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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Les Misérables (Victor Hugo, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel, James Fenton, William Nicholson)

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette, while at the same time he flees from ruthless policeman Javert. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. Directed by Tom Hooper.

Starring:Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, Daniel Huttlestone

Why I loved this film: I have read the book millions of times, watched the musical in London's west end, bought the CD, DVD, watched the Liam Neeson and Claire Danes movie, know the story and songs back-to-front, so I had set the bar pretty high for this film.
I was very surprised indeed! Only one word can sum it all: wow.
The settings were amazing, realistic, and gave a proper feel to 19th-century France. Now, add the astonishing acting and music to it. As much as I knew everything by heart, I still wept through some scenes and felt chills listening to 'Do you hear the people sing?'
Regarding the cast, there were quite a few surprises starting with Hugh Jackman. In the beginning I thought 'I know those eyes' but otherwise I had trouble figuring out it was him straight away. What a voice, what an actor, what a performance!
Russell Crowe was another surprise. I had seen him in other films but I never realised he was this good! And what a voice! It gave me chills!
I never really liked Anne Hathaway, I always thought of her as another pretty actress with no brains. Just there, nothing more. But in this film she really proved me wrong, her performance was so incredible that it actually brought tears to my eyes.
When I heard that Sacha Baron Cohen was in the movie, I could only imagine him playing one character and was not disappointed. He really brought Thénardier to life in the best and funniest way possible. What a nice surprise to see Sacha Baron Cohen in another type of movie and nothing like his Ali G/Borat/Bruno characters. Totally loved it!
I was not so sure about Eddie Redmayne because he was nothing like the Mariuses I was used to - usually very appealing to female audiences -, Eddie is cute but Aaron Tveit (who played Enjolras) seemed more like a Marius to me; however, I changed my mind as soon as I saw and heard Eddie singing 'Empty chairs and empty tables'. His entire soul came out and brought tears to my eyes! I fell in love with that performance!
The only person I am still not so sure about is Amanda Seyfried. She is very pretty, a good actress, and a good singer, but not so long ago I saw her in 'Mamma Mia' and felt it hard to tell both characters apart. I looked at her and did not feel Cosette was totally there. As far as I am concerned she was playing both characters the same way.
Overall, this will definitely be an award-winning movie throughout 2013!

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