Written September 02, 2015
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, 2014
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.
Written May 04, 2015
I had see the play once at Keller in Portland OR. I have heard the songs and been told the story but just did not quite understand the musical. While watching the movie I was deeply moved. What a powerful portrayal of the themes of sin, redemption, and the power of choice.
I heard people say they thought the music was better in the live plays but I was so wrapped up in the actors singing...I thought it was better than the play...
Written November 29, 2015
I have to preface this review by saying I am a huge fan of this musical. It is my absolute favorite, and I have seen it countless times on tour, on Broadway and regionally-big theaters and small. The film reminded me of one of my favorite staged productions which was in a small theater in the round. Hard to imagine if you have not seen it, but being so close to the actors and in such an intimate setting provided a much more intense experience emotionally. The film succeeds on this level, with the right amount of agnst and emotion, particularly in Hathaway's big number, "I Dreamed A Dream", and Redmayne's "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". Not a dry eye in the house. Where the film was less successful was in the rest of its casting. Big names sell movies, but did Les Miserables need this when millions upon millions world-wide have seen and love this show? Crowe was awful, Jackman strained, Seyfried-why? Also, where was the gorgeous score? It never seemed to get off the ground.
Written August 02, 2015
Les Miserables is one of my favorite musicals. Unfortunately, the film version did fulfill my expectations. It is a sad moment when a 10 year old sings better and more naturally than the lead character. Both Jackman and Crowe simply did not have the voice or skill to carry parts that require passionate, intense singing. They seemed as fixed as statutes when they needed to be animated.
Anne Hathaway performed and sang well -- relief from the other performances and Eddie Redmayne was terrific.