Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Thoughts on Les Misérables, The Movie

My oldest daughter strategically gave me two tickets to see Les Miserables. I took her today, although I had mixed feelings before going. I saw it twice in London back when I was cool and again in Salt Lake City. I cried every time. It was amazing.

To be fair, I admitted one ditty to her while we were driving to the theater. When I was pregnant with her and feeling emotional and singing in the car, I sang I Dreamed a Dream (A'Capella and at the top of my voice). I so moved myself that I ended up sobbing. On my way to work. Because I'm totally cool like that.

 Anyway, I didn't want to see a cut rate theater production and ruin it for myself forevermore. Could sweet Anne Hathaway really pull off Fantine? Could she sing? Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine as Jean Valjean? Can he sing? Can he hit those high notes in Bring Him Home? Russell Crow in the role of Javert. Could he sing? How similar would it be from the play?

Conclusions: Anne and Hugh; I still don't know if they can sing. The emotion and craft they brought to their roles eclipsed their own persanas. Hugh was Valjean. I didn't see Hugh or Wolverine. Yes, he can hit those high notes. I cried. I loved a younger sounding Valjean and one whose voice was not swallowed up in facial hair.

Anne can sing but I lost her quickly in her role. She is a true artist. 'Nuff said.

Russell was a good Javert but was far eclipsed by the aforementioned. Loved Eponine. Again. Loved Marius. For the first time, I liked Cosette. Amanda Siegfriend From Mama Mia is perfect for her role. I have heard and and seen better singers for each part (except Cosette. I've never love soprano parts. Amanda was perfect.) But the overall production was incredible.

 All of that is a preamble to what I found on Amazon. I don't know how long this will last, but you download the album right now for five bucks.

I bought it. I've been wanting to buy it for years but could never find one for a price that seemed reasonable. Five bucks is definitely reasonable. If you haven't seen it, download it, anyway then go see it. If you have seen it, download it then go see it. Definitely go see it. You will love Gavroche even more in this rendition. I was also stunned to read that Sasha Cohen is the innkeeper (Master of the 'ouse). Helen Bonham Carter is his wife which just makes sense. Incidentally, the first scene with the swindling couple and the scene leading up to Fantine's death are disturbing. Not for children, mind you. In fact, if you DO download the album, you might want to save Master of the House on a different playlist. That has been true since 1987. The difference between the 1987 version and this version is my age and understanding of crass humor.

Just a little opinion question here - is it socially acceptable to cover your nearly 18 year old daughter's eyes in a public theater for scenes involving innuendo? Perhaps the innuendo wasn't as obvious for her and she wouldn't have even been alarmed. I guess I'll never know.

The movie far exceeded my expectations. It was outstanding.

1 comment:

Dina said...

Thank you for the thorough review. The movie is on my list of non-PG movies to see - the non-PG part requires more planning, of course. I just bought the soundtrack, too.