Perhaps it is only likely that my first post would be about Les Miserables. This new remake of the original Broadway musical is beyond incredible. I know this may in fact sound cliche, however, the film left me speechless. Everything about it was utterly amazing.
First, let us talk about the acting. This is, for me, the first and foremost topic to cover in reviewing any sort of film. And, to be dead honest, I'm not even sure where to begin!
I'll start with Anne Hathaway. Who knew that she had it in her? She went from being a teen princess way back in the day to her current role as Fantine. For a woman who is desperate to get money to take care of her young child, Cozette, and ending up as a prostitute, Hathaway did a marvelous job. Perhaps it is this movie's attention to detail; as a viewer, you miss absolutely nothing about the way the characters look, the objects and landscapes around them, etc. Her scene where she sings the infamous song "I Dreamed A Dream" was possibly one of the best in the movie. It was so touching; you almost were able to step into her shoes and feel the things she happened to be feeling. I cannot rave enough here.
Next, we'll move on to Hugh Jackman who plays Jean Valjean. Wow, just wow. From the very beginning where we find him serving out the very end of his prison sentence, he astounded me. He is able to play a selfish and "I-hate-the-world" type character at the very beginning, however, he changes into the "I-think-of-everybody-but-myself" type later on. When he is invited in by the priest at the beginning of the film and is eventually told that his soul has been spared, we see him wrestle with his emotions by himself. He wonders if he will be able to live a good life and show the priest that he was right; this was one of my all-time favorite scenes here! This wrestling match with the self was greatly acted and, once again, highly believable.
On another note, I'd love to mention the two funny characters Thénardier and Madame Thénardier. Many of you know Madame Thénardier as Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter, and here she once again plays a conniving, bad character quite well. Her and her husband were hilarious to watch as they make an appearance throughout the film.
Since I can't name every single actor, I'd love to make special mention of a few that were also incredible. Eddie Redmayne, who plays Marius, had quite the vocal chords. On top of that, he wasn't too bad of a looker either. We'll definitely be seeing more of him in the future. Samantha Barks, who plays Éponine, should also be mentioned here. Her voice is incredible! I look forward to seeing her as well in upcoming films or productions. Russell Crowe amazed me because I simply did not know that he could sing at all; he was very decent at his role as Javert. I also would love to mention the little kids in this movie; wonderful acting and they are incredibly adorable!
On another note, the singing was also astounding. Everyone in this movie was placed in it for a reason. Amanda Seyfried sure knows how to hit the high notes doesn't she? Samantha Barks has an incredible voice that I'd love to hear on an album at some point. Eddie Redmayne is someone that you can tell has some sort of a history in the music world... he has to!
Perhaps my the ultimate reason for me liking this movie so much was all of the emotion and story conveyed behind it. Every actor had a monologue that showed the way they felt inside, and they transferred that to the audience. There are also many themes of "opposites" in this movie, such as the Thénardiers and Valjean himself.
If you haven't before, or you didn't even know a book existed, I would HIGHLY recommend picking up the novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. If you are able to get through the entire book, I promise that it will change your life. Click below if you'd like to order it off of Amazon!
On top of the book itself, I'd also highly recommend buying the soundtrack to this Les Miserables. Click here for that: Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack 2012.
This film was very powerful! I'd even go so far as to say it's been the best film that I've had the pleasure to see in a very long period of time. That is not an exaggeration. Go see it if you haven't already, or pick up the soundtrack or the book if you're into that sort of thing. Let me know what you thought about the movie by leaving a comment below!