I posted back in early October about the Les Misérables movie and how I was anxiously awaiting its release so I could see it. Well, my mom and I went to see it a few days after Christmas, and I loved it. I couldn’t not come back here and sing its praises. I actually wish I had done it sooner while it was still more fresh in my mind, but here are my random thoughts.

And if you’re like me and can’t stop watching the clips and trailers, enjoy. :)

* I was surprised at how powerful the music was, even though it was a film adaptation. If you’ve ever experienced live theater (especially Broadway), you know that there is this… feeling… accompanied with the music. It’s like you can feel it inside of your chest. I felt that same feeling here. “At the End of the Day,” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” It was all just incredible.

* Anne Hathaway blew me away. I’ve never been much of a fan of hers (can’t really think of anything else she’s been in that I particularly cared for), but despite her relatively short appearance in the film, I felt it was jam-packed with awesome. I was not at all surprised to hear today that she was nominated for an Oscar for this role. But I was surprised to learn of how much weight she lost for this role. I am sad to say that I didn’t even notice. I guess I am used to hollywood actresses being super skinny. :(

* I honestly wasn’t sure about Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean—he felt too young to me—but he pulled it off. More than pulled it off, really. That’s a whole lot of singing, with what I expect is pretty challenging musical material, and he did it. “Who am I?” is a song that I hadn’t really thought about prior to seeing the film (in other words, it wasn’t one that I was highly anticipating, and not one that I often go around singing to myself like the others), but it might have stuck with me more than any other song. I actually woke up in the middle of the night within a few days of seeing the film and my brain was singing that song. I had a hard time letting it go! I read that for the beginning of the film, Hugh went for 36 hours without any food OR water so that he would lose water weight from his body and get the gaunt, hollow-looking appearance in his face. Apparently the director told him that if his friends weren’t asking what was wrong with him, he hadn’t gone far enough. Whoa.

* I didn’t know who Eddie Redmayne (Marius) was before this, and I still don’t—I had to look up his name just now to include it here—but I liked him. “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was another one that I loved. And “In My Life”? *sigh* Love.

* Russell Crowe. Who knew? That’s all I really have to say about that. :)

* I had no idea that the innkeeper was Sacha Baron Cohen until we were driving home and my mom mentioned it. Didn’t even recognize him. He was good, but I was kinda “meh” on Helena Bonham Carter as his wife. In the Broadway show that I saw, Madame Thénardier was a bigger, more “overpowering” personality and had a more “opera-like,” booming voice so for me, Helena Bonham Carter just didn’t live up to my expectations.

* I was surprised at how many details of the story I had forgotten in the years since I’ve seen the show. Nice refresher!

* After seeing the movie, I read some reviews from critics and was surprised that some of them felt that it wasn’t shot well. They criticized the excessive use of close-ups. I don’t know, but I didn’t notice. I actually thought that it was really beautiful and well done, but what do I know? I’m no cinematographer.

* It was long. In the last 20 minutes or so I will admit to feeling a little bit like OOOKAAAY. But that certainly wouldn’t stop me from watching this over and over again. Just from the comfort of my own couch. :)

Did you see Les Misérables? What did you think of it? Any favorite songs or parts of the movie? Favorite actors/performances?


One Response to Les Misérables knocked my socks off

  1. Melanie says:

    This is too funny, I JUST grabbed the original theater soundtrack for my ipod because my head has been filled with the songs since I saw the movie.

    I thought it was incredible :) The only disappointment for me was Russell Crowe. ‘Stars’ and ‘Javert’s suicide’ are some of my favorite pieces and, for me, Crowe sang them way too timidly. There should be rage and passion and despair in those words! But his singing style never changed and his songs felt ‘soft’ when I felt like the words should have practically spat out of his mouth.

    And Anne Hathaway… holy crap. I’ve listened to ‘I dreamed a dream’ about one meeeellion times before and she made me feel like I’d never REALLY heard it before. She shattered my heart.

    I wanted to start watching it again the second it was over. <3

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