Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Les Mis

I've now watched Les Mis four times. Three times in the theater (once was a sing-along, hey-o!) and once at home on my very own blu ray that I will get to watch over and over forever and ever.


Not that I'm excited or anything.

I've been looking forward to this movie for seventeen years. Yes. Since I was thirteen and first discovered the musical and wished that it was a movie, that's how long I've been looking forward to this movie. And, yes, I know they made the Claire Danes one, but that one didn't have the music. And the music is what makes this movie.

And I love it.

It's seriously everything I ever wanted it to be.

And, back when I was writing Fantasy Casting, and they announced that they were going to make this movie-musical, I picked Hugh Jackman to play Valjean.

And I was right.

I should have retired from blogging right then and there.

Lucky for you all, I didn't, though, and I'm still here.


What was I talking about? Oh. Yes. Hugh Jackman.

Here's what I love about this movie: 

- It's the quintessential Christian dilemma: How do justice and mercy coexist? Where does one yield to the other? Both are eternal principles of the gospel, yet neither can exist where the other does. 

- Hugh Jackman. He nailed this. Except for "Bring Him Home," but that's really not fair, because it's outside the range of the rest of the part and that song is just basically setting every actor up for failure. (Yes, I think this applies to the great Colm Wilkinson, whom I didn't love anyway)

- Anne Hathaway. I love her performance. I love her hair. I love that she has deliberately avoided talking about her weight-loss methods because she doesn't want to glamorize the near-death-skinniness she achieved for her work. 

- Eddie Redmayne. Who knew? 

- Aaron Tveit. He deserves parades in his honor. 

- SBC and HBC. I love that he's the only one who put on an accent for this and that it is completely absurd. I love that she plays Mme. Thenardier differently than anyone else has before (at least that I've seen, in the two concerts, four live performances, a movie, and OH YES, the original novel). 

- The stark juxtaposition of "One Day More" against the silence preceding "Do You Hear the People Sing." The organic way the latter began and built. So much more powerful than the play (this is where the intermission goes, so the power of "One Day More" gets swallowed up in bathroom breaks and dessert-purchasing)

- Fantine slapping the foreman. It felt so organic. (Yes, I know that's the second time I've used that word, but it's apropos both times, I promise). 

- The discreet, yet raw and real, way they handled prostitution. 

- The students. So much more lively and authentic than the play usually sets them up. 

- Gavroche. I know, he's supposed to be a lot older, but I loved this kid. He was so sweet and so adorable and just so stinking talented. 

- The nods to the fans. I.E. - Enjolras' death scene, the original Eponine playing a whore, Colm Wilkinson, etc. So many fun little Easter Eggs, and it shows they cared so much about the fan base. 

Tell me what you loved about this movie!!! 


  1. Melbourne on my MindMarch 27, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I've always been kind of confused about how old Gavroche is supposed to be. Because in the book, Eponine's like 15 and there's a younger sister in between her and Gavroche. So I've always worked on the assumption that he's no older than 11 or 12. Which would put Daniel Huttlestone at about the right age. But I also think that they tend to cast Gavroche younger than the character solely so that they don't end up casting kids whose voices break half way through the show's run. Boys between about 13 and 15 have very unreliable singing voices, so I don't blame them for not casting older kids!!

    Other than that, I LOVE ALL THE THINGS. Except Bring Him Home. That song is awful, no matter who sings it.

  2. Huh. I thought he was older than the girls for some reason. He takes care of the boys later, implying that he's old enough to feel like an example or whatever for them.

  3. Melbourne on my MindMarch 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    The boys are 5 and 7, from memory, so I guess if he's 11/12 and been living on the streets for a while, he'd feel like he was in a position to take care of them??

  4. Hugh Jackman was the man of the film. I find his acting phenomenal. For one, he is hot as Wolverine, but he can sing too! He isn't falling into a cookie cutter actor. He has so many different types of roles he can fill. And his acting in this Les Mis was extraordinary! Claps!

