Friday, January 4, 2013

Movie Review: Les Miserables

After an entire year of anticipation, my curiosity about the new Les Miserables film adaptation was finally satisfied this past weekend, when Stephen and I ventured out into a lightly falling snow to catch a morning showing. By the way, before I get into discussing the movie, did you know you can get tickets for just $6 at AMC Theaters when you go to a showing before noon, any day of the week?! I just found this out recently, and let me tell you, the low price definitely made our trip to the movies all the more enticing.

As for the film itself, while I did enjoy it and would definitely recommend it to others, in some ways it also differed from what I had originally envisioned. Maybe I simply went in with overly high expectations, or maybe the fact that I have previously seen this musical performed on stage three separate times colored my perception. Whatever the reason, I thought that while the movie's star-studded cast did an excellent job overall, the vocal performances they gave were on the whole not as powerful as those I have seen delivered on stage.

Samantha Barks as Eponine. Image Source: Les Miserables iTunes Image Gallery

*SPOILER ALERT*

For instance, the scene where the villainous Inspector Javert commits suicide, one of the most heart-wrenching and dramatic moments in the entire play, seemed to come across in the film as much more restrained. Perhaps the reason for this is that some of the actors in the movie are not experienced stage performers accustomed to performing dramatically and vocally at the same time. The fact that some of the songs were performed while the actors literally cried for the cameras also, in my opinion, weakened the results. I additionally felt that the extensive use of close-ups on the actors' faces throughout the majority of the film eliminated some of the sweeping grandeur that comes with seeing this musical performed live. 

All of that said, however, while I may not be running out to replace my current Les Miz soundtrack with this one, would I see the movie again or consider buying it once it comes out on DVD? Absolutely. 

Have you seen Les Miserables on the big screen yet? What was your take on it, and how did it compare with any Les Miz productions you've seen on stage? 

6 comments:

  1. no desire to see this, because of the singing and the close ups...but i'm glad you shared your review of it!

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  2. I've never really been a fan of musicals, so this is a pass for me. Although, I am a big fan of Anne Hathaway.

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  3. I am not a huge fan of musicals but I've read so many great reviews on this movie that I am tempted to go and see it.

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  4. I've never seen les Mis and I would be interested in seeing but I have heard mixed reviews. I wonder if I need to see the actual play first!

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  5. I haven't seen it yet, but I am going to soonish. I grew up with musicals, and so I have a soft spot for them. AND I can't wait to see Hugh Jackman sing!
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

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  6. i still need to see les mis! this review makes me want to head to the theaters now :)

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