WARNING: Spoilers below. Probably best to avoid if you haven’t seen the movie.
- Hugh Jackman carries the movie like a French convict carrying a giant mast with a wet flag on it. Both his singing and acting are amazing. My respect for him as an actor increased a thousandfold. It was also very noble of him not to pop his Wolverine claws on Javert.
- Russell Crowe is terrible. You’d think the casting director would check if someone could sing before casting them in a musical. Also, I know he’s capable of terrific acting, but in this, he comes across as vaguely autistic. When he’s singing, he holds his arms straight out in front of him like he’s doing an impression of Donkey Kong. Even his character’s poignant suicide lacks dignity. In one of the worst directorial decisions in the movie, the sight of his body hitting the concrete in the dam is unintentionally hilarious. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one sniggering.
- A bit too much all-up-in-your grill cam for my taste. Would have liked a bit more variety in the camera work, like in the Master of the House scene.
- Anne Hathaway has a great voice, and the scene of her degradation was extremely distressing. Her performance, though, is at times overwrought. Her I Dreamed a Dream is moving at first. Then things get a bit too mucusy.
- Marius has to be one of the most insensitive, obtuse characters in literature/musicals/movies. And why would you choose boring Cosette over sexy street urchin Eponine?! Wet noodle.
- The director, Tom Hooper, was obviously going for realism, or as much realism as you can have in a movie where people are constantly breaking into song. I wonder what it would have been like if he had embraced the inherent cheesiness of the musical genre. Not meant as a criticism, though.
- Don’t let all the griping fool you, though. Overall, I liked it. I first saw the stage show when I was a teenager, and loved the songs. The music still made it for me this time. Respect to Tom Hooper for taking on such a challenging project as making a blockbuster musical in an age when it’s not fashionable.