  5. I adored this movie, for most of the reasons you said.

  6. Ohhhhhh.... Jewels, you need to see this:

  7. Whoops, that was me and I posted before I was done. I also loved Samantha Barks- Eponine is such a great character, and she got her exactly right. I loved the end scene, and I like that they added back in so many things from the book.

    I watched the DVD on Friday with my roommate's dog. I think I made a fan out of the puppy, too.

  8. I saw this movie three times in theatres in the span of a week. The first two times was in two days. And that was more because everyone thought I was the perfect person to see this movie with than I had an actual desire to spend almost $40 on said movie. Anyway...

    I very much enjoyed it. As you pointed out, "Bring Him Home" wasn't all that great (watching my best friend, whose mother was my voice teacher for 6+ years, listen to it was hiiiiilarious!), but it is what it is. Russell Crowe got a lot of flack for his apparently awful acting and singing and all that jazz. I think he did a wonderful job acting, but I don't think his voice fit the part. Not to say that he's a bad singer, but when I, as a musical theatre person, think of Javert, I think of a beautiful, soaring baritone like <a href=">Norm Lewis</a> (who, btw, I saw live in "The Little Mermaid" and OMG...that man's abs!). I so wish I could've seen him when this revived on Broadway, but alas, I did not get to. ((sigh))

    Anne Hathaway is fantastic. End of story. And so is Samantha Barks, even though her waist looks completely non-existent (I get the argument that she's wearing a corset and her waist would've been that small in a corset, but based on her family's economic situation, it's unlikely she would've had a corset like that).

    Eddie Redmayne was good and all that jazz, but I don't think he's as good as everyone made him out to be. And OMG. HIS FACE SHAKES WHEN HE SINGS. Okay, maybe I only noticed this because I saw it so many times in such a short amount of time, but for real. When he sings "Red and Black" the tension in his throat is so visible that his face is LITERALLY shaking. Drove me up the wall.

    Aaron Tveit on the other hand...holy goodness. He was amazing. Ah-may-zing.

    I was happy they cut down "Dog Eats Dog" (and that scene was disgusting...that sewere, just, blech!), but I was sad they cut down "Turning," because that is a lovely (though sad) song.

    Yep. That's about it.

  9. How could I have forgotten Samantha Barks?!?!?!!? She was phenomenal. A+, for sure. And that's hard, because Eponine is my favorite character from the play (I was so disappointed by her less-glamorous version in the book... don't judge. I was young). I can even forgive her too-nicely-manicured nails and obvious highlights in her hair, she was that fantastic.

  10. I noticed Eddie Redmayne shaking, but it didn't bother me. I just chalked it up to one of the unpretty truths that comes with live singing.

    And Eponine wears just basically a chemise nightgown in the book, so you're right, she wouldn't have had a corset on. That was showing off on behalf of the costuming department, plain and simple.

    I was way more sad about the shortness of "Drink with Me." That's one of my favorites, and I love it. I also hate that they cut Eponine out of Valjean's death scene. I know it doesn't make sense for her to be there, but the harmonies in her duet with Fantine is some of the most perfectly haunting and gorgeous music ever.

  11. There aren't a lot of fictional love triangles with two girls and one guy, either. Eponine is like the voice of lovesick teenage girls everywhere!

  12. Exactly. Millions of girls 'round the world have sung "On My Own" as the shower drowned their tears of loneliness and angst.

  13. I liked Russell Crowe's ACTING, but not his singing. He's just not powerful or passionate for Javert - it was a very technical performance, IMO.

    I've never cared much for Marius, and Eddie Redmayne changed that for me. He really did bring a new level of passion to the character. I was definitely impressed.

    It's funny you mention Cosette. I didn't mine her at all, I thought she did just fine, but my husband and one of my friends are constantly complaining about her "goat-like vibrato." Which just makes me giggle.