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Thread: Les Mis

  1. #46
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    This is based on a stage musical by Lerner and Loewe, who created My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon. I I just looked up the plot of the stage musical on Wiki, and the plotline is entirely different from that of the movie. An entire plotline, with Ben Rumson's daughter in love with another miner, was eliminated. I'm not sure why the story was changed so radically. I can't imagine a film producer doing that to My Fair Lady or Oklahoma.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint_Y..._%28musical%29

  2. #47
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    wow....that is different......but that's Hollywood......Just look at the new hobbit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    This is based on a stage musical by Lerner and Loewe, who created My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon. I I just looked up the plot of the stage musical on Wiki, and the plotline is entirely different from that of the movie. An entire plotline, with Ben Rumson's daughter in love with another miner, was eliminated. I'm not sure why the story was changed so radically. I can't imagine a film producer doing that to My Fair Lady or Oklahoma.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint_Y..._%28musical%29

  3. #48
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    Back to topic...saw Les Mis. I am a bit disappointed but glad it was attempted. Certainly not an easy musical. Have to say I first saw concert version at 10 years on PBS and knew it was Godly. Music incredible. Every song. Then a touring company. Good but couldn't match the Concert voices, Colm, Ruthie, Lea, Javert ? and the couple who did Thenardiers-Master of the House-so great on stage-doesn't translate well in movie. Sascha Baron Cohen funny but again-big names detract from the musical. Lets start with the huge mistake of Russell Crowe-can't sing-no projection. Acting-does not get Javert at all. He is the second important lead-reviews have been fair-he was miscast big time. Hugh can carry this movie and does. It was more depressing somehow for me than uplifting. The ending music needed One Day More and it didn't happen. "Tomorrow comes" needs thatmusic conjoined to uplift all the tragedy.

    Hathaway is painful for me-overwrought-overdone. Whoever played Eponine-stage actress who did I think 25th concert version is a gem. Perfect casting. Wonderful to see Colm in cameo. Song added to Les Mis is ok but lengthens movie. It was done for Oscar nod but does connect the musical somewhat better. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha as a couple. Cute moments but Master of the House is not the great levity and big music peice you see on stage. Falls a bit flat and is needed for levity in a very depressing at times movie. One of the best people ever did Mrs T in both cocert versions. I was disappointed as this is a great musical sequence but what can you do? to quote Mr T. The tech effects looked fake. You knew you were not seeing streets in Paris and the ship scene-why? I'd rather have seen him- Jean- in the more believable rock quarry. It looked fake and epic and too huge to believe. Noah's Ark times 10. It begins the movie and one says Oh, OK this is a bit Titanic here. Not needed.

    Its Les Mis-bottomline-Les Mis lovers will be glad it got made. It made me want to buy the 25th concert version and hunt up my 10th version if still around. I never think a movie beats a stage production. I do have to say I think Phantom as a movie hit the cold medium of film better. I liked the movie adaptation.

    I had great expectations and took someone who'd never seen nor heard any of it. She liked it. I thought it too long. I am not dying to see it gain right away, but will definitely look for it on DVD. I don't think Hooper was the man for the job. Whoever did Chicago or Dreamgirls might have been the better directorial choice. Anyway, it may be that Les Mis is too personal an experience for the cold medium of film. It is coming to my city in April-likely already sold out. I would add one more thing-Amanda Seyfried is a lovely Cosette, lovely voice. Marius, young and goofy looking, sings beautifully, and all the revolutionary students were obviously great stage singers. I'd not have cast it with stars except for Hugh and Amanda. Hathaway cries through the singing, while Eponine is more like most versions, dying, but not over acting. Still, expect Hathaway to get nominated for best supporting actress, Hugh jackman as best actor and if Crowe gets a best supporting nod, it is for his rep and past work, not this movie.

    HE really was the weakest link. Not just the voice. You'll have to see it. Hard to describe why he is a one note Javert. He is agreat actor-loved him in A Beautiful Mind and also have watched Gladiator many times. He is uber talented-just wrong for this part because his voice is too weak. They should have dubbed him in studio. He needed it.
    Last edited by skateluvr; 01-01-2013 at 03:16 AM.

  4. #49
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    Thanks for the report, Skateluvr! I value your opinion because I know this musical means a lot to you and you've paid deep attention to it through the years.

