Nat thought – cutting pretty patterns in her arms with a blunt knife would be more fun than watching this.
This won’t be long.
I had never “done” Les Mis in any of its forms (book, theater, 2 previous film versions) before this film, thinking it sounded too long, too boring and a bit of an all round downer. Well when I finally gave in and watched this version I was surprised to find that it was indeed too long, too boring, and a massive downer but also full of great actors who can’t sing. Nobody thought to use the auto-tune? Really?
Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) has done a brilliant job of evoking the look and feel of the era. I imagine anyway, not really knowing much about revolutionary late 19th century France. Seriously, it looks amazing. Everyone is so dirty and bedraggled and there’s enough blistering facial sores and rotten teeth on show to make me want to don rubber gloves and a face mask in case you can catch something through the telly.
This is what Anne Hathaway normally looks like.
Seriously, this is her just popping down the road for some milk.
And this is what she looks like in the film.
Oi vey! Where’s my hand sanitiser?
This is Hugh going out for the papers.
And this is him as Jean Valjean.
Doing the promo tours, Hugh and Anne have made a big deal about how Hooper came up with the “brave” and “innovative” choice of recording the singing performances live, so what we hear is not some studio adjusted, perfectly pitched version but raw and real and emotional. Never been done before, apparently. After watching the film, I’m now wondering if telling us that is more of an apology and/or a warning to the consumer than merely gushing about a director with a revolutionary vision. But I guess he had to make a decision; fabulous acting with so-so singing or fabulous singing with so-so acting. I wonder what we would have if he went the other way. Continue reading