It was with great trepidation that I went with ATL and Tarzan to see Les Miserables last night.
Not that I didn't want to see it. I did. I have seen the stage show many times, I have all the concerts and I really like it.
No, I was scared to see the film because Russell Crowe was going to play one of the leads as - my favorite character - Javert. I had no idea if he could sing - all of the other lead actors I have heard sing before - and it would be disastrous for me if Javert could not sing, or worse, sang poorly and ruined it.
I apologize to Russell Crowe.
He should not give up his lucrative career and start doing show tunes, but he did well. Far better than I conceived he could. (I was pretty sure I could tell if the take they used was an early one or a late one because his voice was better for the former and less musical for the latter.) He wasn't showy but he held it up adequately.
The heartbreak for me was Hugh Jackman. He looked the part, he acted the part but he didn't sing the part. There were too many flat and/or low notes - I know they rewrote A LOT of things - but even with that he wasn't selling it. There were times he almost broke loose but he never made it consistently and "Bring Him Home" was so sad. I winced and hoped he would stop singing soon.
However, having Colm Wilkinson in the show was so cool.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonhem Carter were exactly what I envision every time I hear "Master of the House."
Amanda Seyfried did an adequate job as Cosette, which is a 2-dimensional character anyway. A little on the light side, but she's the soprano so it's forgiven.
Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit and the rest of the barricade cast were fantastic. Loved them all. "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" was one of the best sung numbers in the whole thing.
Samantha Barks as Eponine was excellent. Pity it's such a small part but she did it really well. She was Tarzan's favorite.
I have only one thing to say about Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Bravo.
The scenery was amazing; having a complete picture for the songs I know so well was just perfect.
This is me and I applauded the end credits until ATL had to tell me to stop because people were looking.