So, Les Misérables… well it totally does the job. Cried in all the right places. The heart of it is Hathaway’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ – a genuinely thrilling piece of filmmaking and acting. Devastating. Painful. Pathetic. One take. Absolute silence in an otherwise noisy audience. The slight trouble is that it doesn’t/can’t get better than that and it’s pretty early on in the film. Jackman is terrific, fervent and fully inside every moment. Rather enjoyed Crowe’s confused and edgy Javert. Eddie and Amanda are very clear and avoid saccharine.
But Helena really needs to come up with a new performance/hairstyle. Much is in very close close-up and although this is affecting, it does feel a little repetitive after a while. The live singing makes absolute sense but it’s not a total revision of musical cinema. The French history is very clear. Lots of fun spotting Kate Fleetwood and Hannah Waddingham in the factory (as well as Mandy Holliday, who I remember as Mme Thenardier at the Palace), Daniel Evans, Nicola Sloane and Adrian Scarborough giving Fantine a hard time, Nick Holder in there of course, Paul Thornley, Frances Ruffelle, Caroline Sheen, Kerry Ellis… etc etc etc.
I’m sure there are many more alumni to spot. Semi-revolutionary way to spend an afternoon.
(11 January 2013)