I saw Les Miserables on Christmas Day with my family last week. It had a few issues, but overall, it was magical. Les Miserables was the first Broadway show I ever saw multiple times. I knew every word. I belted a kick-ass fifteen bars from On My Own when I was a senior in high school for an audition for Les Miserables (I didn’t get it, but that’s okay). My neighbor brought home an Eponine-esque beret from France which I eventually had Christina Michelle Riggs (a former Eponine on Broadway) sign.
I appreciated that all the singing was live. I loved seeing detailed scenes, and how disgusting the circumstances were that the poor actually lived in (I didn’t love that, per se, but it was very, very informative). Aaron Tveit and Eddie Redmayne owned their characters, Enjolras and Marius respectively. Anne Hathaway has a much better voice that I initially thought from the first clips we heard of her singing and was wonderful as Fantine. Hugh Jackman, as Jean Valjean, was also great, though his tenor range was a little lacking. And although I’d heard that Russell Crowe completely ruined the movie, I didn’t think he was all that bad. Sure, he couldn’t hold the last note of Stars, but that’s okay. He acted the part well. Amanda Seyfried was enjoyable as Cosette, although she sounded like a hummingbird whenever she had to sustain a note for longer than 2 seconds. Samantha Barks, the only unknown in the movie, was heartbreaking as Eponine and vocally great. Daniel Huttlestone and Isabelle Allen, as Gavroche and young Cosette, were both adorable. Daniel was especially witty, though I wished he had the chance to sing more of “Little People” before being shot.
My favorite song in the movie was, hands down, “Do You Hear the People Sing?.” It was a perfect representation of the people rallying together for change. Very reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street. I would go watch that scene 15 more times if I could. I loved seeing how the barricade was actually built (out of discarded furniture), and I especially loved that the iconic draping of Enjolras’ dead body over the barricade, after the battle, was kept in the movie.
Aside from the plethora of close-ups, I think the movie was done incredibly well with a stellar cast. I highly suggest you go check it out while it’s in theatres.