Film Watch – 317. Les Misérables

les-miserablesFast Facts

Title: Les Misérables
Director: Tom Hooper
Year: 2012
Run time: 2hrs 38m

Background Info

I’m a pretty big Les Misérables fan, and I was intrigued by the new movie when all the hype surrounded it, but I wasn’t in a huge hurry to see it myself. Eventually it arrived on iTunes, and I rented it. Mr C was intrigued by the “recorded as live” side, but he’s not a musicals fan so I watched this one by myself.

Live Blog

0:53 – I have been reading a lot of stuff around the time of the French Revolution recently. Might need to read up.
4:59 – I wonder how much singing along went on in cinemas.
8:42 – Actual Colm Wilkinson. Bless. It’s like a cameo in the musical world.
14:27 – Following the fluttering leaf… it’s all gone a bit Forrest Gump.
14:45 – I’m assuming 85% of this is fake CGI, but it’s very beautiful (if that’s the right word).
20:41 – Interesting new bits and pieces, musicals are always evolving.
29:32 – Poor Anne Hathaway. I can see why this bit got all the attention.
42:08 – I mean, she actually looks like she’s dying.
43:37 – I’d say Russell’s voice is the weakest so far, which is a shame because Javert’s part is so good!
44:04 – Ooh, singing during a fight scene though!
48:54 – Shouldn’t really be a surprise that the first attempt at a French accent comes from Sacha Baron Cohen.
49:21 – “Doling out ze charm.”
55:56 – The Madame Thernardier role might as well have been written for Helena. Very good at bonkers, angry and just a bit spiteful.
1:05:53 – Bit better from Russell on his big Stars number. Still not super impressed though.
1:07:10 – I’m glad I read the book recently, the kid in the elephant makes more sense.
1:11:53 – I am sort of unbelieving that these people don’t recognise each other. It’s easier to believe it in text.
1:18:40 – I like Eddie Redmayne but he looks like he’s about to burst a blood vessel with every line sung.
1:24:50 – “No more words it’s a time that is dead, there are words that are better unheard, better unsaid.”
1:35:33 – Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m about ready for an interval.
1:45:08 – It rains a lot on dear old Eponine.
1:55:02 – That big eye on the wall in the background is very distracting.
2:03:59 – That child is very good at keeping still, I wouldn’t have thought that was a thing kids were good at.
2:12:54 – Sole survivor guilt.
2:22:07 – Old man Jackman!
2:28:46 – So barricades in heaven are about ten times longer than in real life.

Conclusions

Very mixed feelings on this one. Firstly, it was beautifully done, whether they were live action shots or the extensive amount of CGI, it was good to see the realism that is often missing in musicals. I was also very intrigued to see the strength of acting, whereas musicals tend to focus more on singing, this was absolutely the other way round. Seeing these characters and their real pain was incredible.

However, I didn’t feel as though the characters connected with each other, even when they had to. They felt very separate, all in different places whereas on stage, you can’t get very far away from each other. Even when they were next to each other, and singing through a gate, for example, I didn’t feel there was much chemistry between anyone.

The singing was weak in places, but I understand it was a trade-off with the acting skills. I wasn’t totally convinced, but I did cry at the end – whether for these actors, or just from the knowledge of the story itself.

Rating: 3/5

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