If you are a Les Miserables fan be prepared to hate me now.
I did not like the latest film adaptation of this book/play/musical.
Yes, it is a classic. Yes, it is a stirring story of hope and redemption. Yes, the score is powerful and moving. Yes, it was chuck full of talented actors who were busting their butts singing and crying at the same time. But I walked out of the theatre feeling a lot like I did after
It wasn't bad, it just didn't reach out and touch me. I realize that 99% of you have stopped reading by now and are busy typing me hate mail in your righteous anger, but I'm going to attempt to explain why I didn't love this movie, even though I went in wanting to enjoy it.
- HYPE!!! "OhMyGosh, did you see they are making Les Mis into a movie...again?!?!" "Like it is going to be totally awesome, I LOVE it SO much!!!" "HUGH JACKMAN! CAT WOMAN! RUSSELL CROWE! OSCARS!!!!" And every other capitalized/shouted/exclamation point laced statement, whether verbal or typed. Nothing puts me off a movie more than the Hollywood machine manipulating fans and trying to desperately build Oscar buzz. If I'm at a theatre and I see a line full of hyper women bouncing up and down in excitement, or a line full of dudes mimicking explosions, you can be damn sure I'm not in line for those movies. Those movies are what I rent and then give the MST3000 treatment at home with like minded friends.
- The live sound recording. Here's the thing about movies, we love them because they are fake! We expect perfection in cinema even in portrayals of imperfect characters we want them perfectly imperfect. The whole point of recording something is so they can do take after take to get it perfect. Unlike live theatre, where anything can happen. It had all the musical drawbacks of live theatre without any of the spontaneity that makes live theatre entertaining. People in the crowd that was shuffling out of the showing were muttering things like "Yeah you could really tell it was recorded live, that's cool...it was, um, good, yeah it was mostly good, OK kind of good, well Cat Woman rocked it, everyone else was just OK".
- Amanda Seyfried...warbling. She's so freaking adorable. Really, she is as sweet as a bowl full of sugar covered in maple syrup. You just want to scoop her up and put her in a castle full of kittens and unicorns and glitter. She also sounds like sugar shock feels. She sings like one of the magical woodland critters from a Disney cartoon. Actually she sounded a lot like the Disney Snow White character. If I wanted to listen to precious people trying to attempt vibrato I'd go to a high school musical.
- Never get involved in a land war in Asia. The real moral of the story here is that street barricades suck and almost never work (Unless of course you are in Mogadishu, but that's a whole other movie). Kids, pay close attention to this piece of advice: grapeshot kills! Dying on a barricade because your 20, have a big red flag, are hopelessly unprepared, out gunned, and have more anger than common sense and/or supplies and weaponry is not noble, it is stupid. Even if you've never read the book or seen the play, you could predict how their little military maneuver was going to end. You don't have to be Sun Tzu to figure out that when a few civilians with some furniture and a small cache of gun powder go up against a heavily armed professional military battalion, the civilians are going to get smeared.
- Melodrama. If I wanted to watch a melodrama I'd have gone to Pickleville Playhouse where you can boo and hiss at the villain and cheer out loud for the hero. Love at first sight! Unrequited love! Dastardly antagonist doggedly chasing down our poor picked on hero! Thrilling death scenes on a barricade (see previous paragraph)! Everyone happily reunited in glory (even though most of them are dead) at the end for one last rousing sing-song! There was so much cheese in this film I think I have become lactose intolerant.
- EXTREME CLOSE UP! "Arlight Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my closeup" even Gloria Swanson would have found the close up shots in this film extreme and excessive. If I enjoyed seeing every little detail on a person's face (such as: pores, scars, beads of sweat, gums, pock marks, nose hair, split bubbles, and glistening tongues) I would have become an esthetician or dental hygienist.