Feb. 12, 2016
Home / Articles / Cinema / Movie Reviews /  Congratulations, It’s Miserable
les_miserables
Les congrats!

Congratulations, It’s Miserable

Dull and dreary 'Les Misérables' fails [barf]

December 18, 2012, 8:00 pm

Les Misérables won’t go down as the worst movie of 2012, but it should go down as the biggest misfire.

What this screen version of Les Misérables needs but doesn’t have is the artifice of theater.

Any time we move on stage from Jean Valjean’s (Hugh Jackman) high drama to the lowbrow humor of innkeeper and thief, Thénardier (Sacha Baron Cohen), we’re given a pause as the sets adjust. On screen, we cut and it’s jolting: We were just crying! Now, we’re laughing? In three seconds?

A theater with an enormous set and live actors also makes the gaps in the story’s narrative cohesion easier to take.

Here, the holes—why, exactly, does Éponine (Samantha Barks) love Marius (Eddie Redmayne)? Or Marius love Cosette (Amanda Seyfried)? Why is there revolution?—are big and glaring.

Worse yet, this movie has no sense of place. What’s the point of building grand sets if 98 percent of the movie is actors in close-up?

As for the music and singing, the repeated themes that work well on stage become monotonous on celluloid.

Jackman is overwrought; Seyfried does her best Adriana Caselotti impersonation. Anne Hathaway is excellent, but gone fast.

See it on stage (again) instead.
 
Directed by Tom Hooper / With Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway / Opens Dec. 25 / PG-13 / 157 min.

 

comments powered by Disqus
 

Morning Word: Santa Fe Considers Trimming Payroll

Councilors ask staff managers to plan for job cuts

Morning Word City managers asked to present a plan that focuses on attrition and other "reasonable reductions" without cutting essential services like police, fire and public utilities. ... More

Feb. 11, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

Newsletters

* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):

@SFReporter on Instagram

 

 
Close
Close
Close