Top critical review
Les Miserables The Movie is not the best movie version of a Musical I have ever seen ...
14 June 2015
As a massivly obsessed fan of the stage musical phenomenon that is Les Misérables, I was extremely excited, but also slightly concerned, about the movie version...would Russell Crowe hit the long notes, would the emotion come across etc.....well, despite the fact it does do some things well, and some of the cast members are fabulous (Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne), it is pretty dismal when compared to the stage production. That is, if they can even be compared.
I have a few niggles but will come to those later, firstly enormous praise has to go to Anne Hathaway for her performance as Fantine. Her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream is one of the best I have heard, she emotes every word and you really feel and understand every word and what it truly means. Eddie Redmayne was genuinely a superb Marius. I loved his rendition of Empty Chairs At Empty Tables and I did weep like a baby most of the way through it hehehe. Samantha Barks as Eponine was simply AMAZING (having seen her play Eponine on stage and at the 25th anniversary concert it wasn’t surprising she would be excellent in the role). The cinematography was excellent and I seriously had to control myself from not bursting into applause after almost every song, although I failed miserably in controlling myself from bursting into tears at almost every moment.
However....now we come to the niggles, Hugh Jackman as Valjean is not bad but not good either (his 'Bring Him Home was extremely disappointing).
I didn't like Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers, the comedy of ‘Master Of The House’ didn't come across as it should, and there really was no need for his pathetic attempt at a French accent (which came and went). Both of them were very badly miscast.
I was also slightly confused by so many lyric changes from the original, bits missing and new ones put in, and rearrangement of where songs came, for example ‘On My Own’ coming before ‘One Day More’ instead of after, very odd. The one new song written for the movie titled ‘Suddenly’, was good but I just felt it was adding a song for adding sake. If they hadn't bothered adding a new song they could have stuck to the original libretto and not cut so much. Russell Crowe surprised as Javert but not in a good way. His singing was very weak and his rendition of 'Stars' lacked the emotion and despair it should have, such a shame they concentrated on a 'name' instead of real talent.
In conclusion, some of the cast are excellent, some dreadful. I personally think Tom Hooper, who is a great director, was way out of his comfort zone and turned out a less than average movie version. I was extremely disappointed with so many aspects of the movie.
If you are a massive Les Miserables fan, it is worth seeing but definitely stick to the stage production and the DVD's of the 10th and 25th Anniversary productions.