Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Movie Review: Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Movie review by Lauren

I do not own any images

IMDB Summary: In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.

Review: I love musicals, but I have never seen Les Mis until I saw the movie. I figured I would enjoy the movie because I recognized various actors within it, and I'd rather chance the film instead of the play. Now I hope to see the actual play version some day because I really fell in love with the story.

I've heard some complaints about Russell Crowe, and I can see where people are coming from. Unlike the other actors, he is more of an actor than a singer. I still think he did a fine job overall, though. However, as I said above, I didn't enter this movie knowing all about the musical and hearing the songs performed by a Broadway cast. That might change how you hear the songs.

Apart from Crowe, I think everyone else did a really good job. Hugh Jackman was just phenonemal and him and Crowe are the cast that span the entire film. If you aren't aware (and I was not), Les Mis takes place over many years, so not all the characters will continue on through the entire movie. I didn't mind this though, because it allowed me to see many talented actors and it gave them their own moment in the movie to shine.

My favorite was probably Samantha Barks, who played the lonely Eponine. She sang "On My Own" and it was my all-time favorite moment in the film. It's such a haunting, beautiful song about being in love with someone who will never love you back the way you want them too. This was Barks' debut in film (she had already played Eponine on the stage) and I can't wait to see what she does next!

Eddie Redmayne wonderfully played Eponine's love interest, Marius. He cares about Eponine, but he actually falls for Amanda Seyfried's character, Cosette (the girl on the above poster is a young Cosette). This romance fell a bit short for me because it was so cliche. It takes place in seconds, and while I'm glad they had each other in the end, it makes me feel even more bad for Eponine...as she really knew Marius.

As for Cosette, my favorite version was the younger, because I love seeing actresses and actors shine so brightly at such a young age. Young Cosette was played by Isabelle Allen, a ten year-old in her first film performance. It's amazing! Another young actor in the film that was extraordinary was Daniel Huttlestone, who played Gavroche. This was his first film as well. I do hope to see these two go on to do wonderful things. They had wonderful voices and a great prescence. You couldn't not fall in love with their characters.

I could go on and on about this film, mentioning my love for Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen (who played some kooky characters that added a lot of much-needed comedic relief), but I don't want to make this review too long.

I'm curious, though, what did you think? Have you seen the musical?


Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I am SO incredibly excited to see this! Like you, I've never actually seen Les Mis., but I know a lot of songs from the soundtrack by heart! Can't wait to watch it!

P.S. For some reason, I had no idea that Helena Bonham Carter was in this movie, but I adore her, so added bonus! :)

Charlene C said...

I really enjoyed the musical! I've seen the live show a couple of times, and went into the film really excited by the pretty cinematography I saw in the trailer. It's a really beautiful film to look at. I was disappointed a little by some of the singing, but overall the emotion was there (I cried lots) and the movie just made me love the musical more. I really need to read the book some time!

GABY said...

Sounds amazing! I'm not very familiar with musicals but I think I'd like this :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I don't really like musicals, but I want to see this one. I haven't read or watched Les Mis in any of its forms.

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I really want to see this film. I remember watching an old movie version of it in my high school French class - surprisingly, I could translate most of it! It's a beautiful, sad story, but you captured a lot of things in your review, Lauren. :)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Bookworm1858 said...

I really loved this film too. My only sadness is that I've tried to listen to the soundtrack and find that it doesn't really work on its own because they're not really singers. I can only like it when I also see the acting.

Aylee said...

You know, I am a huge musical fan, too, but I haven't seen Les Miserables either! Not even very familiar with the story at all. Alright, I definitely need to see this movie now after reading this! I have a pretty good feeling I'm going to like it if you did.

Leanne said...

I saw this movie last week and thought it was incredible, despite being slightly overwhelming and verbose at parts. I agree, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen provided some amusement in face of all the despair and sadness! I shed tears, especially at the end and when Barks sang On My Own - which, as you said, was chilling and exquisitely sung. :) Great movie review!

Candace said...

I have heard good things but I'm not big on musicals unless its the play. I think once its on netflix I will have to give it a shot. I have seen little pieces when the actors have been on television do I'm curious. I think I will cry A LOT though.

bermudaonion said...

I haven't found anyone to see this with me and am thinking I may have to go by myself if I want to see it in the theater.

Erika said...

I'm not usually a fan of musicals; but I've been hearing so many amazing things about this film, I may just need to see it! :)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I have yet to see it but I want to so much! It looks amazing.

LHughes said...

Eponine was by far my favorite in the whole film too!!!!!

I've seen the play in NYC as well as the movie with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush. And I didn't remember Eponine's character AT ALL. So she was such a pleasant surprise and I felt like her character was the most empathetic.

I know the musical was written to have a lot of solo songs, but I got a tired of all the long solo monologue songs. I still thought it was beautifully filmed and full of a talented cast. But I wish their were more ensemble songs or duets because I liked those better.

I hope you can see the play live someday too :)

Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

Brandi Kosiner said...

I have been wanting to watch this. I remember it was one of the few books in HS that I liked required.
Happy reading,
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

L-Diggitty said...

I loved the musical! And I thought the movie was very well done - Eponine was fantastic, I agree. I also think that Cosette and Marius seemed a little forced. They didn't seem to have much chemistry and both of their characters fell a little flat for me. Hugh Jackman was fantastic, though! I bawled my eyes out in the theater!