Originally Posted by frazod
My thoughts on Les Miserables:
First, the positive. Overall, very enjoyable. Particularly amazing performances by Anne Hathaway (just send her the Oscar now) and Eddie Redmayne. Jackman was a strong lead. The child actors were outstanding. Nearly everybody did a good job. Except....
(here comes a frazod rant.....)
RUSSELL ****ING CROWE
Holy ****ing shit. I mean, holy ****ing shit. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how awful he was. I mean ****ing putrid. Vile. Abominable. HE CANNOT SING. AT ALL. It was like some community theater play where the rich businessman who's bankrolling the production won't pay for the show unless his spoiled, talentless brat gets a lead role. It was like Star Wars with Elmer Fudd playing Darth Vader. It was like reading Wickedson's posts. IT WAS LIKE WATCHING MATT CASSEL PLAY QUARTERBACK. To the pantheon of motion picture suck that contains hacks like Sofia Coppola in Godfather Part III, Jake Lloyd in Phantom Menace, and Everett McGill in Dune (yes, I'm invoking Dune), we can now add Russell Crowe. What, was Keanu Reeves not available? How about Bob Dylan? Rosie O'Donnell? Crowe was so completely ****ing bad. His performance was a slap in the face to every other actor who ever played that role, and to anyone who ever watched these people on stage. And he HAD TO KNOW how much he sucked. The other actors had to know. I would think someone who had enjoyed so much success, who is a good actor, who has an Oscar on his mantle, would have enough pride to not embarrass himself in such a way. The studio must have insisted on casting him. There is no other explanation.
Beyond Crowe's odious turn as JarJarvert, they tinkered with some of the lyrics, cut an entire verse from Drink With Me, and there were also some really bad edits that nearly jarred me out of my seat. And yes, I appreciated that the actors sang live, but the novelty of it wore off about two-thirds of the way through, and at that point I started wishing they'd just sing it the way the stage actors do.
On a 10 scale, I'd give it a 7. Would have been a 9 if not for Crowe.
The cut a little out of every song, I think. In some cases (Little People, Dog Eat Dog are two that come to mind). And the two songs they added were terrible. Not sure if the original composers/lyricists wrote them, but they don't fit musically with the rest of the show.
They also rearranged several things, which in most cases I didn't mind. In the case of I Dreamed a Dream, I think where they moved it to was particularly effective.
Eddie Redmayne ****ing nailed Empty Chairs, and that was one of two songs (the other being I Dreamed a Dream) that I thought the minimalist staging required because of the live recording really worked in its favor. I've always liked Empty Chairs, but it was never one of the songs that really touched me. Redmayne's version really got my allergies acting up.
And Crowe's voice was brutal... I guess by the time Stars came around my expectations had been sufficiently lowered that I wasn't terribly let down. But damn... my favorite character and favorite song and he just destroyed both.
Almost as big a sin as Crowe's Javert was how they wasted Colm Wilkinson as the priest.