Les Miserables thoughts of a not so miserable viewer

les miserables movie poster

Les Miserables – 2012

Director Tom Hooper
Starring Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, Isabelle Allen, Daniel Hufflestone, Colm Wilkinson, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen
Screenplay by William Nicholson, Alan Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer based on the play by Boublil and Schönberg

Random thoughts about a musical:

  • Anytime I am discussing this with people who call it “Les Miz,” there is a good chance I am in the wrong crowd.
  • The boat they are pulling at the beginning…is it real?  That I have to ask means it’s not.
  • I am not a fan of musicals…even less a fan of France.
  • How does one begin a life of honesty on false pretenses?
  • One can be pretty confident that even after the unfortunate circumstances that brought someone the caliber of Anne Hathaway to misery, she would have been plucked out of obscurity by some dude with money, if not someone who needed an opera singer.
  • Russell Crowe sounds like every man who never took a singing lesson.
  • Hugh Jackman sings like he lives…very well.
  • For the number of ironies and unfortunate coincidences, this script feels like it was written by Thomas Hardy and James Fenimore Cooper.
  • What they do to Hathaway’s teeth is worse than killing her off…and I am not talking about pulling them out.
  • Does anyone really need to see Helena Bonham Carter dressed like a Tim Burton character in a movie that Burton didn’t direct?  Fight Club was the first, and should have been the last.
  • The song at the in, and those performing it, seem right out of The Muppets, if The Muppets were from hell.
  • In fact, I think I am done with Bonham Carter and Baron Cohen.  They can take a 20 year break from acting and I would not miss them one bit.
  • A lot of these songs seem less like tunes than singing out words of the plot.
  • I think I prefer the daughter of the scumbag Muppet innkeepers over the daughter from Mamma Mia.
  • That statue of the elephant is pretty cool.  I can’t help but think that my not knowing what it is invalidates me writing something about the French Revolution depicted in this story.
  • Where is the song about crying in Argentina?  Maybe in the director’s cut?
  • It’s too bad that Samantha Banks had to die so early.  I can’t wait to see her in everything she does the rest of her life.
  • I appreciate the conflict between Jackman’s Valjean and Crowe’s Javert, almost as much as do I appreciate the pure heart and plight of Banks’ Éponine.
  • I don’t care so much for the student revolutionaries…it feels like filler, even if it is the backdrop to the story.
  • I do appreciate Eddie Redmayne, however, as his face appears lived in.
  • Not sure I care to understand how the hell Hugh Jackman can sing while Eddie Redmayne sleeps without waking him up.  It just seems so annoyingly impossible.
  • The kid wandering around revealing the true identity of everyone seems a little like the feral kid from the Mad Max movies.  The feral kid is a bit more wiley though.
  • Nothing like a nice shot of the sewer to let one completely understand how the black plague lasted so long.
  • As for Javert, why can’t he go without looking so hard into the horse’s mouth that he exits out his behind?  Only in musicals.
  • I always wondered who cleaned up the blood in the streets after a battle, war or failed revolution…
  • How could France move from a place with such high ideals to one so far from reality?  Oh, wait, colleges…
  • Wolverine looks really old towards the end of this, but then, all of those French Revolutions are enough to age anyone.
  • Amazing that one can go from revolutionary to a grand wedding in one scene.
  • I wish the punch could have hit both Innkeepers.
  • Very touching ending, even if I never quite get the feeling that Valjean and his “daughter” got to know one another well enough for me to believe he never knew love until he knew her.
  • My wife says “It is a story of belief…it’s sad but…,” she is right.
  • My wife likes musicals, mind you.  And other than this and very few others, I do not.
  • Thinking back on this film, I still smell urine when I think of Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter.  But then, that goes with every movie they are in.

(***1/2 out of *****)

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