Written December 26, 2012
Don't get me wrong, I love movie musicals, but sometimes the intent to make a remake of a Broadway classic has lead to incredible blunders on the part of the movie industry. Take NOT using the lovely voice of Audrey Hepburn for My Fair Lady as a case in point. It was OK to use Rex Harrison's gritty dialogue/singing, but lets make Audrey sound like an opera star.
Enter Tom Hooper, 2012 and Les Miserables. Not only does Mr. Hooper choose to use all of the casts voices, but he has them sing the actual songs while shooting rather than lip synching to a sound track recorded earlier. And then to add just a little more realism, he uses close ups of the actors, and the human condition of the time to show, a gritty realism that Broadway could not.
The cinematography, sets and performances were all that I would expect from the director of The Kings Speech. And as fan of the live musical of Les Miserables, I found little to complain about the film version.
Written August 20, 2014
To give this film a grade less than an A would be an injustice. What a magificent job by cast crew and director. An amazing screen adaptation of a wonderful Broadway, London, etc musical. This is sheer power, drama, heartache. and an emotional roller coaster throughtout the entire film. My daughter and I have seen the play over 20 times and we are thrilled at Tom Hooper's masterpiece he has created on screen. It's the best adaptation I have seen since West Side Story. If you love the play you'll be thrilled by the movie. As far as Russell Crowe is concerned...he tries..and he's adequate. Gavoroche's scene on the barricades is gut wretching (I think the tragedy in Conn brings on even stronger emotions to this scene which is not downplayed in the film) so be forewarned. Excellent film with a stellar cast!
Written December 27, 2012
Been there done that? Not a chance! This film is like a dream and so beautiful there simply aren't adequate words to describe the experience. Think you've seen a great movie musical or two in your lifetime? You haven't seen the best one made in two generations, perhaps ever, if you've missed this one...period. To exhibit this masterpiece in the same venue where a movie like “End of Watch” is also playing is like mixing oil and water, bordering on hilarious. That film, friends, is the truly Miserable one in the house. This film is a must see experience like none other. There's nothing more worthwhile that's been done in film this year.
Written December 27, 2012
I have seen Les Miserables every time it has been to Seattle since I was 18 (40 now) and it is one of the biggest passions in my life. I was unsure if the movie could ever do the musical justice, needless to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised! The performances of Hugh (Jean Valjean) and Anne (Fantine) are superb. Anne's portrayal of Fantine was the best I've ever seen and had me in tears with every scene she was in. Hugh Jackman really surprised me as a wonderful Jean Valjean. Those of you who are true Les Mis fans will be very pleased to see Colm as the bishop!
Disappointments: Russell Crowe as Javert. Russell has a respectable voice but it was way too weak for the role of Javert. Cohen and Carter as Thenardier and Madame were terrible. There was confusion in which accent to use (sometimes French sometimes British) and Carter was a very poorly cast Madame.
Surprises: Theatrical additions to the story and songs were nice and a tender scene with Javert and Gavroche.
Written December 28, 2012
The material is as rich as any movie ever made. The misery and sorrow have built the emotions to unbarable levels for over 20 years. Very inspiring.
However, the best voices in the world have presented it on stage for over 20 years and none are to be found in this piece.
It is just not the same, but still worth going. Seeing the story in a film form adds dimensions not possible on stage and Hugh Jackman is great. The child acters are heart melting and perfectly cast.
LM fans must go. It did deserve better voices, though.