Tonight I finally watched the movie version of the musical Les Misérables. It was wonderful. I had heard great things about Anne Hathaway’s performance and having gone in with high expectations, I was not disappointed.
I had also heard terrible things about Russell Crowe’s singing, and while having gone in expecting it to be awful, I actually liked it. It wasn’t at all the operatic style that some may associate with the role of Javert from other performances with other singers. But it seemed to me to work just fine for the part.
There were very few of those in the leading roles who did not move much closer to speaking than singing at moments, as they sought to convey the words and the emotion in a manner that fit the moment in a cinematically appropriate manner. There were instances when simply belting in a broadway style would not have worked, and as they approached a quieter voice, the melody and lyrics could not be rendered in exactly the way they might have been on stage.
For those of us who’ve listened to and/or seen the on stage musical version multiple times, the singing by Hugh Jackman and others was a hard sell. But I felt that the performance worked and what may have at times been diminished in musicality was more than made up for in emotional power.
In every version of the musical, Eponine grabs the spotlight, having such a wonderful musical part. And so here’s a clip of Samantha Barks, whom you also may have seen in a stage performance:
What did you think of the movie? Did you love Les Misérables?