Monday, April 29, 2013

Movie Review: Les Miserables (2012)

Les Miserables movie posterLes Miserables (2012) - Directed by Tom Hooper; Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sasha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne.

By Kenny Howell

I wanted to hate Les Miserables. I really did. All the previews talked over and over about how everyone in the cast sang like they had cured cancer or something. It's really not that impressive. There are hundreds of thousands of people that can sing, and actually probably would have been better suited for this movie.

But, surprisingly, there were moments when I got swept up in the musical epic. The songs, which are of course from stage musical, are just beautiful. And when they hit, they really hit.

But, due to the constraints of a film, some of the songs are cut partially for running time. That would be fine and all if they hadn't recorded a completely new song to win awards. Take that song out, and you could have played a bit more of the other songs.

My main problem with this version is that it seems so rushed. It's almost if there was some spoken moments in the film, but someone fast forwarded through them to get to the next song. I know that's not true, but that is definitely how the pacing felt. I couldn't relax and settle into the story, especially early on.

And for the singing performances. The obvious, which everyone has talked about, is Russell Crowe (Man of Steel). He sounds so laughably bad at moments it is really distracting. Others do really good to serviceable jobs. My question is, this is musical right, so why don't you get actual people who can sing. There apparently is no one in Los Angeles or London who can sing that have some star power. Hugh Jackman (Prisoners), Anne Hathaway (Interstellar), who won an Oscar for the role, and Amanda Seyfried (A Million Ways to Die in the West) can sing well enough for actors. And a few others can as well. But it seems like a musical would want all of the people to be able to, I don't know, sing.

All the problems I have with Les Miserables, it didn't seem like the chore I expected. It has its moments. Just not enough of them.

Rating: **1/2

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