Movie Review: Les Miserables

Les-MiserablesSo I know Les Mis has been out for several months, but what can I say? I don’t have time for movies these days as much as I used to. So if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen Les Mis and have drawn your own conclusions by now. However, I still think my opinions can generate a pleasant discussion about this movie. Now that I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, let’s move onto the review, shall we?

Before I tell you what I thought of the movie, I feel the need to apprise you of my history with this musical: When I was in sixth grade, I became obsessed with this soundtrack. One of my older siblings had bought the soundtrack to the London Broadway production of Les Mis, and I listened to it daily. (I know – total nerd! But at least it was good music, unlike some of the rap that my other friends got into.) This obsession lasted for a few years. For my thirteenth birthday, my mom took me to the Broadway showing at the Capital Theater in SLC, Utah. We were at the very back, but we’d brought binoculars and I could hear the music just fine. I loved it! It was fantastic to see the play with the music and I was further enthralled with this story.

I also read the unabridged book of Les Miserables when I was in ninth grade. The book was difficult to get through – not something I’d recommend to fellow readers unless you enjoy the classics, but I’m glad I was able to get the complete backgrounds on each of the characters.

Now that you have my background with this story, let me tell you my thoughts as I watched the movie on the big screen with some of my favorite actors (Hugh Jackman!).

Pros: It was incredibly well done. I appreciated that the director stuck with the story and didn’t get too carried away with doing some fantastical visual effects, like other movies tend to do. The actors were stupendous and I felt they portrayed their characters to the best of their abilities. If you’ve never seen the musical before, this is a great way to watch it. The story itself is full of hope, betrayal, and love, despair and faith. I don’t know if there’s a more moving story.

Cons: The music wasn’t as great of quality as it is on Broadway. As much as I love some of these actors (and they all did a terrific job!), some of them couldn’t reach the notes as perfectly as I wanted them to. And I felt that the song “Lovely Ladies” fell pretty flat. Another thing that bothered me (and this could just be me here) was when the characters sang their solos, the camera was in a close-up on their face almost the whole song. It got to be a little boring for me.

So, was it a good movie?  Yes – definitely! Would I recommend seeing it? You bet. Is it better than the Broadway production? No way. I think the Broadway production is still the best portrayal of this story. If you come for the music, you’ll want to see it on Broadway. But if you’re in it for the story, you should be satisfied with the movie itself.

What are your thoughts about it?

One thought on “Movie Review: Les Miserables

  1. Thanks for the review Adrienne. I have been wanting to see this, though I don’t think it is in theaters anymore, maybe I can rent the dvd when it comes out.

Comments are closed.