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Old 11-01-2013, 23:41
stud u like
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Funnily enough, it was Oliver! in particular the Artful Dodger which became the inspiration for Boubil and Schoenberg to do Les Miserables as a musical as one of them saw a production of it in London and Dodger reminded them of Gavroche.

It'll be interesting to see if more film musicals will off the back of the success of Les Mis, Cameron Mackintosh has said he wants to do Miss Saigon which IMO is more cinematic than Les Mis is in its storytelling and he has My Fair Lady in development with Columbia Pictures and CBS Films. I personally want to see Wicked done as a film but that's a question of when not if,
"Wicked" as a film with Maggie Kirkpatrick as "Madame Morrible" would be my best dream film ever.

I was thinking today about "Miss Saigon" and why it has not been a film when I was sitting through the assorted tripe before the film started.
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Old 11-01-2013, 23:43
Jonwo
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I also thought Russell Crowe was great in it. The audience must have felt the same as no one shouted out"Jump! You bastard jump!"
Even though his singing wasn't as good as the others, he acted it well and actually his portrayal was more sympathetic compared to the stage version. The scene where
Spoiler
was touching and I think despite his quest to bring Vajean to justice, he's not a bad person.
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Old 11-01-2013, 23:54
Mystical123
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Samantha Barks was also great and deserves more recognition.
She definitely does!


It'll be interesting to see if more film musicals will off the back of the success of Les Mis, Cameron Mackintosh has said he wants to do Miss Saigon which IMO is more cinematic than Les Mis is in its storytelling and he has My Fair Lady in development with Columbia Pictures and CBS Films. I personally want to see Wicked done as a film but that's a question of when not if,
I think Miss Saigon is a question of when not if as well, though the Broadway revival of that is more immediate - opens next year if all goes to plan. As for the Wicked movie, I think that's a question of casting more than anything else now Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are too old. I'd love to see Sam Barks as Elphaba

Is My Fair Lady still happening? Last I heard, Keira Knightley was going to play Eliza, but can she sing? I'd be really disappointed if she did it and was dubbed - Les Mis has shown that some Hollywood actors can sing, it's just a question of finding the right ones (they all were right except Crowe), so it's set a benchmark now really.
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Old 11-01-2013, 23:55
stud u like
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She definitely does!




I think Miss Saigon is a question of when not if as well, though the Broadway revival of that is more immediate - opens next year if all goes to plan. As for the Wicked movie, I think that's a question of casting more than anything else now Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are too old. I'd love to see Sam Barks as Elphaba

Is My Fair Lady still happening? Last I heard, Keira Knightley was going to play Eliza, but can she sing? I'd be really disappointed if she did it and was dubbed - Les Mis has shown that some Hollywood actors can sing, it's just a question of finding the right ones (they all were right except Crowe), so it's set a benchmark now really.
I am also still waiting for "Tell Me On A Sunday" to be a film. It was planned ages ago and never materialised.
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Old 12-01-2013, 00:08
Kolin Klingon
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For anyone who wants to see it again. .the erm. . . Oscar vote DVD screeners are erm. .. *cough*
cough, proper internet not connected till Wednesday, cough annoying!, cough

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Old 12-01-2013, 00:12
Kolin Klingon
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I was thinking today about "Miss Saigon" and why it has not been a film when I was sitting through the assorted tripe before the film started.
Now Miss Saigon I actually saw with all the original cast not long after it opened. (twice!) Yes it would make an excellent film. Platoon meets Madam Butterfly!
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Old 12-01-2013, 00:15
Jonwo
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I think Miss Saigon is a question of when not if as well, though the Broadway revival of that is more immediate - opens next year if all goes to plan. As for the Wicked movie, I think that's a question of casting more than anything else now Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are too old. I'd love to see Sam Barks as Elphaba
Miss Saigon needs strong casting but I think the role of Kim would be an unknown, the real main casting is The Engineer, get him right and it would be a potential Oscar winner.

Wicked I think you could get away with casting unknowns in the leads and big names for the other parts, I like Sam Barks as Elphaba, she sang Defying Gravity very well on IDA but I also think Lea Michele would be a good choice as well. The show is long at 2 and a half hours but I think some things in the shows could be shortened or cut like most if all the songs sung by the Wizard!
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Old 12-01-2013, 00:17
ImOnlyWee
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LOVED IT.

