(this post comes from NMPF reader "Optimus Blimey")
One of the perks of being a Californian is that there is never a shortage of screenings for films that are sure to earn a great deal of buzz. I was just lucky enough to be one of a few hundred to attend Tom Hooper's adaptation of Les Miserables.
Officially, this isn't a review, just some thoughts as a favor to Colin.
Hugh Jackman, despite his hulking badassdom was born to play this part. Jean Valjean requires gravitas and Jackman has it in spades. His past performances on Broadway hint at his talents, but his scenes are some of the most exquisite I have seen in a musical.
Anne Hathaway similarly is awesome as Fantine. Hathaway must have been practicing for ages because every note she renders is bliss. I know that Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence are touted as the winners for Best Actress this year, but my gut tells me it should be Hathaway. Who is she supporting? But her time onscreen will only allow for Supporting Actress.
Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried don't pan out as well, unfortunately. While close-up, uninterrupted takes of singing onset work for Jackman and Hathaway, the effect is lost with these three. Crowe looks the part of Javert, yet his comfort level goes out the window when the music swells. One of the key functions of Les Miserables is the romance between Cosette and Marius, but it just doesn't work with these two though they give it their damndest.
As for the look of the film, director Tom Hooper is as fond of dutch angles as ever. Other than that, the feeling is right and the lighting works wonders.
So there it is!