December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

November 9, 2013

Les Miserable (2012)

When it's over, how could this film not be a commercial and artistic success? It had all the elements of a great timeless tale of love, redemption, hope, tragedy, and human spirit. Prisoner 24601, Jean Valjean (Huge Jackman), breaks parole to start a new life, while the relentless Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) is determined to find and bring the prisoner to justice. After seeing the musical on stage and film multiple times with different casts, I felt an updated version would do little to impress me. But, Director Tom Hopper's vision of the Victor Hugo classic was a spectacle of lavish costumes, set designs, and a talented cast, which took me back to an era of revolution and freedom, of punishment and kindness. At first, I was not sure if the cast could deliver the emotion and intensity of characters I have grown to adore through past performances, but they surprised me with their lyrical and vocal storytelling, each bringing something new to their characters. Jackman’s voice was strong and commanding, yet sensitive and moving. Amanda Seyfried as Cosette was like a songbird soaring in a time of great despair, like a ray of sunshine through darkness. Eddie Redmayne as Marius was a pleasant surprise. His voice captured the character’s ideology and bravery, while still bringing me to tears with “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.” Speaking of tears, Anne Hathaway breathed new life to Fantine with her tragic portrayal and her delivery of “I Dreamed a Dream.” Rounding out the lead vocal ensemble was Crowe's subdued chords, which were the least powerful, but suited his delivery of the rigid inspector. I loved this film for its human story(ies) as told through some of the most memorable music and lyrics ever written in musical history. Hopper's insightful direction had me in tears and reminded me that although the revolution was dead, Les Miserables lived on.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment