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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Movies - LES MISÉRABLES (2012)

On a whim I went to go see LES MISÉRABLES today (am I the only one who always wants to translate that and call it THE MISERABLES).

I'm not really big on musicals. I think the only ones on my list of favourite movies would be THE WIZARD OF OZ, WEST SIDE STORY (the bits without Tony and Maria whining) and WILLY WONKA. And I suppose THE MUPPET MOVIE would qualify. Other than those, I would re-watch stuff like BRIGADOON, THE MUSIC MAN, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, MARY POPPINS or SWEENEY TODD if they were on. That's actually more musicals I like than I was expecting, especially considering I haven't actually tried to watch most of the others considered classics... But still, not a whole lot of heavy dramatic stuff there.

Anyway, I'm trying to watch more movies in the theatre, especially things that look like they'd benefit from the experience, and the trailer for LES MISÉRABLES looked pretty good. And I missed the start time of DJANGO UNCHAINED. My relative lack of experience with musicals and not overly great hearing means I sometimes have trouble picking up all the words in musicals, which is why I prefer to watch them at home, where subtitles and rewinding are an option, but I figured I'd take a chance. If I ever read the original Victor Hugo novel it was long ago that I forgot, but I know enough of the story from cultural osmosis that I was sure I could follow it even if I missed some words.

I liked it quite a bit more than I was expecting to. I don't know if I'll ever watch the whole 2 1/2 hour thing again, since it did drag in bits, but I'll definitely take a look when I can watch it at home and revisit some of the good bits. It took some getting used to just how much singing there was, compared to most of the musicals I like, but by about half-way through it began to seem odd when there were brief bits of spoken dialogue, like, "why didn't he sing that bit?" or something. And I did end up missing a fair bit of the dialogue, but it was worth it to see some of those visuals on the big screen. And a lot of the performers did a great job, with Anne Hathaway on the top of that list, and Hugh Jackman not that far behind, and those aren't two actors I've been that impressed with before. Not as convinced by Russell Crowe, but its kind of a complex role and I'd have to see it again before being too critical.

So that was a Sunday afternoon well spent.

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