“Les Miserables” film review

For whoever may care, the following is my review of the feature film adaptation of Les Miserables. Beware of spoilers!

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Anne Hathaway as Fantine

The past year of my life has involved Les Miserables quite a lot. I first watched the 25th anniversary DVD of “Les Mis” last winter, after which I had fallen in love with the music. Then, I saw the stage version of the show on October 20th. It was my first time seeing the show live, and I was utterly gob smacked!
Today, January 5, I went and saw the film version of this show that I have come to love so much. Overall, I think it is safe to say that I was fairly disappointed. However, there are some parts of it that I liked.

PROS

Samantha Barks as Eponine

Samantha Barks as Eponine

 

Acting: Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Samantha Barks (Eponine), and Eddie Redmayne (Marius) are the three actors that I thought did the best job in portraying their characters in the film. I have seen Samantha play Eponine before, so I knew she was going to do a fantastic job! She was the one casting choice that I was really excited about before I even saw the film! I knew Anne Hathaway did an amazing job in this film. I now understand all of the Oscar hype that has been surrounding her name lately. Eddie Redmayne was a pleasant surprise. My other favorite was Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche. He was a scene stealer.
Singing: Anne, Samantha, and Eddie did a superb job.
Songs: Some people may not care for the new song “Suddenly,” but I found it endearing and a nice addition to the epic soundtrack.
Scenes/Moments: One of my favorite moments was getting to see Hadley Fraser (who has played many Les Mis roles on stage) donning a cheesy fake mustache as a soldier at the barricade. If only they would have given in a bigger role in the film! Also, I am so glad that they included Colm Wilkinson (the original Jean Valjean) in this film! Seeing him as the bishop was awesome! Another one of my favorite bits was when Javert takes the medal of his jacket and places it on Gavroche.

CONS
Acting: I don’t think I was necessarily disappointed by any of the acting, I just think different actors could have been chosen for some of the roles.
Singing: I think Hugh Jackman has done much better in other musicals I have seen him in (example: Oklahoma!). I felt like he was forced to sing in an uncomfortable key for this film; most of his singing seemed to be placed in his falsetto. I was also disappointed by Russell Crowe, though I think he sounded okay. I’ve just heard better Javerts.
Songs: The order in which the songs occur in the show were swapped around a bit in the film. What really upset me was that one of my favorite songs “A Little Fall of Rain” was shortened.
Scenes/Moments: The sewer scene was disgusting; I prefer the stage version of that scene.
Filming: Too many close-ups were used! They should have showed off the amazing sets more. Why spend so much money on the sets if you are going to display them?

That’s all I have to say for now. If I think of anything else I will add it in later. I would love to hear your opinions on the film too!

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