Les Miserables

When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start, when tomorrow comes

Les Mis is everything I could ever possibly want from a book-turned-musical-turned-movie-for-the-umpteenth-time. I saw it on Broadway ages ago — I want to say I was 12 or 13, if my sister can confirm? — so I didn’t remember the whole story, but I remembered the music. Oh, the music.

But there are dreams that cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather

Since this glorious film opened Christmas Day I have been consistently hearing three things about it: 1) It’s amazing, 2) Bring tissues, and 3) Russell Crowe is awful. All three are 100% correct.

Drink with me to days gone by, to the life that used to be; at the shrine of friendship never say die, let the wine of friendship never run dry

Yes it’s amazing, because helLO it’s Les Mis! It’s all about the French Revolution when people were extraordinarily poverty stricken and ill, so characters (main characters!) die every five minutes but die righteously and for the things they love and believe in, all the while singing beautiful songs. Despite the fact that I didn’t quite remember the story (I was shocked when it became clear that the mayor was actually Jean Valjean), I don’t believe the moviemakers left out much of the play. They definitely quickened the pace of events but I would say about 90% of the songs were there, and there was only about six minutes (if that) of actual speaking. And it was beautifully done in terms of scenery and costumes. (I wonder where they filmed?)

In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight, and all I see is him and me forever and forever

Yes, bring tissues. My sister has kindly reminded me that I cried for practically the entire play way back when so I expected to cry the through the movie too, but I actually held it together pretty well.  **SPOILER ALERT FOR REST OF PARAGRAPH!** I teared up when Fantine died and when the little boy died and when the revolutionary boys all died but I didn’t, you know, lose it. Until the last 30 minutes. When Marius and Cosette were finally together but Valjean had to leave/die I lost it like I haven’t lost it in a movie theater in a long, long time. My roommate and I had to stay seated for about five minutes of credits to finish our sobbing; the (soulless) people a few seats down looked at us with pity and confusion as they squeezed by us on their way out the door.

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken, there’s a pain that goes on and on

Yes, Russell Crowe is awful. Awful at SINGING, not acting. I stand firm in my belief that he was a great choice for the CHARACTER of Javert, because he can be tough and cold when he has to be (i.e. Gladiator), but not so much with the singing. Apparently all the songs were done with the actors singing live on film as opposed to lip-syncing to previously recorded tracks, which worked very well for everyone but poor old Russell. It just seemed so obvious that he was singing from his throat, not his belly like you’re suppose to (right?). I think perhaps I might have made a better Javert in terms of singing.

Red, a world about to dawn; black, the night that ends at last

So I don’t have much else to say besides I absolutely loved this movie and everyone should go see it. But not people who don’t like musicals or know anything about Les Mis. I leave you with my favorite (and the most heartbreaking) song from the movie, done by Anne Hathaway as Fantine. (The audio doesn’t even do the full performance justice, but it’ll have to do.)

LesMis5

…Somebody get that girl an Oscar! Vive la France!

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4 thoughts on “Les Miserables

  1. “Yes, Russell Crowe is awful. Awful at SINGING, not acting. I stand firm in my belief that he was a great choice for the CHARACTER of Javert, because he can be tough and cold when he has to be (i.e. Gladiator), but not so much with the singing. Apparently all the songs were done with the actors singing live on film as opposed to lip-syncing to previously recorded tracks, which worked very well for everyone but poor old Russell. It just seemed so obvious that he was singing from his throat, not his belly like you’re suppose to (right?). I think perhaps I might have made a better Javert in terms of singing.”

    Blasphemy! Crowe created a different version of Javert. He’s a cold-blooded detective who dedicated his life to capturing Valjean!!!! Of course he isn’t going to be singing like the Broadway version of the character. For Javert, it wasn’t about the singing…. though Crowe is and has been in a band for most of his life so he does have the lungs for the role. You have to remember that he was surrounded by Jackman, Hathaway, Redmayne, Tviet, Seyfriend… all singers turned actors. I probably won’t convince you to appreciate Crowe’s singing but you can’t say it was 100% horrible. “Stars” and “Javert’s Suicide” are some of my favorite tracks from the play and I think he brought a new life to it.

  2. The movie was how I fell in love with “Les Mis”. I have seen the movie several times and is also my favorite movie. If you love the musical that much, I would suggest you read my blog, http://www.megsdailymusings.com. I have posted several Les Mis posts already. That is what happen when I am obssesed with the show

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