I really admired Les Miserables. No, it’s not perfect–there are too many crying, singing closeups–but I still found it astonishingly done, the first great movie musical since Chicago.
But as you know, it’s been dividing people more than anything since Coke Zero.
Here’s what someone on the All That Chat board wrote, which I only repeat because it’s amusingly written and seems to come from a deep place of disappointment:
“If the entire film had had the simplicity and musicality of Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, and Colm Wilkinson, it could have been great. Redmayne and Barks understood that the song tells the story. Aaron Tveit terrific as well.
“You don’t have to grotesquely overact every syllable as Anne Hathaway does in what, for me, is one of the most laughably awful performances in memory. Awards? These folk are CRAZY! And the makeup. Oy.
“Or Hugh Jackman, who CAN sing, having a nasal twang that makes him hard to listen to–and of course deciding NOT to do the iconic falsetto in ‘Bring Him Home’.
“Poor Russell Crowe. Nuff said.
“Amanda Seyfried? Really?
“Helena Bonham Carter looking and acting like she’s in a Tim Burton film.
“And the music. Oh the music. Truncated melodies so that notes never soar. All the air taken out of the music, rushing from note to note.
“The orchestra pushed so far back that this pulsating OTT score never has a chance.
” ‘I Am I, Jean Valjean’–the rhythmic pulse that drives this number MIA.
“SO MUCH PITCHY SINGING!
“After so many productions and concerts that remind us how this music can affect us, how could the authors and Cameron sit back and support film choices that make the music sound less than pedestrian?
“And what is the deal with that boat at the beginning. I defy you to tell me what they were trying to do with those ropes–and how it would be possible?
“Throughout, the clumsiest CGI in a film in a long time.
“It’s big, it’s expensive, it has stars. And it’s a bad, bad, bad film. IMHO”