Jordy's Reviews: Les Miserables (2012)
What have I done? Though I'm master of the house, and on my own, and reviewed “Les Misérables” a few days ago, my nephew Jordy, 11, with a heart full of love, keeps us talking about the movie for one day more...
“Les Miserables” (Les Mis) means so much to me. It was the first play I was in, and got me interested in theater. I came into this movie with very high expectations. If I didn’t like the movie, I would not only be sad, I would be mad at Tom Hooper, the director, for not doing Les Mis proper justice. So did I like it? I loved it. It’s my favorite movie of 2012.
It is a compelling story. The story is about a man named Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who steals a loaf of bread to save his sister’s child from death, and suffers 19 years of punishment for it. After he gets out, he continues stealing, but a kind Bishop saves him. He decides to live by the law, and spends the rest of his life doing good deeds. The movie manages to tell it a little bit better than the play, with some things that confused me in the play being absent here.
When you go to this movie, bring Kleenex, because you’ll probably cry. I cried 6 times throughout the 157-minute movie, and the people that I came with all cried at least once. It is a very emotional movie, and mostly because of the amazing acting from the great cast. Everyone shines, although Anne Hathaway as Fantine does the most, even with her short role. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried-- everyone. They’re all great. They are also great singers.
The movie has some great camerawork, too. You’ll see mountains, barricades, and streets. The movie is also different enough from the play in that it feels a little bit original, with some songs put in different places, and an original song, “Suddenly,” which is also great. Some of the best songs from the play aren’t as good here (Except for “Empty Chairs At Empty Tables,” which was just as good as the play and made me cry), but it’s not really a criticism of the movie, more that the songs didn’t work as well as they did in the play. However, the songs that were good in the play, but not amazing were better here, like “A Heart Full of Love,” the love song of Cosette and Marius, Fantine’s blockbuster, “I Dreamed a Dream,” and some others.
The Thenardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) deserve their own section. They have all the funny bits in the play, and are just as funny as they are in the play. The scene in which they sing and rob people of their money is hilarious. In a movie full of misery, they are the comic relief.
Overall, the movie is amazing. I didn’t have a single problem with it. Maybe that’s because I was already familiar with the play, but it probably is because of the fantastic acting, emotional story, and a whole lot of other things that make this movie perfect to me. This IS the best movie of 2012. Cheers, Tom Hooper. You’ve made a masterpiece.