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New Les Misérables movie


tomuchtallent
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I haven't seen it, but my mother-in-law saw it in the States a few weeks ago.

 

She said it was very good, but too long, and felt that it was somehow weirdly inappropriate for them to suddenly break into song at a gut-wrenching dramatic moment (even though it is a musical!)...

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My DD and a lot of her friends saw it at the weekend, although in various groups not all together.. General consensus was that it was very good, although a couple who had seen it in the West End hated it. Very emotional film with a lot of people in tears towards the end. Most of the songs were very good but a question mark over Russell Crowe's voice. DD reccommended I should see it.

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I have not seen the stage version, but caught the film in Cambridge last night. It is a bit long - be ready for 3 hours without interval, including ads etc. From press reviews, I had known it would be sung start to finish with, in effect, recitative passages - and so it is. I found some of the close-up work a bit relentless and occasionally closed my eyes to just listen but, overall, I was quite impressed with the result. The voices vary in quality, as one might expect from non-singers, and I can imagine that stage musical lovers might be put off as a result. The best were, I'd say, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Samantha Barks as Eponine, both excellent - something that the girl singing the older Cosette with a tremulous vibrato was not, I'm afraid. Hugh Jackman handled the Valjean part with assurance, making no effort to be a Micael Ball or Alfie Boe tenor, and was entirely credible; Russell Crowe's voice was very much of one colour as Javert but his performance did all that was needed. Eddie Redmayne as Marius had some very nicely voiced tenor moments indeed. And Ms Bonham Carter wore her hair much as she always seems to do - predictable, but effective for what was asked of her.

 

And just a word on the young lad, Daniel Huttlestone, who carried off the Gavroche Jack-the-lad part with aplomb. It emerged as the credits rolled that he was in the house, together with quite a party of family and friends. No surprise to overhear that he's also playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver in town at the moment!

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I'm seeing it at the weekend and can't wait. Loads of friends have seen it - from FB I've seen that most loved it with just a couple who didn't, and some who really didn't think much of Russel Crowe. I'm going knowing that I won't be impressed by his singing, and Amanda Siegfried (?sp)'s voice already annoys me from the trailers, but I can't wait to see it regardless. I love the musical and I've enjoyed the various clips and mini-documentaries I've seen about so far. I'll report back on what I really thought next week :)

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Interestingly, both HJ and RC apparently have a background in musical theatre, HJ more so. I don't know about Anne Hathaway. I didn't particularly like her singing when I heard an excerpt on the radio but it might come across better when you are watching the film.

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I saw this on Friday and agree with Ian that it is a long movie, my partner kept repeatedly looking at his watch!!

In fact the cinema was full of women sobbing into their tissues accompanied by their (?longsuffering) partners :D. Not to be sexist but it was true and I was one of them!

 

The quality of the singing is mixed and i guess everyone will have their own preferences/dislikes. Who knew Eddie Redmayne could sing so beautifully?!

 

Whatever anyone thinks of Anne Hathaway you can't detract from the emotion of her performance especially when you know they really are hacking her hair off. In fact the performances from everyone were superb.

 

I did enjoy it as it is a real spectacle and most of the cinema-goers burst into applause at the end.

 

My partner......? Well his response was "It's Mamma Mia the revolution". Guess you can't please everyone.

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My worry is that for me it will be a "Chigago". I love Chigago musical and hated the film. When I voiced this opinion I was told by someone I worked with that I was ridiculous and obviously didn't understand musicals!!!

 

I love Les Mis and so am a little hesitant. I may wait for the DVD. Re Hugh Jackman he is so from a musical background. Oklahoma, The Boy from Oz. He really is one of lifes all rounders. He I would like to see (I do like Xmen too.lol) but Russell Crowe is a least favourite actor. I have heard Marius on the radio and wasn't keen. But I'm probably one of these people determined it will not be as good as the stage.lol

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I have seen it twice In the west end, and loved it,although admittedly the first time I was about 7 so I don't remember much! I thought it was very good. The singing wasn't amazing, but the emotion came across very well. Despite not liking Anne hathaway, her I dreamed a dream was incredible and the others were also very good. Too many close ups, but some of them worked. It was interesting just to see how they filmed it, as all of the actors sang live on camera rather than being prerecorded, which I think is the first time that has been done.

