I know this is a bit late, but I tried waiting for Les Misérables to be shown in one of the nearby malls in my province, to no avail. It’s only now that I was able to watch it.
1. Les Misérables being a good adaptation of one of my most favorite musicals of all time, I only have a few qualms about it. The first of which is Amanda Seyfried. (And you all thought I’m gonna say Russel Crowe, huh.) I’m not sure if they cast her for the role of Cosette to add more star wattage, but really, can’t they get anyone else who is a stronger soprano? If they can choose Samantha Barks over Taylor Swift for Eponine, why can’t they get a better singer for Cosette? Amanda’s high notes can only be heard by dogs, and her goat-y vibrato was, well, goat-y. In My Life was ok because Cosette’s parts in that song didn’t have too many high notes, but everything went downhill for Amanda after that. It didn’t help that the rest of the people in the scenes that she acted in have strong vocals. She does look the part, though, with her dopey eyes and blonde hair.
2. Since I’ve been listening to the musical’s complete soundtrack since I was in high school and I’ve seen both 10th and 25th anniversary concerts on DVD (the only thing left is seeing the musical itself on stage), I know all the songs in the exact order they came in. I know most of the lyrics, as well. Therefore, I know which songs were cut in half, and which numbers did they jumble. It didn’t have that much effect with how the story flowed, though, but could be off-putting for those musical purists and people who sang along with the cast (I’m one of those; fortunately, I saw the movie at home so there were no complaints from seatmates). Also, I couldn’t imagine how long will this movie take if they included all the songs in full.
3. A lot of people were disappointed with Russel Crowe as Javert. I could wish that Javert was played by someone with stronger vocals (Phillip Quast, for example), but Russel Crowe wasn’t a total disappointment to me. He had a few misses – Stars, for example; he sounded like he just recited the entire thing – but he was good most of the time. He was able to carry it with his acting skills. His strongest vocals were on One Day More and Javert’s Suicide, though I wish he was able to sustain the last note a little bit longer on the latter.
4. Absolutely looooove Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Hugh scared me in the first few scenes as Prisoner 24601. As for Ms Hathaway, she could run away with all the Best Supporting Actress statues just for that super-awesomely heartwrenching rendition of I Dreamed A Dream. It was nothing like what we see on the movie trailers. It was just one long scene just focusing on Anne’s face, and the viewers can clearly see the emotions on her face as she sang. It’s the best scene in the entire film for me.
5. Nearly everyone was raving and swooning over Eddie Redmayne as Marius – and rightfully so – but my crush in this movie is the uber-cute Aaron Tveit as Enjolras. That role requires someone oozing with charisma, and he definitely has it.
6. Other notable performances include the amazing Samantha Barks as Eponine (side note: OMG, how small is her waist??? ), and of course, the equally amazing duo of Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers. I was really looking forward to seeing the Thenardiers on this movie and they certainly exceeded expectations. Although I sometimes get Bellatrix Lestrange vibes from Mdme Thenardier, which is to be expected as both roles were played by the same actress.
7. It was nice to see the original Valjean, Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop, and he took over Eponine’s parts in Valjean’s death scene. I just think that it made more sense to have him rather than Eponine in that scene, seeing that Eponine didn’t really have a connection with Valjean. Also, I read somewhere that the inclusion of the Bishop in that scene is in reference to the original scene in the novel by Victor Hugo where Valjean was asked if he wanted a priest, and he said that he already has one.
All in all, the fan in me was really satisfied with this big screen adaptation. I’ll definitely see it again. And again.