Les Mis

I don’t normally write about movies. Mostly because I hadn’t been to see one since before Sir A was born. Also cos I wouldn’t really care enough. But I do care about Les Mis.

Amazing Husband organised for me to go see the movie version with Mum on Tuesday. See why he’s amazing? Not a time a day one wants to be solo parenting, though my dad did turn up to “help” at just the worst time to excite them. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Anyhoo. On the whole I thought it was pretty good. I’ve only seen the stage production once, in London, from the front at the end of the row. A really crappy seat, but it was all I could afford at the time. However, I have listened to the 25th Anniversary concert recording a gazillion times and know all the words of all of the songs.

The 25th Anniversary version also had the best of the best singing. This meant the movie stars had a lot to live up to, and I suppose this is where my small amount of criticism comes in.

Actually I liked some of the actors better (mostly because of the lack of American accents. I’m sorry, lovely American friends, but I hate hearing your accent in songs. It just spoils it for me. And also English accents denote class, which is central to the whole story, and American ones just don’t.) – I thought Anne Hathaway was great – much better than I expected – and I really like Marius. Wolverine, I mean Hugh Jackman was also a pleasant surprise. I’d forgotten he was in it, and it took me quite some time to figure how who he was – wasn’t till he’d been cleaned up nicely 🙂 I was trying to decide what country he was from his singing accent, which was really odd. Didn’t work, naturally. I thought some of his timing and such a little odd, but on the whole he did a good job with a difficult part.

The real disappointment (which I knew in advance, but still, almost spoilt the whole thing) was Russell Crowe. Yes, he was totally smarmy enough for the part, but DUDE!!! My conclusion was that he was far too busy making sure he got the notes right (which he did, thankfully) to put any acting into the songs. Stars, for example, reminded me of someone trying to choose an item from a menu. Only I put more passion into that sort of thing than he did – “I think I’ll have the pasta, no the pizza, OH CRAP I CAN’T DECIDE!!” Maybe Javert was secretly stoned all the time and that accounts for it.

I had to snigger (un-PC moment approaching) when the two Aussies were singing to each other about the difficulty of their origins and being all aggro about it. Tehehe. Also, gladiators should know better than to take on Wolverines.

Poor Mum was exhausted by the end. I knew what was coming the whole time so it wasn’t so bad for me, and could preempt any need for tissues with getting distracted at the appropriate moment.

Oh I almost forgot Sacha Baron Cohen. Not normally a fan, but he did the part SO well. I especially liked how he changed his accent depending on who he was trying to con. And how he kept forgetting Cosette’s name (can’t remember if that was in the stage production). Courgette. Haha.

Mercifully Javert commits suicide before the end so we were put out of our misery (oh whoops, SPOILER alert). Dear Russell Crowe: THIS is how you sing Stars. No casual dinner ordering there.

2 Responses to “Les Mis”
  1. bettyscandretti says:

    I do agree about Sacha Baron-Cohen. Mostly because of his famous brother and because I like Helena Bonham-Carter, but I did think he made a go of it.

  2. smokering says:

    You liked Marius? Really? I couldn’t stand him. Marius in the book (and presumably in the show, although he’s notoriously poorly-cast) is meant to be a devastatingly unconsciously-handsome, red-lipped, black-haired romantic figure. And they chose a scrawny, floppy-haired guy with greenish skin and a mouth like a trout. I’m sure he has many marvellous personal qualities and his mother loves him, but Marius he was NOT. Enjolras, samely neither. I don’t get it. Hollywood isn’t lacking for dashing young males, nor is it typically shy about casting them.

    I thought the Sacha/Helena version of “Master of the House” was fantastic. It really exploited the benefits of film, as opposed to, say, “Stars”, which was statically stage-showy without the awesomeness.

    I didn’t recognise Hugh Jackman for a few minutes either. Mad eyes, very large beard.

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