Tuesday, January 8, 2013

LES MISERABLES powerful and emotional

I saw Les Miserables (Tom Hooper, 2012) at the Rivoli Cinema this afternoon and wept during many of the powerfully emotional scenes, but in particular Anne Hathaway’s (Fantine) performance of ‘I dreamed a dream’. The first time I heard that song was when Gabrielle Sage (Melbourne operatic singer) sang it to a small crowd in Bourke Street, Melbourne. All present were brought to tears. Of course, like many people I have the Susan Boyle CD which includes the song, however Anne Hathaways performance will remain for me the most beautiful and emotional rendition.  Eddie Redmayne who was absolutely brilliant and held me captive in the BBC production The Pillars of the Earth was utterly amazing as Marios Pont and of course Hugh Jackman was astounding as Jean Valjean. I saw Jackman interviewed recently about the film and agree with him that the performances were more convincing because they actually sang the songs during the take, rather than lip syncing after laying down the sound track.  Russell Crow had his moments (as Javert) but for me he was most convincing at the point of his death. If you love musicals and I certainly do and you adore strong performances with an emotional theme then you are going to love this film. Many of the scenes with large crowds particularly the opening scene, which establishes the breadth of slavery are most memorable, however, I had a trouble with some of the jump cuts and quick camera movements, especially when they were used in vertiginous landscape scenes. I feel like David Stratton when I say this, but really, I’m already photo-sensitive and these kinds of camera movements create problems for my vestibular system. How can I say I enjoyed a film that made me so emotional and which was so incredibly sad (Well, I did). My only criticism of the film is that I would have liked a little more dialogue and a little less singing.

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