First of all, let me say that I am biased, having had the good fortune to see Les Miserables ‘live’ on stage in London some years ago. I remember a British friend telling me to take tissues as I would surely cry. I took her advice, and she was indeed correct. Not only did I shed a few tears, I sobbed, guffawed, and generally made a blubbering fool out of myself. Oh, and I loved every minute of it.
Now to yesterday’s opening of Les Miserables which starred Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen among the better known performers…
Strangely enough, I did not cry once throughout the entire movie (my mom more than made up for it, however). From the very outset, the movie was raw and even painful to watch, which made me uncomfortable (I believe that was the intent) but at the same time fascinated. Fascinated with the astounding voices and gritty realism of the production, from the beginning scene during Jackman’s stint at slave labor, to the French rebellion and streets filled with blood, to Hathaway’s prostituting in derelict alleyways. Her song, ‘I dreamed a Dream’ was the absolute high (and low) point of the movie. Her extreme talent is almost overwhelming to watch…a far cry from ‘The Princess Bride’. She is as talented as, dare I say, Meryl Streep.
Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen provided much needed comic relief. Both the young Cosette and the ‘grown-up’ one, played by Amanda Seyfried, were lovely, with delicate, angelic voices. There were other strong performances both by Cosette’s love Marius, and his spurned lover Eponine. The only slight disappointment was Russell Crowe’s character Javert, who looked dashing in his military garb, but seemed awkward while singing. And honestly, his death in this production did not make enough sense to me (or my teenagers), and it absolutely did when I saw it on the stage.
This is definitely a MUST SEE movie, but you will likely squirm, maybe cry, and you if you take your boyfriend/husband, he WILL be picking out all the movies in 2013…trust me on this!
If/when you see it, let me know what you think!