felt Carter was lacking on the humor as Madame. I recognized Carter from many Johnny Depp movies and she is a wonderful actress. It’s just that she seemed too serious for this part.
Huge Jackman fit the part of Jean Valjean in most ways. His stature, the way he looks, his acting, but sadly not his voice. He can sing fine, he’s great, it’s just that his voice type wasn’t the masculine we are used to such as Colm Wilkinson’s in the dream cast production. Jean Valjean is a kind hearted but intimidating mans man. Though Hugh fit the part in looks his voice sounded more like someone who wanted to be that way but wasn’t, someone like Javert.
Russel Crow played Javert. He pulled the part off in every way.
Anna Hathaway as Fantine. She was wonderful.
Amanda Seyfreind played Cosette. Her performance was great but at first her voice was a little week. She got better and really pulled it off by the end.
The young Cosette, Isabelle Allen, was wonderful.
Eddie Redmayne played Marius. He seemed to be the most vocally trained and professional. His acting didn’t match the others but it was still quite good. His eyes didn’t seem to know where to focus which made me wonder if he has aspergers. However, when watching him in an interview it was quite different and I didn’t see that awkwardness at all. Maybe it was just his interpretation of Marius and rightly so, Marius is a character who is basically trying to figure him self out.
Daniel Huttlestone played Gavroche, and played the part perfectly both in voice and acting. His type of character reminds me of my youngest, Kyle. If Kyle were brought up in such an era and way he would be exactly what Gavroche embodies, not just a street urchin but a survivalist with too many smarts.
There are three things I would have done differently. One is to me a rather big thing. It’s when Fantine is singing Dreamed a Dream, they kept the camera on Anne’s face the whole time. Her singing was great and her acting was over the top but there is quite a story to her glory days that they could have used as memories through out the song and thus not keeping the camera on that one set the entire time. The other was a small detail. When Javert is singing his suicide song, his last note would have been so much more dramatic if he did it as he fell rather then waiting a bit. The third thing being the second to the last song where the main characters are singing together. They started it off well but then just cut it short and made the grand finale with the entire cast instead. Not that it was bad, but the main character collage is so intense and powerful, it was just a shame to get us into it and then drop it.
Overall I will have to own this one when it comes out on DVD, it was quite good. And yes, I needed my tissues for the end. I also need to get the Dream cast one since I haven’t had it for years now. The Dream Cast one will always have my favorite Les Miserables singers performing. I still hope to one day see the play in person.
Isabelle Allen as the young Cosette.
Huge Jackman as Jean Valjean
Russel Crow as Javert
Anna Hathaway as Fantine.
Amanda Seyfreind as Cosette.
Eddie Redmayne as Marius.
Samantha Barks as Eponine.
Thenardier’s, played by Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche.