Les Miserables Film My Review
Steve & I decided to go and see the Les Miserables Film on Monday 7th January 2013. We have seen the stage productions in London and when it came down to Plymouth many years ago, and have seen the DVD’s of the anniversaries etc and absolutely love it. We both love musicals and have seen stage productions of many of them, but Les Miserables is by far and away our all time favourite. As soon as the film was advertised, we had to go to see it. Well, we were not disappointed, it was fantastic. For those of you who do not know the story the official film website describes it as:
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
The film went into a lot more detail than the stage productions and it was gripping from start to finish. They were some standout performances, particularly Anne Hathaway as Fantine (You will understand why she is featured in the official video on You Tube above if you play it), and her portrayal was very believable.. Her renditon of “I dreamed a dream” was extremely moving and I defy most people to say that they did not stifle or shed a tear. I do not cry at films (except any animal ones) and I have to say that I had to swallow very hard at this point. I can see why she is nominated for an Oscar for best Supporting Actress. In my eyes, she should win in hands down ( I hope the whole film gets the Best Picture Oscar as well). She is a true professional and read that she lost 25lb on a lettuce diet to make her character more believable. In the part of the film where she has her hair hacked off, it was actually her own real beautiful long dark hair. Hugh Jackman as the lead Jean Valjean was also very good, although a little weak on the singing side i a couple of places (although others may disagree).
Samantha Barks as Eponine was also excellent, and her acting and singing was brilliant. You might remember her finishing 3rd in the television show to find someone to play Nancy in Oliver, so she has come a long way. The young girl Isabelle Allen who played the young Cosette (whose face is on the advertising poster below) was adorable and she too had a lovely singing voice.
All the other main characters played their parts very well BUT my (and Steve’s) opinion that is except Russell Crowe. We thought he was weak, he could not sing and to be honest his acting of Javert was not up to the role. Javert is a big character and after seeing other people play this part, Russell failed. Why he was cast as him instead of people who could actually sing, in our opinion was a big mistake. All the other cast members were terrific and although too many to name each one, they were all brilliant.
My only other slight criticism, and I know a stage production is a lot different to a film, but the stirring music did not come across quite like it does live on stage. Having said this, it was very strange not to clap when the film ended, although I have heard that at some screening, people have given standing ovations, which I wish I had plucked up courage to do, as I am sure I wouldn’t have been the only one who wanted to show appreciation for this terrific film.
It will move you to tears in some places, but I urge everyone to go and see this film as I am sure you will not be disappointed. If you have seen it please comment below.