Though Michael Phelps‘ of the Chicago Tribune’s one and a half star review diminished my expectations for the film of Les Misérables with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfield et al, I did love the film. While I agree with Phelps that the camera work was bizarre with too many close ups for my liking, the music and performances overcame that fault.
The music was well done and I’d forgotten how many excellent songs the play includes. Yes, the emotion is strong throughout and there’s a lot of misery in the story, but that’s intended and rings true. I thought Anne Hathaway performed admirably and wish the story had more of her plight. Women were mainly victims in Les Mis and I think that needn’t be the case to be historically accurate, not that accuracy was the goal of the musical or that it needs to be.
I wasn’t impressed by the actor who played Marius, he seemed to much of an average Joe, or average Jean, to set someone’s heart on fire with a look.
One more criticism is that this film should have actors with French accents, not English. I seem to be alone in this idea that if you’re going to make a film about a foreign country shouldn’t the actors sound like they’re from that country?
All my criticisms are minor. Les Mis enthralls and is worth repeated viewings. I expect it will garner several awards.
- Anne Hathaway & Amanda Seyfried: ‘Les Miserables’ in Tokyo! (justjared.com)
- Makeup in Les Mis (Makeup Artist Magazine)
- Getting the History Right in Les Mis (Stanford University’s Cynthia Haven)
- Les Mis Review (Hell Burns)
- Les Mis, the Perfect Christian Movie?
- History in the Age of Les Misables (Mt. Holyoke students)