Lovely Movie Review: Les Miserables

Happy 2013 everyone! Now that the holidays and endless family visits are over, it’s time to get back in the swing of things – bigger and better than ever!

Over the holidays, the hubby and I got to get out for a long-delayed date night and decided to watch Les Miserables since we both love the stage version. I had heard rave reviews all week, so perhaps I had my expectations set a bit too high. It’s not it wasn’t good or entertaining, it was. It just wasn’t mind-blowingly great. I also forgot how every time I see it on stage, there’s a part towards the middle where I start fidgeting in my seat and wondering how much longer is left, and it was the same for the film since it was as exact a replica of the stage version as you could get (no dialogue, same sets, same “shots”). So here are my random thoughts about the much-heralded musical:

  • Amanda Seyfried’s (Cossette) voice was beyond annoying. I literally cringed at a part where there are four characters supposedly singing in harmony and her shrill vibrato of a voice came in and ruined the entire scene. Come to think of it, I never like her in anything I’ve seen her in except as the ditz in Mean Girls.
  • Marius was not cute. What a bummer. Not to sound super shallow, but c’mon. His friend/leader of the revolutionaries, however, was. Hellloooo casting director?!
  • The little kid who played Gavroche was excellent. However I found myself unable to tear my eyes away from his teeth. Yes. Teeth. Now I know they’re probably supposed to look messed up since he’s a street kid and all, but they were HUGE.
  • Same thing with Eponine and The Tiniest Waist in the World.  She had the best voice of them all, which is fitting since she’s played by Samantha Barks, a Broadway actress that played that role on stage, but that waist! Seriously, just LOOK at it!
  • Russell Crowe would’ve made a great Javert had he not had to sing every line, because clearly his singing voice is mediocre compared to everyone else’s and I felt kind of embarrassed for him. Way too many extreme close-ups of the actor’s faces.
  • Many times the voices wobbled out of tune (hello, Hugh Jackman), which I thought was unnecessary for a film version, because isn’t that the beauty of post-production? Well it turns out that instead of having the actors lip-sync over a recorded track like most film version of musicals, they actually had them sing live, hiccups and all. Not the best decision, in my opinion.
  • Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (wow, that’s a lotta name between those two!) were definitely the comic relief/highlight of the film.
  • Anne Hathaway’s totally gonna win that Oscar.

All in all, I did laugh, cry and feel uplifted at the end, just like the stage version, but found the live singing to be super distracting.  It’s worth seeing once just to see it, but that’s about it.

Have a lovely rest of the week! Going back to work tomorrow’s gonna be rough!

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