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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Movie Review: Les Miserables

The motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France,the film tells anenthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption - a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

Wonderfully done. I had my doubts about this movie on how well it was going to be executed, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Enough to go see it twice and cry all the same. Even more so the second time. Les Miserables is one of my favorite musicals of all time so seeing it come into theaters had me wary but excited at all the same time. Everyone's performance was wonderfully done, sending chills up and done my skin time and time again.

Anne Hathaway was extraordinary with her role as Fantine and the emotions portrayed were unbelievable! Hugh Jackman blew me out of the water, never did I expect him to have a magnificent singing voice. I found it funny that the man who plays the priest  Colm Wilkinson, played Jean Valjean back in the 10th anniversary concert of Les Mis and seeing him in the movie brought a huge smile to my face and turning to my friends going "I KNOW HIM OMG HE WAS JEAN VALJEAN ASDFGHJKL;!" Eddie Redmayne was an absolute cutie playing the part of Marius and his voice blew me out of the water. I was just OOHing and AHHing whenever he came on the big screen. Same with Aaron Tevit, stunning voice and a nice addition to the beautiful people list :)

Samantha Barks as Eponine made my heart crumple into a million little pieces. She was pure gold and a natural at the part, that goes without saying she was Eponine also in the 25th anniversary concert. But her voice, her emotion, everything was spot on and the feels that go out to her character. RIGHT IN THE FEELS! Russel Crowe had a look of Javert but his voice didn't blow me away, the only song that I really enjoyed was his solo of "Stars" but even so it wasn't a truly remarkable performance or spectacular singing even though he does have a nice voice, he just doesn't fit the part quite like I wanted him to. Even Amanda Seyfried did really make it up to the bar that I had for this rendition of Les Mis, her voice, though very good, gave too much vibrato and ultimately made me dislike her performance. But I did love Helen Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers, their comical relief had me and the whole theater laughing. They provided a nice balance to all the tears shed.

Final Summation: I loved this play to death and after being made into a movie production, where the actors all sang during filming, no prerecording, I give them props and I do say that the movie was a wonderful rendition to the play as well as the novel. For musical fans, lovers of tear-jerkers, and fans of Helen, Anne, Hugh, Sacha, get you butt down to the movies and bring your tissue box because you will, no matter who you are, get choked up during this film.

4.5 / 5 stars