Oscar Fodder: Mini Reviews – Les Miserables

miserableSo, I have realised that I generally don’t review movies in genres that I don’t really like – as I don’t bother going to see them. So you won’t see a review of Saw 5 or Paranormal Activity 27 since I don’t like horror films (generally) and won’t see them. I realised this as I finished watching Les Miserables last night, and started concocting this blog in my head. I am not really a fan of cinematic musicals. I like some stage musicals – Lion King, We Will Rock You, Avenue Q – but they tend to be ones with regular talking and just some intervals of singing (where it makes sense). The more ‘hard core’ musicals are just that – musical – the WHOLE TIME. Which, I am not such a fan of. I find it takes me out of the story a little and just seems contrived. But that’s just me.

With that disclaimer out of the way then, how was Les Miserables you ask? As a film, it was very well done. Great story, excellent performances – especially from Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, but also from stage show regular Samantha Barks as Eponine. And it looked incredible. Clearly it was on a scale that the stage show could never achieve. So, on technical merits alone, it was a very good and Oscar worthy film. And it had heart. It brought a tear to my eye in a couple of places, and the live nature of the singing meant there was a rawness to the performances which helped with the emotional impact.

But, and it is a big but for me, did they have to sing ALL THE TIME? I know they did in the show, and that is the way it is written, but I just like my characters to have some normal conversations now and then. Occasionally a normal line would be spoken, rather than sung, and I would be like ‘huzzah! They are gonna talk!’. But the next minute they are off singing again. And I should say I am not adverse to a little bit of singing. Most people who know me well know that I sing all the time (badly) and music is a constant in my life. But, there is a time and a place for singing and through a whole (2.5 hours people!) of movie, it was just a bit too much. I went with my friend Rach, who is a big fan of the stage show, and she enjoyed the film but said the singing just wasn’t as good as on the stage.

So, to sum up, if you are a musical fan – you will probably enjoy this. If you are a bit ‘meh’ about musicals but like a good story, it could be worth checking out on DVD. And if you hate musicals with every fibre of your being, avoid like the plague.

Now for the Oscar breakdown:

M&Ms from me: 3

I think it will win: Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway)

I think it should win: Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway)

The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, a true story about the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, is next on my review list – next weekend.

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