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Sunday, January 6, 2013

'Les Miz' singing leaves you miserables

Universal Pictures


It's atrocious.

Somewhat like Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan trying to sing in Mamma Mia, only much worse.

But this is an opera.

But not for opera fans. 

It's a Les Miz nut flick, as in, only the dedicated need bear arms and go.  What you see on stage should remain on stage.  The producers of Phantom of the Opera were able to bring that one off stage quite successfully.  Not this one.

At the movie house, there was so much outbound traffic in the lane (aisle) beside me, it was like the wall had been removed, and we were suddenly exposed to Lee Highway.  (Were moviegoers leaving for restroom breaks?  Popcorn?  But few made it back.)

Why do movie producers hire actors who can't sing?  Is this the fad du jour?  I don't understand.  There aren't any actors left who can belt out a tune?

Anne Hathaway (Fantine) and  Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean) sang solos lasting about 30 minutes each with no other visuals but close-ups of their faces, and it was tiresome.  After about 30 seconds. It was like a talent show at the elementary school you are forced to attend to see your neighbor's youngest perform, but Amanda Sue would have been more entertaining.  But not to go overboard.

Speaking of...on a bridge over troubled waters (sorry), Russell Crowe (Javert) sang and walked for so long, the Seine almost dried up and the vultures came out. 

Not everything was lackluster.  Take the aerials, for instance.

And some of the voices were downright good, like Amanda Seyfried's (Cosette), Samatha Barks's (Eponine), and Eddie Redmayne's (Marius). And thank goodness for Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (M/M Thenardier) who provided much needed comic relief. 
Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen are hilarious in Les Miserables/Universal Pictures

Folks, the new Angelika Theater in Merrifield is great, but at $13 a pop, the movie had better be great (or near great). Please, spare me any more musicals which should remain on stage and nothing more.  Thank you.

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