To the Summary!
In 1800s France a man given leave from prison, only to be hunted across the years by a cop who is convinced that the man will continue to be a criminal.
To the Cast!
Hugh Jackman – Jean Valjean
Russell Crowe – Javert
Anne Hathaway – Fantine
Amanda Seyfried – Cosette
Sacha Baron Cohen – Thenardier
Helena Bonham Carter – Madame Thenardier
Eddie Redmayne – Marius
Aaron Tveit – Enjolras
Samantha Barks – Eponine
Daniel Huttlestone – Gavroche
To the Deeper Thoughts!
My first exposure to Les Miz was when I played in high school for the marching band. If memory serves we played ‘Work Song/At the End of the Day’ ‘One Day More’ and ‘I Dreamed a Dream.’ There was also a cool part where some of us took turns running a giant red flag about 30 yards in, I dunno, something like 20 bars. That was fun. Also that year, the band took a trip to NYC to see Le Miz on Broadway. It was my first Broadway show, and I have seen it once more since. I also have the soundtrack, so its safe to say I’m a fan.
So, I was very excited when I heard that there was going to be another film adaptation of the play. And this time, a musical!
From the moment the first notes of ‘Work Song’ and the opening scene, I was hooked into this movie. Granted the stage show is awesome. However, seeing 6 guys on stage swinging pickaxes is NOTHING compared to seeing hundreds of people pulling a French warship into a dry dock.
I thought the performances were spot on even if Adam Lambert was a little, lets say, harsh in his thoughts on the performances. Newsflash Adam, Hugh Jackman has performed on Broadway… singing. Moving On.
Back to the performances. Anne Hathaway BLEW me away with her performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Another high point for me was the performance of ‘One Day More.’ For whatever reason, I’ve always enjoyed that song, and to see it done the way it was here was breathtaking.
I can’t really complain about any of the performances. I’m no singing expert, but if there was one complaint it would be Russell Crowe. Not that he was a bad singer, but it was… different. Of special note are Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardier’s. Their roles are always a bit silly, and I think these two were a great choice to fill the roles. Their performance of ‘Master of the House’ brought laughter throughout the theater.
At 2.75 hours, there is pretty much nothing left out from the musical. Some bits were shortened, but others lengthened so it all worked out.
Go see this. If you are a fan of the musical, a fan of historical fiction, or a fan of great movies, you should check this out.
I give this 13/15 musical numbers.