I was very excited to see "Les Miserables" as it was my all-time favorite Broadway show...
saw it 3 times. No doubt, the most powerful musical ever. Remember taking my German colleagues to the show in 1986 (Pre-Prowns days when I was a corporate big wig). Knew nothing about the show, but my national sales mgr. counter part said it was a MUST GO.
Within 10 minutes of the start of the show, I knew I was seeing show unlike any other with the most powerful, emotional songs ever to hit Broadway.
Needless to say, I have the soundtrack which I listen to often. So at the end of the day, the success or failure of the film version wasn't going to based on the sets or the star power, it was all about "singing talent".
This where the movie falls short. Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway can sing okay (some better than others) but simply no way have the pipes to carry the emotion Les Mis songs demand. In fact, the must lesser known actors in this film like Marius and Eponine (Eddie Redmayne & Samantha Banks) have more interesting voices and see to have higher level of singing prowess.
Now I saw this film in Red Bank which is a very, very small screen. Does it play better and more powerful and engaging on a larger screen, maybe...I don't think so. I think 1st time Les Mis viewers will like this film but groupies like me really won't. It just doesn't match up to the live so (sort of like folks who read the book 1st and see the movie years later...the latter just can't hold a candle.
Last thought, the final 5-10 minutes were amazingly emotion. Tons of tears and sniffling in the audience. I haven't heard that much crying since the final scene in the "Titanic". I think that speaks of the connection of the movie to the audience, so maybe I might be in the minority on this one.
I'm going to be most interested to hear the thoughts of my fellow movie groupies on this one.