Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Don't Quite Know Why I Feel the Need to Review This...

There have been so many reviews of the new Les Mis movie that I’m not sure why I’m reviewing it.  Be that as it may, I am indeed reviewing Les Miserables (2012).  I’m going to be using Eva’s method and dividing it into two parts.  In the first part I’ll talk about the actors and in the second part I’ll talk about the songs.  I’ll also do a shorter third part about what I thought about it overall.
Here is Part 1!
Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman)

Hugh Jackman looks exactly like the Valjean of my imagination.  But his singing…?  Well, I enjoyed it somewhat.  He couldn’t seem to convey much emotion in his voice, so when you listen to him without seeing him, you can’t tell much about what he’s feeling.  (With the exception of “Valjean’s Soliloquy,” which is probably his best performance.)  However, he’s my second-favorite Valjean because his acting is really, really good.

Javert (Russell Crowe) 

Russell Crowe has gotten a lot of criticism for his singing.  He has a pretty good voice; if he’d just put more power into it, I would have really liked his Javert.  But I felt frustrated a lot of the time because he just spoke-sang his lines without any emphasis.  Sometimes his voice got growly, which was much better, and then I enjoyed his portrayal.  He did a great job with “Stars” and “Javert’s Suicide,” though, so he wasn’t a huge disappointment.  Plus, his acting was marvelous.

Fantine (Anne Hathaway) 

I wrote a dream cast for Les Mis a while ago, and guess who my favorite Fantine was?  Anne Hathaway deserves every single award she got.  Admittedly she didn’t have golden hair, but I didn’t even care.  Her version of IDAD was heartbreaking, and you could see her hopelessness and pain.  Her voice was perfect for Fantine: fragile and beautiful.  It was really soft, which worked because, you know, she’s dying.  Which reminds me…her death scene was so well done.  It also made me cry, but that’s kind of a given.

Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) 

Amanda Seyfried is my favorite Cosette.  She’s an alto, but her voice was very birdlike, which goes with the bird comparison in the brick.  You could tell she was struggling in AHFOL, but most of the time I would never have guessed that she wasn’t a soprano.  Also, she’s beautiful in a doll-like sort of way- perfect for Cosette.  Her relationship with Jean Valjean was awesome- she wasn’t disrespectful or indifferent to him.  Instead, she seemed to really love and esteem him, which impressed me a lot.

Marius (Eddie Redmayne) 

I thought that Eddie Redmayne made a good Marius.  Of course, he can’t compare to Michael Ball, but he was reasonable.  His interaction with Cosette was cuteness itself, and while he was portrayed as more of an enthusiastic revolutionary than a dreamer who only joins because he wants to die (my goodness, what a noble motive you have, Marius.), I found it possible to like him. :D

Eponine (Samantha Barks) 

Samantha Barks played Eponine stunningly in the 25thAC, and she does even better in the movie.  Her voice is quite probably the best in the film, her acting and facial expressions are perfect, and she’s gorgeous even when she’s dressed as a boy.  She can make me cry with just a look.  Also, they kept a certain aspect of the brick in that made ALFOR even more tragic than it already was.

Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) 

Aaron Tveit is my favorite Enjolras.  He looks like the Enjolras I imagined (yes, even the hair…), he acts like a stern revolutionary leader, and his singing is really good.  Even though he and Marius are supposed to be good friends, they didn’t abandon Combeferre’s friendship with Enjolras, which was a major plus.  Aaron Tveit was enthusiastic with restraint and his relationship with all the other boys was what it was in the brick.  Also, his death scene was majorly epic and one of the saddest scenes in the entire movie.
By the way, even though he doesn't have a Legendary Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness, he does have an awesome red coat, which is almost as good.  In my opinion, anyway.

Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone) 

Before I watched the movie, I didn’t think that Daniel Huttlestone would make a very good Gavroche.  He was too cutesy and not tough enough (sink me, the lady’s a poet!). However, I have completely changed my opinion.  Daniel Huttlestone is my favorite Gavroche.  He blended Gavroche of the musical with Gavroche of the book perfectly.

Little Cosette (Isabelle Allan) 

Isabelle Allan was completely adorable as Little Cosette.  She has a really nice voice and her acting was so good, especially for a young girl.  Plus, she looks exactly like the Cosette I imagined and her interaction with Valjean is so cute!  AND she looks enough like Amanda Seyfried to be believable. 

The Thenardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) 

The Thenardiers were gross and disgusting and evil, but they were also really funny.  We skipped “Master of the House,” but we watched “Waltz of Treachery” and it was hilarious.  “Let’s not haggle for darling Colette.”  “Co-SETTE!”  “…Cosette.”

The Barricade Boys

Combeferre (Killian Donnelly) 

Killian Donnelly has performed as both Courfeyrac and Enjolras before, but I think that he made a better Combeferre.  He had that sort of calmness and strength combined and he looked like *my* Combeferre.

Courfeyrac (Fra Fee) 

Fra Fee as Courfeyrac was perfect.  The first time you see him, he’s giving Gavroche a piggyback: adorableness!  He has sort of a older-brotherly or fatherly (I’m never quite sure which) relationship with Gavroche and it’s hearbreaking during “Death of Gavroche.”

Grantaire (George Blagden) 

In about 10 minutes of screen time, George Blagden managed to give Grantaire a personality.  You can tell he really looks up to Enjolras.  

Jehan Prouvaire (Alistair Brammer) 

Let’s hear it for the kindest, sweetest, bestest barricade boy! *Enjolras fans scowl darkly*
Okay, so maybe I like Combeferre better. *Jehan fans look perfectly murderous*
…Just forget it. :D
Anyway, Alistair Brammer made a really good Jehan- sweet and shy without being wimpy.  I’ve become a fan of his…whenever I see him in a musical I shout, “ALISTAIR!!” rather enthusiastically. :D

Feuilly (Gabriel Vick) 

Gabriel Vick just looks like Feuilly.  He’s pretty close to the book Feuilly too…so I like him a lot.

Joly (Hugh Skinner) 

Joly is one of my favorite students and Hugh Skinner played him perfectly.  His facial expressions are priceless. 

Lesgles (Stuart Neal) 

Well, he was all right.  He was in the 25th AC as only problem with him was that he’s supposed to be bald and…he isn’t.  Not even close. :D  Also he's supposed to be the oldest of the group, and he looks like the youngest.  Which makes his death even more heartbreaking than it already is.

Bahorel (Iwan Lewis) 

Sorry!  This was the only picture I could find of him.

Bahorel only appeared in about two scenes, but I liked what I saw of him. 

And there you have Part 1 of my take on the Les Mis movie!  Part 2 should be coming soon.

-Miss Jane Bennet

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