Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Les Larmes. . .

I went to see this film a little reluctantly having read mixed reviews, but I am a sucker for a musical and enjoyed seeing this on stage many years ago.  I was also determined not to cry, but like most of the audience, Anne Hathaway had me blubbering in about twenty minutes. I have yet to meet someone who has seen the film and not welled up. One cinema not far from Liverpool has taken to giving out boxes of kleenex for the audience to pass down the rows.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this lush, vivid and quite beautifully shot film, and the performances, particularly from Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne (he also had me sniffling with his rendition of "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables") were quite compelling.  The song that always packs a wallop for me though, is "Bring Him Home" and the fact that I didn't cry at all during the scene, sums up the one disappointing aspect of this movie; Hugh Jackman simply doesn't have the emotional chops of Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean, and the voice I always have in my head for that role. Just as no one will ever sing Eliza Doolittle as well as Julie Andrews, Wilkinson remains the definitive Valjean.  Just listen to him here.

I do applaud director Tom Hooper for giving Wilkinson a small role in the movie though. It was a nice touch and if not the torch, he had least got to pass on the candlesticks to Jackman.

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