Friday, December 28, 2012

Les Miserables: A List

Here 'tis, here 'tis. I'm actually surprised and rather flattered at the number of people that were a) sad I had a stomach bug yesterday and b) were upset that they had to wait yet another day for my review of Les Miserables.

I'ma go at it like one of my Downton reviews. It's just so much more fun to geek out than formulate a review. And at the end of the day (you're another day older!) I just want to yap and not really be critical.

I'm going to reveal things so if you haven't seen the movie you might not want to read this. I was worried I wouldn't like it, but knew it would have its issues, and still loved it! I never thought it was going to be a filmed stage production so was not upset that it wasn't. After dressing 65 performances I'm still in love with this musical, even after the film. Someday I'll see it live...yup, that's right, I've never seen a professional production, just one high school production (woof) and the anniversary concerts on PBS. Anyway...

:::Ok, the beginning. The French flag in the water, BUST OUT AND IT'S THE WORK SONG CHORDS!!! That was it, I was sold. There was a huge ship, those familiar notes were playing and Russell Crowe was being blasted by surf.
:::I love Russell Crowe. If you'll look at my past entries I wasn't sure of his voice. One of the main grievances with the film is Russell Crowe. I didn't have high hopes, and so was pleasantly surprised! Yay Russell! Yay Russell in blue! So glad it's French so he could wear that blue. He always wears that light blue (Gladiator and Robin Hood). It matches his eyes.
:::Hugh Jackman's janked up gnarly half shaved head, brilliant. The hair and make up design was divine.
:::Hugh Jackman, always knew it was Hugh Jackman. I always knew each character was their respective actor, probably because I've been so invested for so long. Oh well. My bestie had no idea it was Hugh Jackman, so there you go.
:::Ok, this one's for Elizabeth. She used to find pieces of Valjean's yellow slip on the set and would bring them downstairs. There's a very long shot of the yellow slip that made me miss her.
:::I liked that there was more dialogue and more clearing up of facts in the film. The musical can get kind of muddy and the part about parole and the mayor and all that was made much clearer.
:::Colm Wilkinson! I was SO happy to see good ol' Colm. I knew he was coming, but it was like seeing an old friend. Yay Colm!
:::ANNE HATHAWAY. Really?! really?!! I mean, come on. I Dreamed A Dream is one of the all time tear jerkers of my life. I just wept and wept. and wept. Lovely Ladies was less raw than I thought it might be, but the added bit with Fantine's patron into I Dreamed A Dream was hard times. Rough.
:::Anne Hathaway again.
:::Seriously, Anne Hathaway.
:::The little parts like the foreman and a soldier at the barricade were cast with really beautiful voices.
:::I'm sad there was no 24601 tattoo. That changed a lot about the show for me, and the whole plot with Thenardier.
:::Master of the House was disgusting. Not the usual romp, but I loved it.
:::I was so much more in love with Stars than I thought I'd be. I love B. Vaughn and so was worried I'd just hate Stars and Javert's Suicide, but Stars was far better than I thought it'd be. I felt like it was more of Russell Crowe. A lot of Javert's conversation with Valjean can get so one note, like literally. I felt like with Stars he was using the song. The bit in both songs with him walking the line of the ledge was great.
:::Russell Crowe, on a horse, galloping down stone corridors chasing Valjean. That was great.
:::Castle on a Cloud was lovely. Her little rag doll made me so sad.
:::It went FAST! I was surprised that they'd added more solos and wrote more music and yet the film was as long as the musical is on stage. They sped through a lot of things. They cut lots of lines and reworked lyrics that I don't think were necessary to change" "attack us from the right" to "attack when it is light". They also changed happenings during the barricade and cut a whole attack. I didn't feel like we had enough time with Eponine or Gavroche, but maybe I feel like we get more time with them in the stage musical because I got time with them four nights a week.
:::Gavroche died fast, and anybody I worked with this summer knows what a blessing that is.
:::You still get the fact that Cosette and Marius are dumb dumb children. Gosh, they're so dumb. It's just written that way. No fault to the movie.
:::Hugh Jackman is huge. Kind of strange to see buff, fit Valjean in Cosette's bedroom with his shirt open and his chest all tattoo-less and huge.
:::The students looked so British.
:::As the barricade broke down and was overtaken I was so worried we wouldn't get the moment when it turns on stage and all the bodies are revealed and Enjolras is hanging there. Having him shot out the window was a) very Joseph Smith (strange for me to think about that?) and b) SO moving. I still got my upside down Enjolras.
:::Revealing Enjolras' body before the part in the score where he's revealed also worried me. What would they fill that time with?! Javert putting a medal on Gavroche with Eponine's body in view. That was nice.
:::I liked that Jackman sang older as time passed. Valjean can get kind of La Boheme where he's ballading until the end. Valjean's old and tired. I also liked that he kind of had a heart attack, maybe? I'm telling myself he did, because it's never made sense to me that he just up and dies. I get that we're supposed to believe he's old and tired, but he sure sings well until he dies. This is why I liked Jackman's progression.
:::SO much poo! SO MUCH! I'm glad Javert didn't get in the poo.
:::Javert's sucide. It's normally a black out. NOT ready for Russell Crowe to break his back. YIPES. I gasped big time. Less at the violence of it and more at the "holy crap, they SHOWED Javert break his back!"
:::I definitely habitually went into dresser mode at times. "Heart Full of Love is over! Time to change Andy!" "Turning is over! Time for the nun change!" "Cosette's singing to Marius! Make way for Elizabeth! It's ballgown time!".
:::They cut almost all of Beggars at the Feast. HOW was the film so long still? I mean it didn't seem long, but minutes wise it was.
:::Yay Anne Hathaway at the end, but was sad they didn't do the duet with Eponine.
:::ECSTATIC to see Colm again. Like really, I lost my mind, and it made so much sense.
:::BIG OL' BARRICADE AT THE END!!!! I lost it. The end. That was nuts. woof.

Can't remember more, but I was pleasantly surprised throughout. It had odd bits, and it was hard for me not to take myself out of it every time a lyric was changed or the order of things was messed with, but it was beautiful. 

1 comment:

  1. I just saw it tonight too. Yeah... that part where Valjean was in Cosette's bedroom with a relatively skimpy shirt was making me nervous. He was looking a little too virile to be a cozy father figure. Costume-wise it was an appropriate choice for the time of day and situation but it gave it a rather worrisome overtone that I am sure was not intended.