Les Miserables being an excellently rich and emotionally charged material (music by Claude-Michel Shonberg and English-language lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer) any actor may he/she has an average or excellent singing voice will for sure be driven to do a first-rate performance.
This is what turned out the 2012 movie to be. The whole cast were simply magnificent in showing off the explosions of emotions. No wonder Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor awards respectively and as of this writing are nominated in the Oscars for the same categories. I was intensely overwhelmed by their performances.
Aside from these two great actors, the three other thespians that blew me away were: Eddie Redmayne (who played Marius); Isabelle Allen (as young Cosette); and Daniel Huttlestone (as Gavroche).
The kids Isabelle and Daniel were so endearing. Isabelle I suppose had the best singing voice among the cast. Her representation of young Cosette was raw yet captivating. Her singing voice and facial features perfectly fit her role.
Daniel on the other hand was simply charismatic. Not to mention his thick British accent was so adorable. I was rendered speechless and was totally dazed by his performance especially when he was shot and was shown lifeless on the floor while being honored by the villain Javert.
Eddie Redmayne for me was the biggest surprise. I was stunned by his performance. He was particularly brilliant when he was singing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”. He was so good I can even feel the freckles on his face acting out the volcanic grief Marius (his role) was feeling.
Overall the movie was great and magnificent. However there are two silly points I did not like.
First, there were too many facial close-ups. From my own observation, 85% of the movie was a close-up of the actors singing. There were too many of it, I already had the longing to count the number of wrinkles and skin pores present on Hugh Jackman’s face for every close-ranged shot he had so as to check if it is the same number on the next or previous scene he had.
Second was the quality of the singing voice of Russell Crowe (who played the interesting character of Inspector Javert). Crowe’s singing voice for me was a bit weak bordering to being quite gentle. He can carry a tune alright but for me villainous Javert’s tone of voice is supposed to be rougher, deeper and oppressively frightening.
I guess it’s not new to everybody that I love “contravidas” (villains). I have written quite a number of them here in this blog (press: link1 or link2 or link3). That is why I was excited to hear the commanding singing voice of Inspector Javert when he sings “Stars” in the movie (one of my favorite songs in the musical version). But for me Crowe fell short of my demanding expectation and was actually a bit of a disappointment.
Yet overall, Les Miserables (the 2012 film) is what a Hollywood movie should be. Touching, entertaining, superb and charismatic!
Ibang klase ‘to.