1. Anne Hathaway is a goddess.
2. Anne Hathaway is a goddess lol
3 Rest of the cast were great!!
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Old 12-01-2013, 00:39
Amanda_Raymond
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This film moved me to tears and Hugh Jackman blew me away, knew Anne Hathaway would be amazing (which she was) but it Jackman who had me in tears and I do hope he beats Day Lewis to the Oscar
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Old 12-01-2013, 00:39
Weeksy
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Anne Hathaway is amazing, but Samantha Barks is just ... incredible. Little bit in love!
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:29
Mystical123
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Ok, longer review - be warned I'm a Les Mis fan, and this review may contain spoilers


Les Mis is my favourite musical, and I did the stupid thing of watching some of the clips before seeing it, so while I was excited for some performances (Anne Hathaway and Sam Barks especially) I was sceptical about others (Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried) and about the cuts and reordering. But for the most part I was convinced, and at its best it was absolutely sublime. I haven't been to see many films where an ordinary audience applauded at the end and stayed right to the end of the credits listening to the music - thankfully the cinema kept the lights off!

Performances ranked:

Astounding
Anne Hathaway - if she doesn't win the Oscar it will be a huge injustice, she was astonishing and completely heartbreaking. Best version of I Dreamed a Dream I've ever heard, and her acting was sensational throughout. She stole the film even though she was only in it for 20 minutes!

Eddie Redmayne - the biggest surprise - who knew he had such a great voice! He sang beautifully and I loved almost all of his acting choices. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables was beautifully sung, though ruined slightly by the stupid close-up when the lyrics were crying out for a sweeping shot of the room!

Samantha Barks - quite simply perfection. I first liked her when she was competing on I'd Do Anything years ago, and then saw her give a brilliant performance in the tour of Cabaret. I thought she was good in the Les Mis 25th anniversary concert and at the Royal Variety, but she's raised the bar here. Her performance was beautifully subtle, emotional and truthful and for me it sets the standard for all Eponines from now on. A star in the making I hope, she deserves to get so much success off the back of this.


These three are the stars of the film for me, I thought none of them really put a foot wrong and they all deserve to be highly praised for their work, which is why I'm singling them out.


The others:


Great
Hugh Jackman - wonderful for the most part, and particularly in the finale. BUT (and it is quite a big but unfortunately) I thought his Bring Him Home was awful It's a prayer, so starting off belting it at full volume really didn't work in my opinion, it was completely devoid of subtlety and ruined the whole song. The staging didn't help, but I was shocked at how badly he did that song compared to the rest of his performance. He deserves the Oscar nomination though, but he won't win.

Amanda Seyfried - a much better Cosette than I was expecting! It's a thankless part anyway, but she acted it well and I thought she sang In My Life beautifully. A couple of dodgy high notes, but she made the best of what she had to work with and her vibrato was nowhere near as annoying as it had been in the clips.

Daniel Huttlestone and Isabelle Allen - Gavroche was awesome and Isabelle played young Cosette really well, she has a lovely voice.

Colm Wilkinson - nice to see such a prominent nod to the original cast. He was wonderful, and I loved the Bishop's appearance in the finale.


Perfectly fine
Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter - I enjoyed Master of the House, it was very comical and there was some great attention to detail, and their ad libbing bits in that scene worked well. The tiny bit of Beggars at the Feast that was left was fine too. But I wasn't impressed with their bit of One Day More - it exposed Helena's lack of singing talent and jarred with the powerful performances almost everyone else was putting in at that point.

Aaron Tveit - he sang well but he wasn't a powerful enough Enjolras for me, and I thought the West End pros who were the barricade boys alongside him outshone him.


Sub-par
Russell Crowe - sadly I really didn't like his performance In my mind he was the only person who was really miscast and the clear weak link in the main cast. I love the song Stars but he completely ruined it, it seemed devoid of any real anguish and emotion and sounded a bit flat. The Solliloquy was similarly disappointing, and I thought he made a few strange choices in terms of pacing lines and what tone and volume to use. He just wasn't strong enough as Javert for me, not masterful enough or a powerful, deep enough singer. I usually like him as an actor, but not here.


Tom Hooper - too many of the directorial choices weren't quite right and I can see why he hasn't been picking up Best Director nominations. The close-ups only worked some of the time (Anne and Sam particularly) when actors were giving such subtle performances that the close-up only served to make these even more breathtaking. Otherwise they just seemed to be at odds with the songs (Empty Chairs especially) or just unnecessary/breaking up the scenes (Red and Black).

One Day More worked in the context of the movie though in a way it doesn't when the clip is viewed in isolation. I loved the sweeping shot of the barricade at the end as well, although I think it would have had even more effect if Hugh and Anne had been on the barricade itself rather than a random rooftop - the chopping between them lessened the impact of the panoramic shots.

As a fan of the show, some of the cuts really annoyed me. I liked some as well - like the Bishop replacing Eponine in the Finale - but others were not so good. I particularly hated that they changed the lyrics in the finale and took out "Your mother gave her life for you and gave you to my keeping" - Fantine is in that scene so it only seems right to reference her! I can understand why it was changed (Cosette didn't yet read the letter) but I wish it hadn't been.

One change I can't understand is why they took out the bit about Eponine being the first one to die, and the boys saying they'll fight in her name and she won't die in vain. There was a wonderful close-up of Gavroche getting upset at his sister's death, then she's completely forgotten about! Eponine's part in general was butchered though, Sam should have had the beginning of On My Own to sing (although again, I can understand why it was cut, it would still have made sense) and moving the songs around really lessened the impact of her part. The only song switch that made sense was Do You Hear the People Sing coming after One Day More - gave a pretty seamless transition where the interval would be in the stage show. But I wish they'd kept the solos in it. Drink With Me also shouldn't have been cut so much.


The new song was harmless but forgettable - Jackman sang it well but it didn't seem to fit with the rest of the score, in fact it sounded more like a song from several other musicals than one from Les Mis!




But overall I think the film more than does the musical justice, and the cast by and large deserve all the plaudits they're getting. I'm certainly going to see it again
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:50
Jonwo
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I thought Amanda Seyfried did well with what is a pretty thankless character in the stage musical as well, I didn't mind the use of spoken dialogue although it was little jarring when they flip from speaking to singing, I would have preferred it to have been sung through completely but I imagine that was never going to be likely.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:14
spendleb
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Went to see this last night, I thought it was absolutely brilliant, loved every minute, the only slight moans was the thenadiers, too comedic and looked like they belonged in a Tim Burton film and a bit to much shaky cam and close up shots, didn't spoil my enjoyment though, long time since I've heard clapping at the end of a film!
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:38
tally
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WOW, wow wow. Les Miz fanatic here. You absolutely cannot compare the stage and film version.
All my fears that it wouldn't live up to the hype or that I'd thought the clips of the singing were poorish vanished straight away.
Emotional, heartbreaking and not a duff performance among them.
Yes, Hugh can sing a lot better, (I saw him in Oklahoma in the 90's), dont know about Russell, but it didn't matter. This is a different genre and the acting was out of this world. Obviously Ann Hathaway who was electric and nigh on stole the film, but ALL the cast were excellent. I even thought Russell got away with not ruining "Stars" after being weaned on the Philip Quast version.
Loved the Colm Wilkinson nod. He is terrific.
By the end I was a wreck even though I've seen it loads of times on stage. The sheer acting abilities to squeeze such raw feeling was a tour de force. It's only possible on screen.It wouldn't work on stage.

Daniel Day Lewis is, IMO, the greatest actor around and though I haven't seen Lincoln yet, I expect he lives, breathes the role so he IS Ole Abe. But, while he may well deserve the Oscar, I really hope Hugh gets it. After all Dan has 2 already!

Brilliant, gut wrenching though ultimately uplifting, film.

(while Samantha Bark hasn't had the recognition by the film critics she deserves, I also thought Enjolras was magnificent.) In fact the only teeny bit that grated was having a broad Irish accent on the chain gang.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:42
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Well, I thought it was amazing. Given that I am such a huge fan of the stage show I was always going to have some quibbles but most are rather petty so I'm going to say they got it right with this movie. The cast were absolutely flawless and I thought even Russell Crowe was great as long as you don't compare him to people like Philip Quast.

I found Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks to be pleasantly surprising in just how good they were. Samantha was never my favourite stage Eponine but she nailed it in this movie and Eddie was such a lovely, charming Marius. Thank goodness there was not a Jonas brother in sight!!!

Anyway, I give the movie 8/10 and I can't wait for the BluRay release. I'm going to spend today listening to the soundtrack, most likely.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:47
roddydogs
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Havent seen the film yet, but just listend to the soundtrack (curtesy of Spotify), then the original London cast, there is no comparison, the OLC can sing.. Film ST sounds weak & out of tune. As for RC he cant sing.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:54
streetwise
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Ok, longer review - be warned I'm a Les Mis fan, and this review may contain spoilers


Thank you for your in depth review.

The fact that you loved most of the movie is a testament to the players and director. We're going next week, A box of Kleenex should be left on every seat.

Do you think that someone who had no prior knowledge of the book or the musical could still enjoy it?
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:03
little-monster
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I watched it last night for the second time. I saw it for the first time in the US on christmas day, but no one would go with my friend to see it, so i went with them to see it.

Anne Hathaway breaks my heart. Only on screen for 20 minutes but her performances stays with you throughout.

Hugh Jackman is brilliant, actually phenom. You forget it is him. Never had him done as a great actor, but he shines because he has been blessed with a wonderful part.

Eddie Redmayne was a suprise. He was superb. Shame he never got a nomination for best supporting actor

I found Samantha Barks and Amanda Syfried totally forgettble. Personally, they should of cast two much more better talented actresses in the role, especially for an important part that is Cosette. People having been raving about Samantha Barks as the next big thing, but sadly she was a weak link for me in the film.

Helen Boham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are fantastic in their roles. The singing isn't superb but they have even said in interviews they know that. They were fantastic and damn right hilarious. Helen knows how to play such weird characters and Sacha, well i forgot it was him in the role as he is very much a character actor
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:37
Kolin Klingon
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Ok, longer review - be warned I'm a Les Mis fan, and this review may contain spoilers
Wow a great review there! Thank you for taking the time to post it.

But it's made me think that I'm going to have to watch the film at least 5 more times to see all the finer points you raised as well as story points that as a Les Mis virgin, I haven't fully got to grips with yet.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:40
kazziecon
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Diehard Les Mis fan and am listening of OLC soundtrack as I type this ....

Went to see film yesterday afternoon and wept buckets at the end (much to embarrassment of hubby!)

Only one word ...WOW!! I loved it!

HJ and AH were amazing and very powerful as was SB as Eponine. RC was very good but there was something missing. ER as Marius was also very good but wasn't too keen on AS as Cossette (the elder). Loved the Thennardiers although SBC couldn't decide whether he was french, irish or jewish ... was this his way of interpreting the character as very dodgy? Also, why did they miss out most of "Beggars at the Feast"??

The lad who played Gavroche is surely an Artful Dodger in the making

You can't really compare a film with a stage production as you are able to do much more with a film but it has prompted me to book tickets for the London stage version now. I first saw it with Colm Wilkinson as Valjean so was delighted to see his cameo in the film.

Can't wait to see it again ... just need someone to come with me as hubby won't go again (he liked it but prefers the stage version)!!!
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:45
brb
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I admit, I had a musicalgasm when the Book of Mormon advert came on.

About Les Mis: So, I actually didn't mind Crowe as much as I do on the album. I think the main problem is the directors interpretation of Javert... I always felt Javert should be intimidating. Not a bad guy, but someone who is so intent in what they are doing, right up until the barricade falls... but with this Javert, we saw that pretty much from the 2nd scene he was in... The costume of Javert also took a way a little bit, the blue... his hair! I dont know.. On the album he sounds awful (well, most of them do actually) but seeing it on context I thought he was great (and most of the cast were...)

I actually love Amana Seyfield. I feel she is unfairly bullied a lot for some reason. When she was first announced there was outrage online about it... I actually really liked it... she was brilliant.

With Barks, the problem is this: Epionine is a useless character. She adds nothing to the story - nothing at all. They could cut the entire character and it wouldn't take away a thing. I feel that because of some of the material removed, she never got a chance to shine properly other than On my Own... which is shame.


Redmayne in some parts I liked his Marius (A Heart full of love) other times I felt it was lacking (especially just after Epionine died) and his Empty Chairs was bad. He kept doing weird things with his voice and lips :S

Aaron Tveit was great! When it was announced he was going to be in the movie, I was super excited after seeing him on Broadway in Wicked. I always thought he'd make a good Marius, but his Enjolras was amazing.

Cohen. Well... it was funny when he called Cosette, Courgette... I suppose...


Kazzie - you will love the stage version - Tam Mutu is the best Javert ever! :P
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:53
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..Plus 'Master of the house' is now stuck in my head
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:35
Kolin Klingon
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..Plus 'Master of the house' is now stuck in my head
I was belting out "Do you hear the people sing..." in the shower last night if that helps?

And if people thought Russell Crow was bad, they will be happy to know that I'm not releasing a soundtrack of last night's shower session!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:58
Gellymiss
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I went to this last night with a group of girlfriends... And I enjoyed it far more than I thought I was going to! After various clips i've heard, I was expecting the very worst. I didn't feel moved to tears until the last song though but I think that's the sacrific of giving up live theatre.

Having said that, I wouldn't buy the soundtrack. The singing was hit and miss for the most part for me. Mainly miss. I enjoyed Eddie R, Samantha Berks and Sacha Cohen the most. I thought Amanda S sounded like a wound up chipmunk on some notes, and Hugh J..well, i've never been a fan of his singing so that was no disappointment as I was prepared. I liked Anne Hathaway very much and she did the best with a very small part. Russell was unfortunate...Stars is one of my favourite songs from the show.

My favourite bit was the inclusion of Colm Wilkinson. Such a nice, nice honour for him and so lovely to hear him sing again.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:13
MysteriousOz
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Saw it last night 745pm session in Leicester square, sold out! Atmosphere was great, clapping all the way through after the biggest songs.

Anne Hathaway was amazing, totally captured everything in that performance, the Oscar seems a dead cert!

Hugh was great and despite what id heard I thought Russell was just as good.

Cried once but could hear and see loads of others.

10/10
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