I saw a stage performance of Les Misérables in 1998, and since then it has been my absolute favourite musical – I know the words to all the songs, and sing along (loudly and out of tune!) to the CD when on roadtrips with my mother.
When I heard that Tom Hooper (Oscar-winning Director of The King’s Speech) was directing a film adaptation of Les Misérables, I was really excited. Trailers started coming out that built that excitement up, and my friends and I have been talking about how much we want to see this film for months. Imagine how overjoyed I was to receive an invitation to attend a special preview screening courtesy of Paramount Pictures!!! So on Monday night, I dragged my mom along to the Lido Theatre, and excitement was at peak level. Let me tell you now, I was not disappointed!
When we entered the theatre, we saw that Paramount Pictures had kindly placed boxes of tissues around the theatre. A good thing, because I know I was not the only one who shed a few tears during the film! PRO TIP: Make sure you take tissues and wear waterproof makeup!
The cast was superb, with the delectable Hugh Jackman (X-Men, Van Helsing) as ex-prisoner Jean Valjean; Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) as the ruthless policeman Javert – a role he was very well suited to; Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada, The Dark Knight Rises) as factory worker Fantine; and Amanda Seyfreid (Mamma Mia, Mean Girls) as her daughter Cosette – as she demonstrated in Mamma Mia, she has a fabulous voice! Sacha Baron Cohen (Sweeney Todd, Borat) and Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter) provided great comical relief as the up-to-no-good Thénardiers, much needed in what is a mostly heavy storyline. The highlight of the cast for me was heartthrob Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn, The Other Boleyn Girl) as revolutionary Marius – his voice absolutely blew me away!
I was very impressed that the actors sang “live” (by which I mean that they taped the vocal track while shooting, rather than recording the songs in post-production) – this gave the film a more realistic feel, as the actors seemed to capture more emotion in their singing that I have noticed in post-recorded films.
Set in 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells a captivating tale of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – the perfect combination for an amazing film! I will definitely be seeing this again when it hits theatres in January! Check out the trailer below.
Les Misérables opens in New Zealand on 10 January 2013
Images © Universal Pictures
Text © Meagan Kerr 2012