    I heard the cast recording before I ever saw a production of it, so the voices are what stand out to me. I remember that in the Broadway recording, the guy who played Javert sang even better than the Valjean. I came to think of that as almost a characteristic of Javert: everything perfect, precise, orderly, by the book. The producers could afford to cast an unconventional voice as Valjean but should get someone really accomplished to sing Javert. (I believe Colm Wilkinson, the original Valjean in London, was originally a rock singer.) So when I heard that Crowe would play Javert, I was already unsettled. So far, everything I've heard, from reviews to your reaction, has confirmed my worry. I'm sure producers felt that Jackman is such a powerful presence that they couldn't just find a great singer to play opposite him. They needed someone with a bit more volcano in him--hence they cast Crowe as Javert.

    I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like Hathaway so much. I am tremendously impressed with her, so I expect I'll react differently. Another friend of mine who saw it had the opposite reaction from you: she loved Hathaway and thought that Seyfried was weak. But I haven't heard of a single person who thought that Crowe was good. On the other hand, Jackman has received universally glowing reviews. I hope he's nominated for an Oscar. I hope Hathaway is, too. In fact, I hope they win. (Daniel Day Lewis, another likely nominee for Lincoln, already has an Oscar. I like to spread 'em around.)

  5. #50
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks for that review....When the hobbit beat it at the box office this last week and the reviewers liked it less than the audience, I began to wonder about it....I will still go see it....I have never seen the play....
    I agree about POTO, but after seeing the special extra on the DVD on how ALW made the movie, why, and how and why he did what he did, I expected no less. I have seen the stage Phantom and I have the
    DVD Phantom and they are both excellent in their own medium.

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    Speaking of large, lavishly produced film musicals, this evening they're showing Hello, Dolly on TCM. I seem to remember that it wasn't too successful as a film--people found it rather overblown--but golly, is it beautiful to behold. Every costume, every set is an elaborate confection. Of course Streisand is wonderful, and Walter Matthau. There are some delights that can best be appreciated from hindsight. No one then could have known that two of the lesser-known subsidiary actors would turn out to be titans of the Broadway stage. The suitor to Horace Vandergelder's niece Ermingarde was played by a really, really tall young dancer--none other than Tommy Tune, who became one of America's major choreographer/dancers (My One and Only, for instance). And the shop clerk Cornelius was played by an eager young sprout named Michael Crawford, who went on to become Broadway's first Phantom of the Opera. What a pleasure to have this screen record of their early performances. The director of the film had some small reputation of his own...Gene Kelly. I'm only sorry he wasn't able to play a part onscreen as well.

  7. #52
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Speaking of large, lavishly produced film musicals, this evening they're showing Hello, Dolly on TCM. I seem to remember that it wasn't too successful as a film--people found it rather overblown--but golly, is it beautiful to behold. Every costume, every set is an elaborate confection. Of course Streisand is wonderful, and Walter Matthau. There are some delights that can best be appreciated from hindsight. No one then could have known that two of the lesser-known subsidiary actors would turn out to be titans of the Broadway stage. The suitor to Horace Vandergelder's niece Ermingarde was played by a really, really tall young dancer--none other than Tommy Tune, who became one of America's major choreographer/dancers (My One and Only, for instance). And the shop clerk Cornelius was played by an eager young sprout named Michael Crawford, who went on to become Broadway's first Phantom of the Opera. What a pleasure to have this screen record of their early performances. The director of the film had some small reputation of his own...Gene Kelly. I'm only sorry he wasn't able to play a part onscreen as well.
    Just Wonderful memory O. You are such a real film buff. I wish you and yours a wonderful film year!

    I think Rusell Crowe really hurts this as best film, but we will see. Anne is good, but too much cying. My fave song suffered. It was not as uplifting as play and small audience. prefer lessser knowns like in POTO

  8. #53
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    You make an interesting point, Skateluvr. Often even a sad musical can be uplifting. There's something in the rather stylized presentation of the theater that can make sad events happy, make older actors come across as young, and give music an entirely different role in a narrative. A movie must be more realistic, even hyper-realistic, and it can fundamentally change the production. It's funny: you'd think a film would have more opportunity to add fantastical qualities (think of what CGI can do for something like Phantom of the Opera), but it often makes a situation harder to believe, not easier. This is why a lot of really successful stage musicals do less well as films. By definition, a film leaves a lot less to the imagination of the audience.

