Ex-Disney Cast Member. Film major. Girlfriend. Daughter. Blonde. Dork.
Les Miserables is a story I’ve held close to my heart since I first saw it in 8th grade when I was in French class. I loved the story from the beginning and have seen the stageplay several times since then. Also since that time I watched both the 1995 and 1998 non-musical versions of it (which sucked…) and read the entire (unabridged) book.
Before this film came out I researched the shit out of it. I watched every featurette they posted on youtube, read all the wikipedia and IMDB facts, and even read the entire 42 page production notes in the pdf they have on the movie’s website. It looked very promising and I was very skeptical from the very beginning. There was no way anyone was selling me on the fact that Anne Hathaway would be a good Fantine. She isn’t frail enough, she doesn’t have the range, and singing? Yeah, no way. So let’s start with her.
She was fantastic.
I hate to say this because so many people told me I would be wrong and I’m going to sit here and admit it. I was wrong. From the minute she started singing I was shocked at the quality of her voice. She has known to have sung songs before but nothing to this extent and she wasn’t really known for her stage performances when she was rising to stardom. And the emotion she had during her close ups was fantastic…she made me cry multiple times in parts where I never would have thought I’d tear up.
So can we talk about Hugh Jackman for a second? Now I know that he started in stage productions so I had no worries about his talents as a singer in this film nor did I have any reservations about his acting either, but I was curious to see how he would play this part. First of all I give him props for having to do the majority of this in front Colm Wilkinson, the first Jean ValJean there ever was on stage (who awesomely played the Bishop in this!). Second I give him props for the entire film as a whole. He did a fantastic job with all of the emotions and I know from research that he put 4039248329% into this role (he even starved himself of water a day and a half before the shoot to give him that deprived look!). You could pinpoint every turning point that the character has (also helped by the art and makeup department as well) and you could always tell exactly what the character was feeling and why he was doing what he was doing. He really became the character and understood him to the fullest extent.
Russell Crowe surprised me a little bit. I know he’s not really keen for singing and you can kind of tell because of the way he sings things, but he played a really good Javert. I loved his last scene (no spoilers here!) and I really felt the emotion that he was feeling. Although you really only get the turning point if you’ve read the book or seen the play, I feel that you knew enough to understand why he did what he did, but you might not have understood why he did it when he did it.
Samantha Barks, holy hell girl, she was awesome. Eponine is my favorite character. I relate to her a lot because of the lost love and having a shitty father. Samantha did a fantastic job capturing the hopelessness of Eponine. The character in itself is a tragedy but you can see it in her face how her emotions change. I can’t say much more without giving it away, but On My Own probably made me tear up the most in this movie besides the very last scene, where I had to choke down sobs.
The only thing I didn’t like about this film..well, I have two things. The first is that Sacha Baron Cohen fucked up my favorite song, Master of the House. He had this weird accent that I didn’t understand and it kept changing for no reason. Helen Bonham Carter did a pretty good job as Mme. Thenardier, in fact she was one of my favorite characters, but Sacha did not do well in that song and that is my absolute favorite song of the movie. Once he got rid of the whole accent idea, I didn’t think he was half bad. The second thing I didn’t like was some of the shots. A lot of them had too much head room, something I’m not a fan of, and there was a really weird dutch angle where there shouldn’t have been any kind of dutch angle at all. But, that’s just nitpicky. If I really wanted to go into it I have all sorts of flaws I could pick out…but I’ll save that for specific conversations.
Overall, if you love Les Mis, you’ll love this film. If you like Les Mis, you’ll love this film. If you’ve never seen/read/heard it before, you’ll probably be confused a little bit, but you’ll get it in the end, and then you’ll love it. I haven’t heard many people say they didn’t like it so far. Oh, and bring your tissues, I can’t count how many times I cried during this!
Overall rating: A
There are times in my life, like everyone else, where I feel so crushed by certain things, that I wonder what I’m doing to myself. My day will start off great, like today, and then shatter into a million little pieces to the point where I can’t even function or enjoy any kind of activity. It’s usually a point in time where I’m able to write easily but don’t enjoy it. I can watch a movie but be bored. I can play a game but not feel satisfied. It’s usually not one thing that brings me down either, and I’m not sure if this is going to be an end of the semester thing for me now, but as the semester comes closer and closer to the end I’m getting more and more pressure and more and more depressed.
There are several issues working against my favor right now. Some of them are in my control and some of them are not. The worst ones are the ones I can’t control. Like today. There is no way I can be mad at someone for putting their work over me, no way in hell I’d ever be mad at anyone for doing that. Work is more important than anything in college life and if their priorities weren’t straight I wouldn’t respect that person and I know they’re upset that they had to do that. They know that I’m upset and it’s hard because they can’t do anything about it. However, as much as I would like to hide the fact that I’m upset, that’s not me, and I can’t do that. Believe me I wish I didn’t care and I wish that it didn’t upset me, but when things like that happen that I was really looking forward to, I start thinking about other things that are working against me and it makes everything worse and blows the whole thing out of the water.
I don’t deal with stress well, however I do hide it pretty well. For those that are close to me, they see it all the time, but for those I’m not quite close with they can’t really tell. Sometimes they think I’m just in a funk that day or whatever, when really I’m coming home every other day and crying into a pillow for long periods at a time. I struggle with the fact that I hate being bored and having too much time on my hands, but then I overload myself and get stressed out and depressed anyway. I’m not even sure it’s going to go away once the semester is over. That brings in a whole new world of stresses for all different reasons. I don’t want this semester to end. I don’t want to have to go a whole 3 months with barely seeing/talking to my boyfriend and I don’t want all of my friends to graduate knowing I should be graduating too.
I need a vacation desperately.
What are you doing Friday night?
Laying in bed with you, I hope
O.O PLEASE EXCUSE ME WHILE I JUMP OFF A CLIFF BECAUSE OF HOW FUCKING CUTE THAT WAS.
I don't know that I'd jump off of a cliff, but that was SO FUCKING CUTE. Watch out people, this one might actually stick for a long ass time.