Sunday, March 31, 2013

Les Miserables: Movie Review

Did they think of the children? Did they consider what this might do to them? 

I think not. 

We adults can handle this type of disaster, but I'm glad my kids didn't have to see this, at least not for the their first experience. It could have scared and jaded them for life. 

What I'm I talking about? The extremely disappointing film production of Les Miserables that C and I viewed last night.  We doubted Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe as vocalists, and so their mediocre performances did not stun us. You can't make up for vocal power with emoting close-ups. And Hugh Jackman, did they put a choke collar on him in the first half of the film? The man must have some pipes, but we only hear them in the second half of the film. Or, perhaps as C suggested, they had the initial characters do a kind of sprechstimme to avoid having to sing. Forget this this is supposed to be a musical! Really, how many tunes did you leave humming in your head in the first half? (It's a good thing that they didn't have an intermission, or I'm afraid the theater would have drained or the computer closed, in our case.) The second half redeemed the process a little, as the young men were allowed full voice, and sang with some gusto that the first half utterly lacked. It still wasn't great, Eponine was alright, and Amanda Seyfried as Cosette had a warbly, almost creepy quality to her voice.

And do we need to cover Hugh Jackman completely in filth, completely? Couldn't we have suggested a storm sewer? (Did Paris have sanitary sewers back then?) And do we need computer generated colossal graphics in every film? Can't we enjoy some human scale. Can does not imply should!

Well, all in all, a great disappointment, like those damned French Revolutions. Lots of show but little result. Hardly worth the effort. This film brings out the Edmund Burke in me for shows--keep in on stage, I guess. Bring me that ol' time Hancher magic!


IOWA GURU said...

DITTO. A horrible crime was committed in staging this musical as one where having a singing voice was optional , but not a crime uncommon to other musicals. I was comforted only when I spoke to our progeny and she also declaimed it for the fraud it was. Give us real singers or give us nothin' at all.

IOWA GURU said...

DITTO: Give us real singers or give us nothin' at all. A great crime was committed in the making of this movie, and to give Anne Hathaway an Oscar for that performance really begs the question of the value of the Oscars. YIKES.