29 December 2012

Les Misérables

Full disclosure: I'm a Les Misérables geek.  I don't see a lot of musicals, but I've seen it live twice.  Basically, the movie had to not-severely-eff-up and I'd like it.  Luckily, it was really well done.  Warning - the movie is (and feels) long as hell.  But at least nothing was cut out.

Now, the way it was filmed - with the live singing - was actually interesting and I loved it.  I didn't really realize until the end that there weren't any of your typical big musical-movie numbers.  The performances weren't big and grand, there wasn't singing and dancing -- they were much more intimate.  The way it's staged is more like you're there with the actors, not watching them.  It was cool to see the movie that way.  But I think it means the soundtrack itself wouldn't be any good to listen to.  The music didn't stand out to me, it was more about watching the performances in addition to listening to them.  For just listening, I'll stick with a stage cast recording. 

The performances were great.  However, the movie doesn't get better than Anne Hathaway singing "I Dreamed a Dream."  It totally lives up to the hype and is this amazing uninterrupted take (or at least it seemed that way) and is absolutely the pinnacle of the movie.  Not that the rest is bad, it's just not that good.  Everyone keeps slamming Russell Crowe, but I thought he was really good!  He fit this particular style of filmed musical, which is quieter and more "real" and less over-the-top.  Hugh Jackman has the bigger, booming voice.

It was just what I wanted in a movie adaption of Les Misérables.  By the end, the tears were streaming down into my cleavage.  Now that's a movie.

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