Wednesday, January 02, 2013
In fairness, when it was over a lot of people applauded. It was impeccably made. The “epic” part was all there. Along with enough Hollywood CGI to qualify the film for the STAR TREK franchise. But to me that mega-production was a problem. I saw the stage version once years ago. The thing I marveled at was how they managed to stage such a huge production within the limits of theater. The sets were on a rotating stage, cast members played three or four parts – the technical aspects of the show were incredible. The production required ingenuity and a thousand individual aspects that had to go off like clockwork. I can’t imagine how they did it. Stage productions I’ve been involved with they can’t make a phone ring on cue.
But there are no limitations in a movie. You can just throw money and computers at it. So everything was excessive. As the old adage goes: LES is more.
But getting back to Russell Crowe – seriously, what the fuck was he thinking? Why did he take this role? Didn’t anyone ever tell him he couldn’t sing? I guess not. Maybe they were all afraid he’d clock them with a phone.
The direction by Tom Hooper was completely over-the-top. The only thing he left out was subtlety. Here again, the movie was very manipulative but I don’t know if that’s Hooper’s fault or the original musical. Or maybe that Victor Hugo fella. But I missed the light touch of Oliver Stone.
In conclusion, LES MISERABLES is a very polarizing film. I suspect you will either love it or pray for a guillotine. As for me -- well, this was my capsulated review for Facebook and Twitter:
"Oh good they shot the kid, we can go home now...WHAT?! 45 more minutes?"
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM