Thursday, January 10, 2013

Les Miserables: The Musical, The Movie, The Book, and The 25th Anniversary Concert

I love Les Mis.  It is definitely in the running for my favorite musical of all time (which is tough because I've seen so many musicals).  I went to see the movie over the holidays and would like to quickly share my thoughts:

One of the biggest surprises for me was Eddie Redmayne as Marius.  He was fantastic, RoB even went so far as to say he made the movie.  Marius is a weird role and I've never really liked him, maybe it was because I've never seem someone play the role well, but he did and I suddenly really liked the character.  I had heard lots of talk about Anne Hathaway being great, and she lived up to all of those expectations.

Both of the young actors did a great job. Young Cosette was great, very cute and everything you'd expect out of an innocent girl.  Gavroche was also great, and I really enjoyed how they gave him a longer part in "Look Down", a little more history about the uprising.

Worst singer goes to Amanda Seyfried as Cosette.  Another character I've never really liked, but the vocal part seemed beyond her capabilities and it was obvious when she was singing with two great singers that played Eponine and Marius.  Russell Crowe's singing wasn't great either, he wasn't terrible but his voice just wasn't powerful enough for the officer Javert, I never really felt like I would be scared of him.

I really liked how the did the song "Do You hear the People Sing", it was in a different place than the musical and I had a panicked moment when I though that they left it out.  Just as I leaned over to RoB to whisper "they skipped a song" the first chords of that song started, whew!  It was great and not just because the love of my life (Aaron Tveit playing Enjolras) was leading the song.  I liked how you actually felt like the people were going to rise and take over.

One very small thing I was sad that they left out.  A the very end when Jean Valjean is dying, Fantine comes to him as a ghost.  However in the musical both Fantine and Eponine come to him and sing "Come to Me" with one of my favorite harmonies of all time, it is beautiful.  I was sad to see this left out but then I realized that Valjean never really had any interaction with Eponine in the movie like he did in the musical so it might not have made sense.  But it is one of my favorite parts of the musical so of course I was sad to see it left out.

One other issue I had was with the cinematography (I think) basically some of the weird camera angles and close ups.  They were very artsy and I'm sure lots of people liked that, but I just felt like it was weird.

(I also just read a great review on the movie over at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life.)

For Christmas RoB got me the 25th Anniversary Concert, which is AMAZING if you haven't seen it.  We put it in on Christmas while we were cleaning up the mess of wrapping paper and starting breakfast and my whole family would be transfixed and basically stop what they were doing to watch and listen.  If you want to hear quite possibly the best vocal performances for every part (except Marius, nick jonas sucks) you should watch this.  I would love if they would've had someone good play Marius (like Eddie Redmayne!) because that would've made this performance perfect.

(This is just a taste of how good it is, go rent or buy the whole thing!)

About once every two years I get an urge to actually read Les Mis.  I tried once when I was in either middle or high school and it was way too overwhelming, but now I want to try again.  I've never read it and think I might have a hard time following through with it, so RoB and I are going to try and read it at the same time.  I will read it on my new Kindle (!!) and I think he bought the last copy available in Lexington.  I would like to come up with a better name than the Les Mis Challenge (there's got to be something witty I can come up with), but that's what it will be for now.  We are going to try and read the First Book: A Just Man from the First Part: Fantine (~50 pages) by Sunday and try and discuss it.  I will keep updates on my blog here as well.  If you have read it or want to read it now I'd love for you to chime in on the discussions, maybe I could even do a link-up or something fun like that!

Lastly, I was sent a review book called A Merry Requiem: The Gathering Storm that is loosely based on Victor Hugo's life.  I recently finished it so watch for that review soon!

1 comment:

  1. I'm obsessed with Les Mis! I agree with most of your thoughts- and I felt the same way about Eddie Redmayne and Marius! I've been blogging about Les Mis since I first heard there was going to be a movie.