January 3, 2013

Blog: Les Misérables

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Les Misérables is one of the most popular modern theatrical musicals of all time, selling over 60 million tickets in 42 countries and performed in 21 different languages since its 1980 Paris debut.

I recently went to see the over-the-top box office hit. I had to travel outside of Chickasha because the local theaters weren't showing it.  As dozens lined up, (each pronouncing the title in a different way) we all waited in anticipation. I had several friends rave on Facebook that this is the movie of the year and "if you haven't seen Les Mis, you've got to!"

Although I thought some of the reviews were a little overrated, I thought Les Mis was a great film. Spoiler alert, it's ENTIRELY singing. What's that you say? A musical with singing..that's strange. No, I'm being serious. Not a single line in the movie was spoken, all sang. So prepare yourself for that.

Anne Hathaway's performance of the classic, "I Dreamed a Dream" was raw. It had so much emotion, and I believed it. Although it wasn't the most amazing rendition of the song, it was still honest and I'm sure audience members appreciated that. To go from movies like 'The Princess Diaries' to Batman to Les Miserables is incredible. My hat's off to Anne Hathaway.

Hugh Jackman deserves a plethora of awards for his depiction of protagonist Jean Valjean. He is incredible from his performance (almost unrecognizable) in the first scene to the closing act. His singing, his movements, his emotions - it was all spot on. I'm typically a Russell Crowe fan, but I thought he looked a little stiff in his scenes. (How can I fault Russell Crowe, he was Gladitor for crying out loud), but I feel like he could of gotten a little more real with his acting and singing performances.

The always charmingly funny Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were a nice treat. I can't forget to mention newcomers Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks for their A+ performances. I bet we'll see Eddie with a nomination or two. 

Les Misérables is a story of redemption, hate, love, loss, sacrifice, freedom and forgiveness. This big screen adaptation may not be perfect, but it definitely left me feeling moved. I'd recommend everyone to go see it and find out for themselves.