Happy New Year! I'm so glad to be back blogging again after not making very many posts in the month of December. There were lots of things that I wanted/intended to blog about, but I was just so busy with other things that I just couldn't fit everything I want to do in.
One of the things I did over the Christmas holiday was go to the movies with my sisters Sharon and Chandra. We saw Les Misérables. I've been a huge Les Mis fan since I was a kid. In 1997, PBS rebroadcast the original musical production of Les Mis for the 10th anniversary of the musical and we recorded it off TV and watched it many times. We also had the soundtrack of that performance on CD and it was frequently played in our house.
I first saw the preview for the new Les Misérables months ago when Chandra and I were at the movies and I was surprised that they were making another Les Misérables movie. I was excited, though, since this version was a musical (unlike the 1998 Les Mis with Liam Neeson/Geoffrey Rush). That version was good since it was fairly true to the book (which is a really good story) but this latest movie was the best of both worlds since it told the story AND had the awesome music. Watching the movie and hearing the music brought back a lot of good memories from my childhood and I was mentally singing along the entire time since I know the words to most of the Les Mis songs.
I especially liked how all of the singing was sung as the movie was being filmed instead of it being dubbed, as is the case with most movies is. I thought it really helped add to the emotion. This movie was full of genuine, believable emotion and that was my favorite part. So often when you see emotion portrayed in television and movies it isn't believable/authentic looking. One of my biggest pet peeves in TV/movies is when actors can't render natural-looking emotion. I think the mark of a good actor is being able to cry well on screen.)
The movie's ending is good (but in a sad way) so Sharon, Chandra and I all cried. We weren't the only ones. Although the auditorium where the movie was being shown wasn't full at all, I heard lots of people sniffling. The volume at the end of the movie was quite soft and the lady sitting in the row behind us was crying really loudly. Thankfully, the movie wasn't a total tearjerker and I just cried a few tears. I always hate it when movies make me cry a lot* unless I'm watching them by myself! ;)
I obviously knew that this movie was a musical and that there would be lots of singing, but I didn't know that almost the entire movie was going to be sung. I'd say that at least 95% of the talking and dialogue in the movie was sung. I loved this movie and can't wait to see it again. It's definitely one that I will be buying when it comes out on DVD. Heather's rating: 10/10 stars
I thought all of the acting was so good. Hugh Jackman did an amazing job in the role of Jean Valjean. Eddie Redmayne played Marius and he also did a terrific job. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, one of the songs he sang in the movie, was absolutely amazing and so full of emotion. I think that song was my favorite part of the entire movie. I also loved Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the innkeeper and his wife. They added great comic relief to the movie (although there were some crass parts in the Master of the House song).
I have to give props to Anne Hathaway for her portrayal of Fantine. I've never been a fan of Anne Hathaway… at all. Maybe it's because I thought she was annoying in Princess Diaries**. I can't really put my finger on why I've never cared for her, but I never have. That being said, she really redeemed herself in this role, because she did a fantastic job and I can easily see her getting nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress (and maybe even winning). I just realized something... of all the movies that I've written about/rated on my blog I've only given two of them perfect 10's (The Dark Knight Rises and now Les Misérables.) What dl they both have in common? Anne Hathaway! I guess it's time for me to take her off of my "actors/actresses that annoy me" list!
*Speaking of tearjerkers, my mom and I watched the movie A Shine of Rainbows recently and I cried… a lot! I felt like such a fool because here my mom and I were eating dinner and I was blubbering so hard I could barely eat. Truly, I was doing the ugly cry! I always feel embarrassed when I'm watching a movie with other people and I cry. Especially when it's more than just a few tears rolling down the cheeks, but the kind of crying where you make noise!
**Sharon has never seen Princess Diaries, so she, Chandra and I watched it last night. Watching it was sure a trip down memory lane! I remember watching that movie when it came out when I was working the movie theater, and my younger sisters LOVED that movie and watched it over and over. It was funny watching it again because the movie seemed so dated. I suppose it is more than 11 years old, though, since it came out in 2001. Life sure has changed a lot since then and I felt really old watching it!