The day had finally come for me, too, to join the masses and see Les Miserables. I have had much trepidation over seeing this film. One reason - the story line did not thrill me. I go to the movies to escape. My life has enough misery, I have no desire to pay $10 and invest 2 hours (or in this case 3) for more. So, like another lemming, I fell in line.
Russell Crowe is one of my favorite actors. In this case I will forgive him for singing. (I am sure he had no choice in this role.) I have always had great respect for Anne Hathaway as we have watched her grow up from the Princess, now as Fantine. (I was not aware, but she can sing.) And, this is by far the best role I have ever seen Hugh Jackman play.
All the trailers I have seen for many months have showed Hathaway singing, I Dreamed a Dream, painfully getting her hair chopped off, Russell Crowe on his horse stoically looking over his troops, and Hugh Jackman just looking serious. Obviously, I was not expecting a Walt Disney musical. Although, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter lightened up the story with humorous character roles only they could play. (I did not recognize Cohen until I looked up the cast after seeing the film.)
All this said, I am sure everyone realizes this film, coming from years on the stage, is a true musical and there may be a total of 10 sentences spoken, not sung. The scenery, the direction, and the film editing are second to none. The costumes are some of the best I have seen in a movie and provide the only color (with the exception of the flags) against a dreary background. Well there are Cohen and Carter, who are especially colorful in every way, dress and otherwise.
All this said, for the epic size alone, I can see the four Golden Globe nominations (Best Song, Best Picture, Best Actor - Jackman, Best Supporting Actress - Hathaway) and the Oscar buzz for the incredible technical arts, but I do not see a Best picture here. And, yes, I know I am in the minority, but we live in a democracy. However, on a bright side, I was not miserable as I feared I would be. It was worth seeing for many reasons. Although, only once.