Afterwards we played a bit of Lord of the Rings Online... I know shocker...
My review... First of all I have seen the play when it was here in LA about 15 years ago but I really didn't remember much.. I mean I remembered the general storyline so going into this movie it was like watching it for the first time. One thing that caught me off guard and I don't know why because I knew it was based off the stage play, is that they are singing from beginning to end. They sing their conversations to each other.. I think there are like 10 words that are actually spoken. The other interesting thing the director did for this version of Les Mis was make everyone sing live while they were filming. Most movie that have people singing do ADR (that's when they go into the studio and re-record the audio and clean it up). But this director didn't and you can tell. Don't get me wrong these actors could sing (well most of them) but it's odd hearing someone sing on film and it not be sweetened and cleaned up to sound perfect.
I'm a huge Hugh Jackson fan and knew he can sing. I am not a fan of Russel Crowe at all and his singing was fine but you could tell he's not a singer. Anne Hathaway is getting praises from critics and friends for her performance and I have to say they are justified. She shined in this. Her performance as Fantine was incredible and heartbreaking. But the person who stole my heart was Samantha Barks who played the love lorne Eponine. She sings my favorite song from that play "On My Own". If you don't know the song you can hear it HERE. I can really identify with that song. I have loved male straight friends so much that it hurts but of course I know they can't return the love the way I need it. So when this part came on the tears started to flow for the first time. I mean I weld up and my chest tighten on several parts prior to this but this one got the tears rolling down my cheeks. Speaking of crying, the end almost killed me. You know how you get to a point where you are crying and you can't stop even if you wanted to.. yeah that was me. I had a hard time seeing the screen through the tears... it was that bad.
The movie is long and I don't know if I could watch it over and over again but I really enjoyed it and plan to see it again at least a few times (I got a DVD screener). I give this movie a solid B
It was a very emotional up and down kind of day. Sadness from Downton Abbey then fun with Lord of the Rings Online, then heart wrenching sadness with Les Mis but we ended the day with friends and LOTRO. I couldn't have asked for a better New Years Eve gathering.