  9. #54
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    OK, I saw Les Mis. I do agree with lots that skateluvr said......
    Here is my review of Les Mis. I will try and not put in any spoilers if you are like me and haven’t seen the musical or read the book, feel free to stop here if you don’t want anything like a spoiler. I would recommend that if you haven’t read the book, do read the wiki article about it. The movie actually follows the main thrust of the book pretty well. And keep in mind this is a depressing story about depressing subjects. A feel good movie this ain’t. It culminates in the two day June rebellion of students in 1832.
    The picture can be divided into two parts. Part one ends when 8 years pass and Cossette, who I consider the central character in the fight of good and evil in this pic, is now a young woman. All of Anne Hathaway’s (Fantine’s) scenes save one are in the first hour. She is actually a pretty minor character in the movie as a whole. She has about 15 min. of important screen time. The first part is extremely cruel and depressing, as I imagine the book is, after reading Wiki. I know from my history that the cruelty from that period is accurate, but that doesn’t make the movie any less hard to sit through. Things perk up a bit in the second part though.
    Jackman does a great job and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with the Oscar. I really had no problem with Crowe. I really liked Barks as Eponine and Seyfried did ok as grown Cosette.
    The biggest problem I have with this “musical” is that there are about three really great songs, three good songs, three OK songs, 3 blah songs, and about a hundred million worthless forgettable songs that could and should have been deleted, shortened, or replaced with dialogue. If you look at the great musicals…the Music man, Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma, and Phantom, and so many more, You really can’t make the above statement. But you can with this one. And I think you will leave the theatre happier seeing any one of those movies/musicals more than this one.
    Having said all of that, I would still recommend it, but I can see why only 61 percent of top critics gave it a thumbs up.

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    What a thoughtful review, Chris. You've brought up one reason I'm kind of tempted to hold off until it's out in DVD: this is a very dark story, and I'm sure it's an intense experience. But it's so tempting to go see Hugh Jackman and the others. I've heard especially wonderful things about the Marius, Eddie Redmayne. Well, it's on my list, along with Lincoln and The Hobbit. I'd love for Jackman to win the Oscar. A guy with such talent in so many different directions should be honored. Well, whether he wins or not, he's shown his range with this movie.
    Last edited by Olympia; 01-04-2013 at 08:11 AM.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    The biggest problem I have with this “musical” is that there are about three really great songs, three good songs, three OK songs, 3 blah songs, and about a hundred million worthless forgettable songs that could and should have been deleted, shortened, or replaced with dialogue.
    That's always been my problem with the musical.

  12. #57
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    You got it nailed....it is a very emotional movie and there are many in the audience who will cry silently....bring tissues if you go...told my wife last night over the phone that when she comes home I would take her but if I were her I would wait for the DVD.
    So now the choice is hers!
    (Interetingly for me, since I have a hearing issue I have problems understanding words but I could understand Anne H. singing "I dreamed a dream" and if you are a woman who has been disappointed in men this scene will tear your guts out. (Obviously you werent involved with Mathman, me, or PaulE) But its the first time I could tell what the song was about....
    It was kinda like hearing "100 years to live" by Five for Fighting. Heard it played for years during breaks at skating competitions and never understood a word till I was finally able to look it up on the web....

    Chris who thought there was a song named "There's a bathroom on the right" (There's a Bad Moon on the rise")


    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    What a thoughtful review, Chris. You've brought up one reason I'm kind of tempted to hold off until it's out in DVD: this is a very dark story, and I'm sure it's an intense experience. But it's so tempting to go see Hugh Jackman and the others. I've heard especially wonderful things about the Marius, Eddie Redmayne. Well, it's on my list, along with Lincoln and The Hobbit. I'd love for Jackman to win the Oscar. A guy with such talent in so many different directions should be honored. Well, whether he wins or not, he's shown his range with this movie.

  13. #58
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    I cant imagine what it would be like to suffer through the stage version if each and every one of those songs is incuded....are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    That's always been my problem with the musical.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    I cant imagine what it would be like to suffer through the stage version if each and every one of those songs is incuded....are they?
    I don't know as I haven't seen teh movie (and don't plan to, at least not in theaters), but I believe so.

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    I think they probably have all of them because it's a "sung-through" musical, meaning that everything connects to everything else--kind of like an opera. But I don't know for sure. I'm certain we could locate someone's commentary online that would have that information. Fans, as we know from skating, love to track statistics.

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