|Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh|
The success of Les Misérables stems from the great directing of Tom Hooper. As a musical, it strays away from becoming merely a stage performance filmed on camera. Other movie musicals tend to be either “more movie than musical” or “more musical than movie”. Hooper’s Les Mis (yes, I get tired of typing the accented “é”), however, succeeds in becoming a perfect hybrid, becoming, in my opinion, a great example of musical cinema.
Working Title/Cameron MackintoshNothing says "cinema" more than Russell Crowe's mug.
In musicals, both stage and film, the music, lyrics, and acting should all go hand-in-hand. Claude-Michel Schönberg’s music is a perfect fit to the narrative progression, while the lyrics of Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer are a perfect fit to the music, the acting is a perfect fit to the lyrical delivery, while the visual execution is a perfect fit to everything else. What’s great with this film is that the actors don’t appear to be singing. Because this is film and not theater, the actors can sing in low registers, some of their lines almost whispered. This gives a new dimension to the singing, unlike in theater where actors have to sing aloud so the audience can understand what they’re saying.
Working Title/Cameron MackintoshThe audience also needs to understand that
Sacha Baron Cohen is terrible at remembering names.
The casting was excellent, from Samantha Barks to Amanda Seyfried to of course Hugh Jackman. Honorable mention goes to Russell Crowe as Javert, showing us that one does not need classical vocal training to sing in a musical. But at the end of the day, I’d personally bet that Anne Hathaway brings home the Oscar.
Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh"At the end of the... oh, I see what you did there."
Les Misérables. UK. 2012.
Original rating: 8.5 / 10
Helena Bonham Carter: + 0.2
Sacha Baron Cohen's LOL moments: + 0.25
Me confusing this with A Tale of Two Cities: - 0.2
Final rating: 8.75 / 10
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