Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfreid, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter
For over twenty years, “Les Miserables” has been one of the most successful musicals and finally, this Christmas, fans of the production can see the cinematic adaptation of it at their local Cineplex.
Fans will no doubt run into the theatre with very high expectations but may leave the experience on a low note as all the early Oscar buzz “Les Mis” has been given may be misleading.
Not to say the performances weren’t worthy of a statue, but to love the film, you’d have to love the stage production and to appreciate the film, you’d have to really enjoy musicals in general. This particular musical should stay where you can best appreciate it… on the stage where the energy of the musical numbers run through you and hit you at your very core. The celluloid version lacks the ability to make you feel the powerful story the way it is meant to be felt. The film made me want to watch the stage version. If this is an ad for the musical, it accomplished its goal. I am getting a ticket the next time it comes to town. I'd like that ticket to include Anne Hathaway as factory worker Fantine, a young mother driven to destitution, despair and death to save her daughter. Sadly, it will not so the question is, should you get a ticket to see the film?
If you want to see a very gaunt Hugh Jackman play prisoner #24601, Jean Valjean, who spent nineteen years in jail for stealing bread to feed a starving mouth and a chubby Russell Crowe play Inspector Javert, the man after him when he fails to report for parole, then this is for you.
They are as stark a contrast with one another as the role suggests they should be.
Crowe seemed a bit out of place, I must admit, though he, Jackman and many other talented people sing their way through tales of heartache and misfortune quite well, the leads are out shined by the supporting roles.
Broadway, are you paying attention? You should be because Amanda Seyfreid and Eddie Redmayne may have missed their calling.
Hollywood, you pay attention, too. Just because it works at the theatre, doesn’t mean it will play well on the silver screen.