Last night, my wife and I finally went to see Les Mis. I have seen about six productions of Les Misérables over the years, as well as all the anniversary concerts, so like most fans, we were very excited about the movie.
And like most thing you love, you want to reach its full potential. The movie almost got there. Almost.
Most of the critiques that I have heard about the shooting style and the overuse of close-ups are a matter of personal preference and I did not mind them at all. Overall, I enjoyed the movie adaptation immensely as it certainly captured the essence of original musical with all of the torment, transformation and grace that any fan could hope for. What the movie was able to capture in terms of the grittiness of the day as well as the emotions that can be communicated through film makes this a great addition to the Les Mis canon.
So . . . the only thing that I would offer is to join the chorus of people who think Russell Crowe was a horrible casting decision. MAYBE -- and I say maybe -- he has a voice for a rock band, but Javert needed to be a much stronger and deeper voice and presence. I can only believe that he was cast for name-recognition -- it was not worth it. And if he was cast for his acting, it was REALLY not worth it. With the rest of the cast so strong -- Jackman was breathtaking; Hathaway was stunning; and Redmayne, Tveit and Barks were stellar -- Crowe didn't have a chance.
Despite Crowe, the rest of the movie will no doubt call for a second or third theater viewing and will end up as part of our collection. So if I had stars to give, it would get 9 out of 10 and the loss of that one star can be exclusively attributed to Monsieur Gladiator.