Where to start? The 2012 motion picture adaptation of Boublil and Schönberg’s hit musical Les Misérables was amazing! The cast (mostly), the costumes, the set, everything! While parts of it could have been improved (Hugh Jackman’s attempt at singing Bring Him Home), on the whole it was a success.
Firstly the cast: I’ll go in order of the billing on IMDb. Hugh Jackman… what are you doing here?!? Don’t get me wrong, I love Hugh Jackman, I loved him as Wolverine, I loved him in The Boy From Oz, I think he has the potential to be a great Valjean, just not in a musical version. His acting was great. His singing was what let him down but would any other big star do any better? He did a good enough job for what the film was. Valjean’s Soliloquy, Who Am I? and Suddenly were definitely his high points. By the time Bring Him Home came, I was dreading it - and I was right. I’m sure they lowered the keys and it was still too high for him. By the fifth time I saw the film, I found it painful and I can’t happily listen to it on the soundtrack when Bring Him Home is usually one of the high points of the show for me. I would’ve preferred someone who had already played Valjean on stage to do it for the film. Anyone… just anyone.
Russell Crowe… why are people giving him such crap over this? I thought he was f*cking amazing as Javert and preferred Javert to Valjean for once! His acting, what?!? It was great! His interpretation of Stars and Javert’s Suicide were amazing! I’m constantly repeating Stars on the soundtrack. The Confrontation, wow! Sword fight! He pulled the sword out and I was like, yes, murder him! He was amazing!
Anne Hathaway… Oscar winner Anne Hathaway! I’ll keep this short because it’s obvious what I’m about to say. Acting, what?!? Singing, what?!? She deserved that Oscar so much. What an amazing Fantine, up there with the likes of Patti LuPone, Ruthie Henshall and Lea Salonga.
Amanda Seyfried… you were the perfect choice for Cosette. Annoying, naïve, young, blonde. Loved her in Mamma Mia! and here. She actually made me like Cosette. While we’re on the subject of Cosette, Isabelle Allen! What?!? Amazing, tear-jerking, cute, good singer. And she actually looks like Amanda.
Sacha Baron Cohen… funny, sleazy. That’s about it, he can’t sing but he made me laugh! Helena Bonham Carter on the other hand, amazing! Her singing was good, her acting when she was being horrible to Cosette - great. It was obvious that Madame Thénardier was the brains behind the pickpocketing. Loved her.
Eddie Redmayne… meh. I don’t like Marius as a character, I just don’t and I don’t know why. His singing was ok, the chin vibration pissed me off. He did a good job of showing Marius’ confusion as a character but I just didn’t like him or Marius.
Aaron Tveit… what the f*ck?!? He was amazing! I love that whoever was in charge of casting chose a Broadway star who could command the stage, which was brought to the barricade. His singing, amazing. His leadership skills, amazing! I want him over here in London and in the Broadway revival as Enjolras! He’s the second best Enjolras I’ve ever seen (Ramin Karimloo, duh!).
Samantha Barks… AAARGH!!!!!!!!! She was f*cking epic!! On My Own had me in floods of tears, mainly because of Éponine’s story but Sam’s delivery of it was amazing! I love her so much! I hate that she didn’t get as much recognition as she should’ve done as for me, she was the high point of the movie. I went five times for her.
Daniel Huttlestone… Gavroche! His death had me back in floods of tears just after I had recovered from On My Own and a Little Fall Of Rain. And all of the barricade boys, mostly from the West End production, were great. The rest of the ensemble were amazing as well. Another thing I loved was finding all of the West End stars: Hannah Waddingham, Alexia Khadime, Frances Ruffelle, Kerry Ellis, all of the barricade boys and f*cking Colm Wilkinson were cost some of the ones I managed to spot!!!!!
The costume, hair and make-up were amazing. The first time I saw the film, I spent most of my time like: ‘Those clothes / their hair / their make-up!’ It was amazing! It was the same with the set design, epic!
My one complaint (apart from Hugh Jackman, which I won’t bitch about anymore) was the amount of times they went on about the live singing. It isn’t a big deal. People do it 8 times a week in theatre land. I know it hadn’t been done in film they way they did this before but still, it isn’t a big deal.
Apart from that minor thing (and Hugh Jackman), I loved the film and after five times, would probably see the film a million more times. I loved it and can’t wait for the DVD!
Best and Worst Moments:
Best: All of the scenes with Sam Barks
Worst: Bring Him Home