Written August 04, 2015
Fabulous, BUT... ~~~Music was surprisingly good -coming from a die hard Les Mis fan. Acting was excellent. Costumes were good. The staging was nice. Story was exceptional -change your life- kind of story, as usual. Characters were for the most part very believable.~~~
The camera work was terrible. Almost ruined the movie! They shot it in a stylized format with very short depth of field - backgrounds blurry and directs your eyes where they want you to see. However, they missed. Short depth of field too short and with moving subjects? the closeups were out of focus about half of the time. Seriously! Why pay $10 for a movie when they don't have any of their face in focus? Not even one eye? VERY DISTRACTING! Also, they used wide angle lenses several times that distorted the faces too much. ~~~The vulgarity, and sex scene were too much. The violence was strong. Too much for a young teen.~~~Truer to the book than the musical - a little. good overall. See, but with caution.
Written December 25, 2012
Oddly, the worst part of Les Miserables are its leads, including award nominee Hugh Jackman whose voice comes across far too nasally for the tough ex-convict Jean Valjean. He is a bit better than Russell Crowe whose lack of emotional expression is only matched by his lack of vocal range. Finally, there are far too many jump cuts between characters in one scene & between songs, eliminating any continuity or story flow. There were other times when I thought they overused tight close-ups when a range of camera angles would have been more fitting, such as Marius mournful tribute to his dead friends, "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" that included no shots of any chairs or tables.
But, for true Les Miserables fans, it is still a must see. The rest of the cast is incredible, especially Anne Hathaway as Fantine. There were plenty of other amazing performances including the surprisingly versatile talents of Sacha Baron Cohen as the opportunistic innkeeper, Broadway singers, & chorus.
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...