Thursday, December 27, 2012

Les Miserables: Movie Review, A Symphony of Tears

Les Miserables, was pretty straight up awesome, I loved it.
I would probably watch all two and a half hours of it again, right now.
Caveat: I love musicals. Les Mis is my favorite musical of all, so I am biased in its favor. If you don't like musicals you probably won't like it. I saw a review that said, "they sang the whole time!" Yes. Yes they did. Because it is a musical (although really I think 5 non-singing words were said, someone should go count them).

It's time for Losers and Winners Les Miserables edition.
Actually its more like Winners and Warnings, there were not really Losers in this movie.
Spoiler Alert! probably there is a spoiler somewhere in here...

LOSER? WINNER?...WARNING this motion picture causes: EXCESSIVE WEEPING.
Les Miserables is a very accurate title. I feel slightly miserable. I just spent about two hours and thirty seven minutes crying and blubbering.

FANTINE: I dreamed that love would never die....
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

ME: I never dreamed that I would Crrrryyyyy
I never dreamed I would be weeping.
Here in this theater, oh my! (looks around in ashamed fashion)
Some tissues I should have been keeping. (some tissues to be thrown for effect)

My nose is running, and no lie
I wiped on an unknown stranger (blow nose upon stranger sitting next to me)
good grief it makes me want to dieeee
If I leave now they'll see my eyes
all red and puffy, no secret keeping.

me in the theater blowing my nose on the sleeve of my sweatshirt being like,
TOUGH ME (the one who spends a lot of time telling me not to be desperate, and causing mental anguish when I make mistakes):  "keep it together Liz, for God's sake you're six foot one, you cant let your huge mean looking self fall to pieces every time some one starts singing..."
SENSITIVE ME: snifffff...snort, nasty crying face.
They let Anne Hathaway do the full on crying face in this movie. None of that single tear, "I am sad but my face still looks pretty" actress nonsense.
TOUGH ME: "oh cut're going to be dehydrated."
TOUGH ME: Are you putting this on the blog?!! OH Cuss! No stop!
I don't remember crying in a movie theater ever. I did, however, cry during two other movies in my life: Crash, and Lilo and Stitch. That cute blue alien does me in.

On the way out my mom heard some people talking:
Person 1: "Well that was't very moving."
Person 2: "If it wasn't moving why were you crying?"
The theater was a symphony of sobbing. In the bathroom people who had just left Les Miserables were quite easily identified by their puffy red eyes.

TRIPLE WIN: Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Anne Hathaway, I have no idea why people don't like you. I am sorry. You are a great Saturday Night Live host, and you made a great Fantine. The Cat Woman stint was iffy, not bad...just not evil. You see she's supposed to be evil. Not a female Robin Hood who turns out to be kinda nice.
   Hathaway apparently went to the premiere in something that looked ridiculous. So I included a picture for you.

LOSER: Not being able to sing along. When this comes out on DVD some serious sing-along is going down.
WARNING: watching this musical may cause the uncontrollable desire to sing everywhere and everywhen. After I saw it I felt like running into the food court in the mall and belting out, "I dreamed a dream in times gone byyyyy"
...except that Marius is more within my vocal range so I should probably go for "A Heart Full of Love" or something.
It would be fun to walk out of a Les Miserables movie showing with a bunch of people and then all start singing it. Somebody should make me do that.

WINNER: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean.
 Russel Crowe once he got his act together...the first songs by Russel, were not so great. By the last song, however, he made it into the winners circle.

WINNER: Victor Hugo. He wrote a story about love and mercy. This story is the reason that the musical is great. Slightly melodramatic? Yes, but still beautiful for some reason.

 The musical is one of the best adaptations of a book that I have ever seen. It captures the spirit of the book perfectly.
       Unlike several other film editions. In one (I believe the 1998 version) Jean Valjean walks away after watching Inspector Javert drown himself. Come on! Did anyone read the book?!
(Liz did you read the book? "Yes the un-abridged version" she said haughtily)

More WINNERS: Sacha Baron Choen and Hellena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers. They are funny. Probably the only thing in the movie that does not make one start to cry.

This picture might have been taken with a potato.

 Some odd boring thoughts that are not funny:

1. Marius Pontmercy fights with the French revolutionaries for equality and for those who are severely impoverished. Five movie minutes later he is hosting an incredibly swankified wedding reception. Is this inconsistent? What do you think?

2. When Valjean is living as Monsieur Madeline (mayor and businessman of Montreiul-sur-Mer) he is forced to reveal himself or let an innocent man take the fall for him. Many of the poor depend on his business for survival and this is part of his dilemma. Since he knows he is a convict and that he could be caught, should he have a better plan B to keep that company running than "wandering hands" foreman?

4. I keep thinking about how Alexis De Tocqueville says in the Old Regime and the French Revolution that the French revolution didn't change much of anything at all. It is depressing.

3.They left this out, it's kind of interesting: Gavroche is the Thenardier's son. Ms. Thenardier ignores him (though she dotes on her daughters) and they abandon him to the streets.

Really I would watch the whole thing again right now. And cry buckets again.


  1. I need to go see this! Facebook is flooded with
    a) weddings and engagements
    b)how amazing this movie is.
    the fact that you liked it makes me even more inclined to see it. and i know i'm going to cry. hey, catharsis and all that. - marge

    1. Yeah....the weddings and engagements.
      All friends: "We have all acquired husbands!"
      Me: I blog?

      Yes you should go see it, especially if you like musicals. I cannot make promises to those who do not like musicals.

  2. Aaack I want to see this! But who shall I force to go with me? On an unrelated note, I know no "tough Liz." I mean...uh... -Monica

  3. I am not saying that I ever listen to, "tough me" or the one that tells me to shut up...but they shout in my ear anyway.

  4. I just watched this movie and I have to say I feel cheated. I started counting the unsung words and there were actually enough that I gave up counting ten minutes in.

    Actually liked the movie despite all the women sniffling around me.

    - Quidam

  5. It was about a million percent singing. Some of the super closeups were a little bit surprising too, "Ah Hugh Jackman is right in my face!" but I still liked it a lot.