Miserable with Tears

A Film Review of Les Miserables

We all managed to restrain ourselves from clapping each song but it was tough going at the end, so we cried instead! And the finale song from the barricades played in our heads for hours ….

This is a 7 star film. Just as 5 stars in now no longer enough for some hotels – or so they claim – so we must move up the limit for truly outstanding art. And this is one of those.

The lack of conversation in any way other than music did not in any way detract from understanding the story, and indeed the sung conversations, between the Innkeeper and his wife, played superbly by Sacha Baron-Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter (who managed to disguise her beauty remarkably well, and clearly enjoyed herself) were actually enhanced by their repartee.

Fantine managed to look ethereal and had a stunning voice; the cheeky little boy revolutionary was fab and has a great future I’m sure; and the actress Anne Hathaway who played the Innkeeper’s grown up daughter, had the most amazingly small waist. Her voice wasn’t bad either.

Eddie Redmayne was interviewed in the London Evening Standard on 6th Feb and said that it was a terrifying experience. He played Marius Pontmercy. He apparently demanded that they take 21 shoots of him singing the Empty Chairs song – remember that all songs were sung on camera, no dubbing in afterwards – just to get it right. ‘Tom’, he said to the Director, ‘I need to know that I’ve done it until I’m bleeding from my eyeballs so at least I know I gave it my best shot’.

The only issue we had was with the singing of Russell Crowe. His range is quite small and thus it was flat at times. However, his expression of voice and general acting made up for this (an amount, but not perhaps for the singers amongst us, I confess to being flat myself outside a very very minimal range..). and the death of Jean ValJean was a real tear-jerker – and even some men have admitted to me that they welled up at that moment in time.

So do go and see it. It is not as long as the stage version but do ensure that you will be comfortable for the all but 3 hours as there is no Intermission!

Looking at other people’s reviews it seems we all cried and all (well nearly all, some thought that Russell Crowe spoilt it, but heh you could forgive one out of many…) thought it was fantastic!

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4 thoughts on “Miserable with Tears

  1. ukgardenfiend Post author

    Yes, I saw it on stage too and raved over it – it was a birthday treat which was how I got my husband to go, and he liked it so he came to the film too….
    Thanks for reading my review – hope to hear from you again.

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  2. loverj

    I felt exactly the same about each of the actors. If you have seen it on stage, or listened to the various soundtracks, you know that Javert has a very deep, sonorous voice, which Crowe does not.

    I did sing through the whole thing…but just to myself.

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