Thursday, December 6

Review of Les Miserables Movie

Having worked on Les Miserables in various capacities and seen the show from "out front" more times than I can remember I,  was unprepared for how moved I was when watching its world premiere in London last night.

All the leads: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen turned up on a freezing cold night suitably attired in red carpet gear and Michael Ball and Emma Wiilis we're doing interviews which were streamed live on the Internet.

It's all too easy to jump on everyone else's bandwagon and say "It's wonderful and I loved it" but I really did! All 2 hours 40 minutes.  Tom Hooper's direction pulled together an epic movie with the imposing Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean possessing all the power and charisma (and more) needed for the part.  I have seen him on stage in London and on Broadway and have to say he's never disappointed. He's  described Jean Valjean as "the Hamlet of musical theatre" and said it's the best role he has ever played.

But the real stand-outs for me was Anne Hathaway's plaintive rendition of I Dreamed A Dream which brought new depth to the song:  Samantha Barks singing On My Own brought tears to my eyes (and she looked amazing last night in Stella McCartney) and how good was Eddie Redmayne's voice!  Apparently he went on a crash course of singing lessons which involved no alcohol, lots of honey and lemon drinks and vapour steams and it certainly worked.

Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers brought some eccentric and clever comedy to the sad tale and as you would expect and the children playing young Cosette (Isabelle Allen) and Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone) were divine. Both have performed the roles on the West End stage: Isabelle  is the face on the poster,  and having heard him interviewed Daniel really does talk like Gavroche!

Eddie Redmayne said that Tom Hooper actually got the cast to build the barricade at Pinewood so that they could film it (with cameraman disguised as peasants) bringing total reality to the scene.

It was wonderful to see Victor Hugo's novel put to music in such a wonderful way with something for people of all  ages to enjoy with children, romance, death and good triumphing over evil. I counted at least ten rounds of applause during the action: surely it must get an Oscar nomination.

I'm lucky enough to have tickets to see it again at the media night on the 11th and have to say I can't wait!

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