Les Misérables follows Jean Valjean after he is released from prison on parole in 19th century France. After breaking parole and disappearing he vows to care for a poor factory worker's daughter despite constantly hiding from the law and running to avoid his old fate at the hands of Inspector Javert.
I was excited to see Les Misérables because I knew the story and had seen a school version of the musical years ago when my sister was in high school. That and the cast intrigued me. I have to say that I don't think it was perfect and it wasn't as good as it could have been, but it was pretty damn good.
The pacing was a bit odd for me at first and it took me a while to fully get into the movie, but I think they rushed through the beginning a bit so they had more time to focus on the end. Given that the movie is like 2 and a half hours long they definitely needed to condense. It worked for the most part.
As far as the singing goes, I thought most of the cast was quote good. Hugh Jackman nailed it, Russell Crowe surprised me, and Eddie Redmayne was a pleasant surprise. I also thought Samantha Barks was really good. But, of course, the vocal cake must go to Anne Hathaway. I am not the biggest fan of Hathaway as an actress but she really killed it here in both singing and in acting. When she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" I was in tears by the end of the song. Very moving and she was by far the best singer in the whole cast. The worst for me was Amanda Seyfried. Something about her voice was just painful to listen to. I also want to point out that I really liked Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. They were a perfect pair and they were the perfect actors for those characters.
I also find it funny that Adam Lambert went out there this week and trashed everyone in the cast for their vocals. If he had such a big problem why doesn't he go back to Broadway and stop acting a hot mess in the music scene. No one likes his music anyway. Either that or he should have tried to get a role himself.
Aside from that I liked the set design, the costumes, and the overall tone of the film. An important aspect of this story is desperation and I think Tom Hooper helped every actor truly bring that out and the emotion was very raw. I have no doubt Les Misérables has some awards coming its way and I hope a few of them are Oscars. It deserves them.
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