From Stage to Screen Blogathon: Les Miserables (2012)


This is my second of three reviews for the Stage to Screen Blogathon hosted by The Rosebud Cinema and Rachel’s Theater Reviews. You should check out all the great posts for this blogathon listed on their websites. Thanks again for allowing me to participate!

 les mis“This is the land I fought for liberty, now when we fight, we fight for bread… here is the thing about equality, everyone’s equal when they’re dead. ” – Gavroche

Number of Times Seen – 4 (15 Jan 2013, Mid-Feb 2013, 23 Oct 2013 and 2 Oct 2014)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A fugitive from the law who has been living under an assumed identity for years after turning over a new leaf decides to help a former employee by caring for her daughter.

My Take on it – I saw this on the stage in 1990 and knew absolutely nothing about the storyline beforehand and immediately fell in love with it.

In ’92, during my year abroad, a friend had the soundtrack and we would listen to it nonstop. The songs have been etched in my brain ever since and ranks among some of the best musical songs ever.

The characters are very familiar to me and I think the majority of the casting for this film is excellent.  Hugh Jackman is a perfect Jean Valjean and Russel Crowe who seems very miscast actually is pretty good as Javert.  The best casting choices were of the couple Thenardier; Sascha Baron Cohen and Helena Bodham Carter both steal every scene they are in as the dastardly couple.  Can’t forget to mention Anne Hathaway’s short (but amazing) performance of Fantine which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

The transition to screen is amazing because it gives the story much more depth and OOMPH than it does on the stage and they managed to take such a great play and adapt it perfectly for the screen.

This story has so many very strong messages related to hope, forgiveness, fighting for what you believe and dreaming of a better world.

IMHO, this was the best movie of 2012 and not even Oscar winner Argo (2012) could top this one in being the best made movie of the year. Unfortunately, the Academy didn’t agree with me on this one.

Bottom Line – Amazing musical that works even better on the screen because it adds depth and poignance to various scenes. IMHO, the best movie of 2012. Great cast and very memorable songs. Highly recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)

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16 thoughts on “From Stage to Screen Blogathon: Les Miserables (2012)

  1. I really liked this one, although it was the storyline about the young lovers that I found let it down, they were so insipid! On the whole it was great, though.

    I think this was a pretty devicive film. Weirdly I noticed the friends of mine who loved it had all previously seen it on the stage (as had I) and those who hated it, hadn’t seen it before.

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  3. I really disliked the film version (although I admit my hopes were very high as this is one of my favourite stage productions). I think it captured the scale really well, but I have to disagree with you over the casting. I understand why the cast stars, but I really do think that they should have cast singers who could act as so much of the film is carried by song.
    That said, Sascha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter were wonderfully hilarious. I am possibly alone in my assessment though, as most of the cinema seemed moved to tears (or perhaps I’m just heartless?!)

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    • do u usually feel heartless when watching things like this?

      I guess your assessment about having such high hopes possibly helped you feel even more disappointed by this movie.

      sorry to hear 😦

      As I stated in my review, I felt more of a connection to the story and the music from my past than the actors.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Excellent review, Rob! And I agree–this is a really great adaptation. Hugh Jackman is perfect, and Anne Hathaway blew me away as Fantine. It took a bit for me to adjust to the pure singing and no dialogue thing, and I actually didn’t love Russell Crowe as Javert, but the film is still fantastic.

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  8. Love love love love this one! Les Mis is amazing and this one is done so well. Russell Crowe was not so convincing as Javert. But then the version I have etched in my mind is the 25th anniversary show and that one had a fantastic Javert. Other than that, Hugh Jackman interpreted really well and Eddie Redmayne was pretty impressive as Marius.

    Awesome review!

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