Friday, January 18, 2013

Les Miserables

I finally saw it.

With intentions of seeing it since it first came out, I finally went to see Les Miserable tonight.  It was also my first movie in San Francisco, so yay!

I first saw Les Mis when I was maybe 11?  My dad took me to see it when it came to Fresno.  I loved it, and when we returned home I went to the piano to play the songs (which made my dad thing I was a musical genius).  Then, last year, I played in the "pit" for this musical at a high school production.  It was me and a poor 15 year old girl...so really it was just me playing the cello part.  And the cello plays the WHOLE time.  It is a physically exhausting production for everybody.  I have memories of having to use a nail file to file down the skin of my fingers because my calluses were getting out of control.  I also had to play with a little rubber thing on my finger so I could turn the pages fast enough.

You would think I would have an in depth understanding of this show then, right?  Apparently not.  As an 11 year old, I missed the whole prostitution aspect, having no idea what prostitution was, I guess.  I didn't know what the French Revolution was, either.

I laughed when the soldier said, "Who's there?" and Enjolras says, "French Revolution."

I like that they filmed the singing live, with a pianist feeding them music, but the whole time I thought...wow, how did they do that?  The poor conductor had to then fit the music into the singing?  And the opening scene has water splashing down on everybody, and I wondered how many people choked on the water.  I also imagined the actors doing take after take of some of those very intense solos.

I loved Anne Hathaway.  She's wonderful.  I've loved her since Princess Diaries.  She can SING and she can act.  I was really impressed by both her and Hugh Jackman.  The casting for the Thenardiers were so delightfully spot on, though I was secretly wondering if Sacha Baron Cohen messed with Russell Crowe on set.

Speaking of which...when you have an entire cast of people who can act and sing REALLY well, if you are not super amazing...you suck.  And....poor Russell Crowe.  If he just stood there not saying or singing, it would have made more sense to me.  He has a surprisingly sweet singing voice, but...I didn't find that satisfying for Javert.  He could not project; the sound of his voice probably died 6 inches from his mouth.  His face also doesn't ever move or show expression.  When you watch Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, their facial expressions just break your heart...and....Russell Crowe just gave the same blank look the whole movie.  He wasn't very scary, which is surprising since he's Russell Crowe.

My favorite part of Master of the House wasn't in the movie!  The funny saxophone riffs.  They were gone :(  Something else was gone too....oh, when Gavroche identifies Javert, there was something missing!  (G...A C) in the pizzicato and...I want to say English horn?

Amanda Seyfried, you hit some really HIGH notes, and the fact you hit them live is extra impressed.  They were very pretty :)

It bothered me that some of the songs were in a different key than the original.  Yes, I could tell.

Hugh Jackman doesn't know how to use a head voice.  While he has a very powerful voice, I was disappointed by his rendition of Bring Him Home.  I LOVE the scoop...and the scoop wasn't there.  It's like the force of his voice jerked his whole body back.  His prayer comes off very aggressive =)

I liked that the cellos got a little extra love than the actual musical.  They had more moments.  (although we play the whole musical, we get a lot of really boring parts)

Not having to sing in a musical theater voice all the time really makes the acting shine through.  I wonder how many people who have done the show watched the performance and thought, "Man, why didn't I deliver it like that?"  Of course, they were probably a lot of critical people, too.

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway really did deserve to win their respective Golden Globes.  To give that kind of acting performance alone could do it, but they did it while singing!  Singing while having tears running down your face...it reminded me of that show...Killer Karaoke =)  I don't think I've ever seen Hugh Jackman in anything besides the Wolverine role, so it was refreshing to see him in another light.  It shows that he really was underutilized as Wolverine, as his acting skills are so much more than that role  (unlike Russell Crowe)

Eponine HAD to have been wearing a corset.  How did she sing?

Okay, that's it.  Sorry this wasn't very organized...just got home and I'm cold and hungry and slightly distracted.

What did YOU think of the movie?  Share!

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