Written January 04, 2013
Having only seen the Liam Neeson movie version and having NOT seen the musical, I was surprised and stunned at how beautiful and moving this movie was. I have since become a Les Mis junkie (sorry to my poor husband) and now offer the following: I thought the vast majority of the actors sang their roles beautifully. Regarding Russell Crowe - he can carry a tune but don't feel he was great choice for Javert. In fact, I found it distracting to have him in the movie because no matter what, when you see him you just think, "Hey - there's Russell Crowe and he's singing. Why is he singing?" Samantha Barks was fantastic as Eponine. I loved her version of "On My Own." Sacha Baron Cohen was fantastic as Thenardier. I did find some of the group singing hard to understand. Cockney is difficult to understand when merely spoken, let alone sung. In the end, I was sobbing with everyone in the theater. Bring tissues.
Written May 24, 2016
It's amazing how differently the same story comes across when presented in a different format. I've read the book, seen the play and now the movie. Each has something unique to offer. The story is compelling in any genre, and while I personally enjoyed the roadshow the best, I did enjoy the movie. I think the movie actors who are cinema professionals did an outstanding job with the character portrayals. I thought Anne Hathaway especially brought a depth of character to Fontine that you wouldn't find in the roadshow. With Russell Crowe as Jabert, he came across as much more human than the strict "legal automaton" that one usually imagines. That said, the road show are cast not only for their acting abilities, but for their voices. If you are expecting the same quality of musicianship, you might be a little disappointed. It's a trade, but again, one worthy of making. I think the best thing about the movie is that it brings the timeless story of "Les Mis" to the masses.
Written December 27, 2012
I've heard most of the recordings and have seen the production live. Since I knew that actors, rather than professional musicians (for the most part) were taking the leads, I expected the acting to be superb, the singing to be so-so, and the emotional intensity to be extremely high. All three exceeded expectations.
The most disappointing aspect of the movie to me was its raciness. I was particularly disappointed by how sex and prostitution were treated as funny in Master of the House, although those same things ruined Fantine's life. The producers seemed to be sending a very mixed message, caving to the typical Hollywood expectations rather than focusing on the social evil that Victor Hugo showed prostitution to be. I was uncomfortable with its explicitness, having taken my younger sister and cousin along with me, expecting the raciness level of the stage show rather than this.
However, the redemption message remains powerful. Worth seeing.
Written February 14, 2016
A superb production of the stage musical. Makes it more personal and meaningful. The live singing performances are awesome and bring tears to your eyes. For a major Les Miserables fan it is THE BEST! Oscar worthy for Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and for Best Picture! Will definetly see it again!
Written May 26, 2016
Les Miserables is a most poignant story. The demand for vocal acuity in this film is imperative for the viewer to remain engaged and feel the emotional valeur. The performances were great, unfortunately, I found Crowe's inability to sing to distract me from the story as well as detach myself from feeling any sympathy for this character. Jackman's vocals were only slightly better that of Crowe's, and if these two characters were casted by two men that have the ability to sing, I would have enjoyed the movie that much more.
As for Hathaway, her performance brought tears to my eyes - she is absolutely lovely.
In fact, all other characters sang wonderfully and with such passion - I was enthralled
Aside from the poor singing by both Crowe and Jackman, the movie is wonderful and entertaining but I will not watch it again because of these two actors - I will instead read the book by Victor Hugo.