Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why Les Miserables Works

Les Misérables is a stunning musical movie.  A man who stole a loaf of bread went to prison for nineteen years, is finally released, and this is only where the story begins.

What Works
  • Excellent singing/acting from Eponine (Samantha Barks), Marius (Eddie Redmayne), Enjolras (Aaron Tveit), and Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone).
  • Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were excellent character actors as Madame Thenardier and Thenardier.
  • The epic story of redemption and love.
  • The ending was the best part.  It brought everyone together and reaffirmed the themes of love and redemption.

What Didn’t Work
  • The first hour was a long introduction before the story started rolling.  After that initial part everything went smoothly.
  • The close-ups didn’t do the actors any favors.  The fixation on their faces felt abnormal.
  • I had no problem with the live-singing technique, but it did highlight the singing ability of the people involved.  Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway are actors who sing.  While this is the movie version of “Les Misérables,” it is a musical.  They performed decently, but the stand-out performances came from Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne – singers. 

The complex, emotional movie is a must see.

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