Review: Les Miserables
So let me begin by saying that I very rarely cry during movies. Maybe I am good at holding it in, maybe I have an ice heart. I don’t know. If I had to take a guess though I would say that my years of theatre have messed with my emotions. After all, for years there was something I had to save them for – I had to have some emotion ready to explode out of me on stage. And most of the time it did.
Being a heartless theatre bum also means I look at movies with one eye brow raised. It’s got to be really spectacular for me to get lost in the story. Otherwise I sit and critique performance, camera angles, even sound (you can thank my dad for the last one). This is also one of the main reasons I don’t watch Television I…
I’m getting off topic again. Let me start again
I finally got to see Les Miserables this last Saturday. I bribed someone to watch my kids, grabbed some friends and ran out the door.
Now, as previously stated it takes a lot for me to really enjoy a movie, and I am glad to report that I really enjoyed Les Mis – for the most part. There was one huge faux pas in the movie that stuck out like a sore thumb.
I mean he did okay, you can defiantly tell he was trying, but I am not sure he should have accepted this role. You see, there are three different kinds of actors: your standard Musical Theatre, these are the guys who can belt and high kick into any role they want, whereas acting presents a bit of a problem (think background dancer on Broadway); Standard Actor, These guys stay away from musical theatre, but will make you bawl your eyes out while pitching corn flakes. (this is my category), and finally the triple threat; sing, act, dance these guys do it all and they do it really really well. This is not Russell Crowe, in fact I am not sure where he should fit in. Now he can kind of sing, when he was allowed to just stand and sing he did pretty well, but when he needed to act while singing, his voice would go flat. When he had to interact with other characters he would look like someone was scrambling his insides.
I probably shouldn’t be so critical. I mean I have been there (heck, I am there right now) you put yourself and your craft out there for the world to see and then you suck it up. Reminds me of a performance of Tom Sawyer where I missed a dance step and fell on my tail bone front and center in front of paying audience. It sucked about as much as this. So Russell Crowe – I feel your pain. We’ve both sucked; you just pick yourself up – laugh a bit and move on.
Which is what I am going to do right now.
Overall the show was great and there were actually quite a large amount of really spectacular performances. All the kids were spectacular and spot on, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter gratefully nailed the Thenardiers. And I was very impressed by the Maurius after hearing my sister mope that it wasn’t going to be a Jonas Brother for a few months.
But obviously the star of the night is Anne Hathaway.
When I first started performing Shakespeare there was something a great director told me that I will always take with me. If you can’t make the audience understand what your words mean through your performance then you are doing it wrong. And let me tell you Anne Hathaway did that, in fact she brought a new meaning to the dialog that she was signing. I have listened to the soundtrack to Les Mis all my life, even seen it performed a few times. And watching Anne Hathaway taking on the role of Fauntine was like light after a hundred years of darkness. It was beautiful.
So congrats to you, missy, you deserve every award you win for that role.