The Patriot

  • Quarter 1 will end on Oct. 31.

  • The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive will end on Friday, Nov. 2.

  • Monday, Oct. 29 is a D-Day early dismissal.

‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

Martha Schick, Multimedia Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I dreamed a dream once, that the film “Les Misérables” would be perfect all the way through.  Unfortunately, I was on my own, as it is both first-rate and borderline unwatchable, depending on the scene.  However, the good ultimately outweighs the bad and the movie is worth seeing.

“Les Misérables,” based off of the renowned stage musical that is based off the novel by Victor Hugo, takes place during three different periods over a span of about 20 years.  It follows Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), an ex-convict who breaks parole and is mercilessly hunted down by Police Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). The first part takes place right after Valjean has been set free, the second part occurs when he becomes the mayor and hides his identity, and the last part focuses on young revolutionaries trying to fight for the people after the French Revolution.

Les Misérables is somewhat unique as a musical because the actors sing live on set, as opposed to lip-synching to pre-recorded songs.  While this works in the favor of the more talented cast members, it leads to some cringe-worthy moments with those who are not up to par.

Jackman is fine.  If that assessment sounds unenthusiastic, I’m getting my point across.  While his acting of Valjean is very well done, his singing is mediocre.  In a movie that is almost entirely sung, Jackman pulls his weight, but barely.

Crowe, on the other hand, manages to slaughter all that is good about Javert.  Not only is his singing distractingly atrocious, his portrayal of Javert is criminal.  Although he’s the enemy of Valjean, Javert is supposed to have some sort of depth of character.  Instead, he just seems like a crazy guy with no heart or perspective.

Anne Hathaway is a welcome change as Fantine, a factory worker-turned-prostitute who struggles to support her daughter.   As an actor and singer, Hathaway sets the bar at an impossible height with “I Dreamed a Dream.”  The single close-up on Hathaway’s face left no room for singing or acting errors, but the actress rises above the pressure and delivers a heart-wrenching performance that begins the waterworks for the remainder of the three-hour film.

The supporting cast also has some gems and some failures.  Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), Fantine’s daughter, is a completely unlikable character and Seyfried is incapable of hitting the high notes required by her part.  Marius Pontmercy (Eddie Redmayne), while wonderful to look at, sounds as though he’s singing through his nose in an operatic parody the entire time.

Éponine (Samantha Barks), Thénardier (Sacha Baron Cohen), and Madame Thénardier (Helena Bonham Carter) are the shining stars of the production, other than Hathaway.  Barks had played Éponine in the stage production, so she already knew how to bring the character to life and was accustomed to singing live.  “On My Own,” Éponine’s signature song, is another emotional rollercoaster that made me grab my tissues.

Cohen and Carter are an entirely different kind of brilliant.  They provide much-needed comic relief and know exactly how to parody themselves while remaining fresh and funny every time they come on screen.  They manage to play perfectly off of each other and their comedic timing is something to be envied.

Visually, Les Misérables is stunning.  The costumes, set design, and editing leave nothing to be desired.  All of the above scream Oscar-worthy, and I can’t point out a single scene that looks unrealistic or is shot poorly.

Les Misérables is a movie well-worth seeing, if only so you know who half the Oscar nominees will undoubtedly be.  Its visuals and a few key actors will blow your mind, and they certainly make up for the less than impressive performances of some of the others.

Martha Schick is the Multimedia Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

'Les Misérables' provides mixed experience, 9.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Martha Schick, Multimedia Chief

Martha is the Multimedia Chief; this is her third year in Journalism and her second on staff.  Even though most of her free time is consumed with journalism,...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ initiates viewers

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘IT’ isn’t clowning around

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    Summer movies to watch out for

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘Beauty and the Beast’ brings magic to a new generation

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    Oscars: Who should have won?

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ builds upon the Caped Crusader’s legacy

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    Finding the best Netflix Original for you

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘Split’ will grab your undivided attention

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ is anything but an unfortunate series

  • ‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience

    Cinema and Television

    ‘Hidden Figures’ showcases the confidence within us all

Navigate Right
The School Newspaper of John Carroll School
‘Les Misérables’ provides mixed experience