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I have seen it twice In the west end, and loved it,although admittedly the first time I was about 7 so I don't remember much! I thought it was very good. The singing wasn't amazing, but the emotion came across very well. Despite not liking Anne hathaway, her I dreamed a dream was incredible and the others were also very good. Too many close ups, but some of them worked. It was interesting just to see how they filmed it, as all of the actors sang live on camera rather than being prerecorded, which I think is the first time that has been done.

I thought the filming spectacular but it left me unmoved unlike the stage show.
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I thought it was technically brilliant (my husband who is a film visual effects supervisor/producer thought it was astounding) with some fantastic performances (hathaway, jackman and redmayne stood out- though I have to say for eddie- BAD HAIR DAY!) but overall it left me totally unmoved. I like amanda sefried and thought she was good for the (pretty 2 dimensional let's be honest) part, didnt like samantha barks much (great pipes, wasn't too impressed with her acting) and thought russell crowe had all the charisma of a parking attendant and his singing was so awful I had to stick my fingers in my ears several times. bonham carter and baron cohen at least provided some welcome light relief as well as one of the only ensemble pieces that I actually genuinely enjoyed.

Have never seen the stage show, but my main reasons for finding it detestable were: 1) it's an astoundingly complex, moving and truly great book reduced to a bunch of capering about and caterwauling; 2) I found the music almost unbearably awful- sometimes I couldn't tell whether the atonal screeching was down to off key singing or that was genuinely the 'tune'....

 

Rant over. Of course everyone watching with me LOVED it so I am doomed to be a minority...

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I have seen the stage musical 4 times in the last 20 years and I love it. From the clips I have seen of the film I think I would be disappointed if I saw it because basically none of them can sing that well. Yes they can sing in tune and reasonably well, but if you see a musical, surely the whole point is that the singing is exceptional?? I think the people that are raving about it are those who have never seen the stage version and really like the story and songs, as I do.

Edited by Ribbons
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Saw the film today, and loved it much more than I expected. We've seen the show numerous times since it opened, have both Anniversary DVDs, and have worn the CD out so I had high expectations!

 

Once you get used to the fact that the singing sounds nothing like it does in the theatre, I found myself completely lost in the experience (except for the person who insisted on eating popcorn during the quiet bits). I found the close ups really brought a new dimension to many of the songs because you got much more of a sense of emotion, for instance I cried during "I dreamed a dream" and "Empty chairs" which I don't usually do.

 

Gripes - not many:

 

Russell Crowe's singing - his acting was excellent but Javert is a powerful role and he couldn't do it justice

Amanda Seyfried - they didn't need another film star, they really should have had someone from the stage. Her acting wasn't good enough to compensate for her singing (high, too much vibrato, sounded as if she'd been inhaling helium). It was quite peculiar.

Hugh Jackman didn't age enough; he looked the same age all the way through.

 

I was very glad to see the wonderful Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop.

 

It will never be a replacement for the show, but that's ok. I want to see it again now but I'm not sure my back could take it!

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I'm showing my ignorance here, but who is Amanda Seyfried? I accept that you probably have to have a couple of big stars to sell a film like this but I think that they should have cast proper singer-actors in all the other roles. My daughter really wanted to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the O2 last year but I was so annoyed by the casting that I refused to go.

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She's an American actress who played Sophie in the Mamma Mia film. Her singing was ok in that, but the role of Cosette really requires a good soprano.

 

The film producers had enough "big names" for Les Mis. Her voice just sounds really peculiar!

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Slightly OT, but I too decided not to go and see Jesus Christ Superstar on the basis of some of the casting (I would have paid to see Tim Minchin though).

