Les Misérables

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Movie reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

So, I’ve been mulling over a new idea for this here blog. Once in a while (or twice in a while; really, whenever I feel like it), I’m going to post movie reviews on here. I can’t say how often [it will sort of depend on when I watch movies, of course…], but I plan on doing so semi-regularly. So…here we go! *cue happy Disney music*

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For the grand opening ceremony, I will be reviewing Les Misérables, which was released by Universal Pictures on December 25th, 2012.

**Note: I have not read the novel, nor have I seen the musical. Just so you know.**

To begin with, I had very high expectations for this movie. I have never been a die-hard Les Mis fan, but a few weeks earlier I checked out the music book from the library and fell in love. I soon was frantically researching the movie, anxious for it to be released.

After years of endless waiting (I’m kidding. It wasn’t long at all.), I went to see the movie with a friend, hopeful and extremely excited about it.

Here comes the part of the review where most critics would say “But it ended up being a complete waste of time” or “I soon realized my expectations should not have been so high”–something to that extent. But me, I’m not like most critics, for one, I don’t feel the need to rip every movie apart just because it’s cool or something.

So, here on this blog, it is the time for me to mention that I LOVED THE MOVIE IT WAS INCREDIBLE ITS AWESOMENESS IS PRACTICALLY UNPARALLELED AND…AND…I can’t even.

For starters, here’s a brief summary of the plot.

…Ahem.

About that.

I forgot that ‘brief summary’ and Les Mis do not go together. Er. A guy is hunted down by the authorities and does a lot of stuff and people die. Um. For a long summary, you can go the Wikipedia page right here. The story, though overwhelming at first, is a masterpiece–there’s so much conflict, and so much happening that the movie never gets boring at any point.

Moving on. The actors. I loved every actor, really; Hugh Jackman was perfect as Jean Valjean–his voice and the emotion he packs into every song is kind of crazy in the best possible way. Anne Hathaway, portraying the role of Fantine, was excellent, as always. I will admit I have never disliked Anne’s portrayal of any role, and this one was no different. Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Samantha Barks as Epónine, and Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers were all wonderful. Now, onto the controversial one…Russell Crowe as Javert. There has been much speculation on his performance; many have said that Crowe’s acting suffers while he’s trying to hit his high notes. While I will say that Crowe could have emoted a bit more without me minding at all, I really, really don’t think he did a bad job. In fact, I liked his portrayal of the role very much. The character of Javert is rather intriguing (I have an odd fascination with most villains, and this was no exception), and I think Crowe captured the character well.

Another aspect of the movie is that it is all singing. When I say all singing, I mean it in a loose sense of the word–there was almost always music, but the characters spoke at times, as well. Some people I know were deterred from seeing the movie by this fact. Now, I didn’t find this fact at all strange–though that might be because I’ve grown up listening to soundtracks from musicals and don’t care if an entire musical/movie/what have you is sung. The storyline of Les Mis terribly intrigued me, and given the many superb actors and the epic music I had heard from the musical, I didn’t mind that the entire movie would be sung. And while I was watching it, I found that I wasn’t bothered in the least. There are musicals that would be positively awful if they were completely sung–imagine lines like “Hand me that letter!” or something to that extent would sound really dumb if they were sung. But none of the lines [at least, none that I can remember] in Les Mis sounded dumb. All of the songs are beautiful in lyric and melody, and they were delivered with such emotion by the actors that I was quite in awe. In other words, if you’re on the fence about Les Mis because of the entirely-singing thing, don’t be. The constant song doesn’t seem intrusive at all, in fact, I think it adds to the story.

The cinematography of Les Mis was beautiful. Some shots–in particular, during Stars and before Javert’s big, ahem, life and death decision, were taken at angles that were just cool and added an artistic note to the movie. Sometimes the camera would take a second or two to come into focus when there were close-up shots, which bothered me at times, but for the most part the cinematography was ace.

The music, written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, is beautiful. The melodies truly soar, and each song has a unique feel to it. The lyrics, written by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, are equally impressive; there’s a kind of poetic fluidity to them, which is noticeably lacking in any pop song today. As such, I appreciate the lyrics in Les Mis all the more.

All in all, I really loved Les Mis. The movie was just…absolutely spectacular. I highly recommend it, unless you hate singing. In that case, don’t watch it. Simple as that.

To be official, I will give a rating of the movie, out of five (You know, the typical system: 5 being best, 1 being terrible…).  And…drumroll please…*drumroll machine turns on* Okay, that’s enough, all right? Enough. ENOUGH! *drumroll machine breaks into a million pieces* …Anyways, the rating I give to Les Misérables is…5/5! Woohoo! Congratulations, everyone involved with this movie! You have earned my respect, my admiration, my happiness. And, let’s be serious. That’s really all you need.

In closing, I shall leave you with a quote that I have been incessantly yelling for the past couple of days:

“Who am I? I’m Jean Valjean!”

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Comments
  1. I think it’s my favorite musical and I’m glad it got a great big screen adaptation Check out my review http://amandalovesmovies.com/2013/01/02/les-miserables/

    • Andrea says:

      Sorry, amandalovesmovies! Your comment accidentally got marked as spam; I didn’t notice that until now.

      I haven’t seen the musical–though I’ve heard all of the music–but I truly love the story and though I haven’t seen the stage version, I think the screen adaption did it justice. :)

  2. Ivy says:

    Ahh, you have reminded me of the wondrous-ness of that movie… I want to see it again so badly, yet I cannot right now. I did buy Look Down and have listened to it several times already. In fact, I have it almost memorized now (“do not forget me, 24601!”). :) Anyway, if some certain someones who will be reading this don’t change their minds about seeing Les Mis, we should go together once more! Teehee! :)

  3. Andrea says:

    Indeed we should! That would be awesome. :)

  4. Erin says:

    As you now both know the movie has to be approved by mummy first before I see it. So my chances of seeing Les Mis are dwindling down into single digits now… (Ha! Name that quote!)

    • Andrea says:

      Well, in that case, I shall forgive you. Slightly.

      I couldn’t name that quote, so I looked it up, and am now ashamed that I did not know from whence it came. Bad, bad, Andrea. :D

      If you do, however, end up being able to go, you definitely should, however.

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