life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Les Miserables

One of my favorite musicals.  Saw it on Broadway 8 times, thanks to a friend who worked for Cameron MacKintosh and handed out free tickets for mid-week performances.  Have several copies of the cast album at home.  Saw the PBS special several times.  Even saw a friend's daughter perform in a high school production of the show.

I've never seen a non-musical adaptation of the work, and read the book only a few years ago -- got it for free on my nook, I think.

So when I heard they were doing a movie version I was excited and fearful.  Some Broadway musicals have been very well done for the screen, others have been a disaster.

We wet to the 11 AM show on Christmas Day.  Usually the theater is empty at the first showing on Christmas, but so many people wanted to see Les Miz....Well, I wouldn't say "sold out", but it was close.  When we were leaving the theater, the crowd for the next show was incredible.

I loved it.  Yes, really.  It lives up to the hype, it's a great movie.

What I liked -- Anne Hathaway as Fantine.  When she sings "I Dreamed a Dream" ... I was crying.  Hugh Jackman as Jean ValJean -- he doesn't have the pure tone to his voice that Colm Wilkinson  had, but he acted the part as well as singing it.  Speaking of Wilkinson, he makes an excellent Bishop.    The "Master of the House" number is much funnier on film, there are small things the actors can do on film to convey their thoughts that would not have worked on the stage. the scene in the convent, which was in the book but not on stage, where the man Valjean saves returns the favor.

What I didn't like -- the song Valjean sings as he's traveling from the inn with Cosette, written just for the movie.  It was "meh".  Too many close ups of the actors as they sang, took away from the grandeur of the movie.    And the "Little People" song that Gavrouche sings -- the song was cut from the stage production during its revivial, and was not added to the movie.  It's not essential to the plot, but when he sings the reprise after he's shot -- and he does that on stage and in the movie -- it doesn't "link up".

Overall a great movie.

and we wound up at Chen's for dinner -- a fulfillment of the stereotype.

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