 

However, my brother saw it twice and showed me the DVD at Christmas, and I must say I was really impressed. Both people I had concerns about had come on in leaps and bounds during rehearsals. While the 1970s film will always be my favourite, I was blown away by the new version. Worth a watch on DVD. :-)

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Oh Spanner, I cannot stop laughing at your review really cheered me up. I keep imagining the person next to you munching pop corn whilst I dreamed a dream was being sung, hilarious.

 

I have also seen the stage production of Les Mis so many times as it is my favourite musical. I was so excited about going to see this film and I wasn't disappointed. I made allowances to the fact that this was a film and so therefore very different to a stage production. I agree Eponine sounded like a record that had been sped up and unfortunately Russel Crowe singing sounded rather tum te tum. I loved the film and can't wait to go and watch it again.

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Was eventually persuaded to go and see this and really found it intolerable. Just as I kept trying to convince myself that the main parts could actually sing, they were completely upstaged by a minor role actor who really could sing and showed me what I was missing. It left me totally unmoved and I am one who cries easily. The stage musical normally has be crying from start to finish. My advice - save your money and get real emotion conveyed through superb singing at the theatre.

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I was also thinking that I bet all the musical theatre people are as frustrated by this as all the ballet people were when everyone raved about Black Swan and said how amazing Natalie Portman was at ballet (after 6 months training!).

 

The poor musical theatre people are getting a rum deal at the moment with lots of big name soap stars and suchlike being brought in to leading roles when they are nowhere near as talented as those who have trained professionally in musical theatre. How long before we see someone like Cheryl Cole as Giselle, just to attract a young audience to the RB? You may laugh but watch this space.....

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We saw this in our small local cinema yesterday and as a family enjoyed the film. 

 

I however was on the edge of my seat worrying who might sit near us. Not a month ago we went to see The Hobbit at the same cinema, all through the adverts that precede the film we were annoyed by a middle aged man rummaging through his popcorn container very noisily to take each handful. As the film started my teenage son turned to him and asked him to either be quietly or save his popcorn for after the film. The man was stunned into silence as the rest of our family sunk into our seats. It worked though as he stopped his popcorn munching! Luckily we got through Les Mis with no events - you can borrow him next time you go to the cinema Spanner.

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It's funny how we all see and view things differently isn't it, but it is also good to hear peoples views and why? I went to see Les Mis last night for the second time and I have to say I was moved even more. On reflection Russels Crows version of Vavert was excellent, I still stick to my original oppinion of his version of Stars, rather tum te tum, but my daughter thought Mr Crow was amazing. My eldest son and his partner did not enjoy the film. I asked them was it because they were comparing it too the stage version to much, they said that they will go and watch it again just to make sure. I just loved the film, can't say enough about it. Ribbons I hate it also when they use celebrities in musicals but you never know one might suprise me yet, I remain open minded. May I also point out the film Oliver was a huge success and that was performed by actors such as Oliver Reed. I love both the film of Oliver and the stage show.

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Thanks John, will listen to that later.

 

It's not that I wanted the film to be like the stage version, I just wanted the lead roles to be able to sing strongly and convincingly and reach high notes without me wincing. Also, it's not just about whether someone can sing strongly and in tune, but the tone of the voice has to be pleasing as well. I heard Anne Hathaway's 'Dreamed a Dream' on the radio and without the acting to focus on, made me realise how bad it really was.

 

I actually wondered why they bothered making a film given that 90% of it was close-up and the set looked like a musical theatre set. They didn't capitalise on the film capability or opportunities at all and the end result was just a pale imitation of the musical with a bit of CGI.

 

OK, I will stop now - you all know I didn't like it :)

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Jane, I feel sure that your son is destined for great things. How marvellous that he has such self-confidence and authority at such a young age.

 

I share Ribbons' frustration that so many musicals are now filled with soap and pop stars and celebrities. I recall that Oliver Reed's part, whilst important, did not require him to do much singing. Fagin (brilliant) was played by the man who had appeared in the stage version and The Artful Dodger was played by an experienced child actor (who was older than he looked). I haven't yet seen the film but I'm planning to do so and I'm going to try and approach it with an open mind.

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