I was coerced into seeing Les Misérables with a group of friends, on Valentines day no less. I could think of a million things I’d rather be doing but I went anyway. I have never seen the stage play, read the book or even heard any of the songs so I thought I’d at least give it a chance. It’s been getting mixed reviews but you never know, I do like a good musical after all.
I hated it. I hated nearly every single insufferable, pretentious second of this steaming pile of musical crap. I can only remember one barely mediocre song, and the only good thing about that song was Russell Crowe (don’t worry, I’ll mention Ol’ Russ again) The rest of the songs were either too long, too boring or both.
The cast should have been good. Oh dear, poor Hugh Jackman tries, as does Anne Hathaway. But the use of EXTREME closeups by Tom Hooper makes you want to punch Jackman in his stupid Australian face. And that’s no small feat, I love Hugh Jackman! He’s Wolverine! But this film makes me hate him and everyone involved. How in the hell can one man make you hate Anne Hathaway AND Hugh Jackman’s faces?! Clap. Clap. Clap. Tom Hooper managed to do it.
Oh and don’t even get me started on Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. I sighed when they popped up, but then I smiled. Their song “Master of the House” actually started quite enjoyably. Then I stopped smiling. “Ok stop now” I whispered. But it carried on. “Seriously”. But it still went on. And my god it only got worse. Then he broke the fourth wall. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE REST OF THE FILM SERIOUSLY WHEN I’M STUCK WITH THESE TWO DETESTABLE CHARACTERS!!!!!!
Now the only character who I loved in this movie (everyone else drifts between diabolic and meh) is Javert. Russell Crowe is hilarious in this film. His death is one the funniest things I’ve seen in the cinema in years. Go see the movie for him. My favourite moment is the “Prisoner 24601” scene below. It’s just a shame that that particular scene happens under 5 minutes into the movie
The directing in this movie ranges from awful and absurd. The “battle” scene is shot woefully fast and all over the place. It’s so badly shot that I yearned for the action scenes from Transformers 2. THAT’S how bad it is. I preferred the battle scenes in Revenge of the Fallen to this pile of dogshit. In the non-action scenes (the other 3 hours of the movie) the characters are either to one side of the shot or at a slanted angle. THIS ISN’T BATTLEFIELD EARTH MR. HOOPER!
DON’T SEE IT! To me, this movie is like the Twilight series. The people in charge know they can make any shitty movie they want because they know armies of fans will see it anyway. Ok, so an extreme comparison, but this move warrants it. IT IS BAD. Go watch Django Unchained instead, remember what excellent movies are like. Forget this cinematic vomit.
12 thoughts on “Les Misérables Review”
Great review! I couldn’t agree more, what a pretentious load of drivel that movie is. Some of my hatred may be down to personal taste, but how people can say anything but bad things about Hooper’s direction is beyond me. It may have all the songs that fans will love and all of the actors to draw in the crowds but there is no excuse for such a poorly directed and edited movie.
Thank god you hate it as much as I do. I felt like the only sane person for a while XD
Good review. I agree about the bad camera direction and that Tom Hooper is no way near as good as everyone says but what personally saved the movie for me was the acting and the songs.
Also, lol on the tag: complete and utter horseshit XD Nice!
I can’t fault the acting. But none of them were as amazing as Russell Crowe XD
I thought you liked the movie… Tom have you been impersonating Jack again?
I think you are being pretty unfair to the movie. It’s not a masterpiece by any means and it certainly doesn’t deserve to be nominated for best picture, but it’s not terrible by any means.
Firstly complaining about the length of songs is kind of pointless when discussing a musical in which there is almost no spoken dialogue. As for the number of close-ups in the movie, there were a lot of them sure and that did become noticeable within the first ten minutes or so, but they certainly didn’t aggravate me as much as you, and I honestly can’t think of a reason why it would make you want to do harm to Hugh Jackman. They exist because you can’t get close up views of an actor’s face in a musical and so they’re exploited to their full effect here. They movie could have done with a few more (especially after seeing X-men Origins and Van Helsing, both of which are far, far worse than this movie) I all of the songs were pretty damn good with the notable exception of Cohen and Carter’s. Even you have to admit that One More Day was pretty epic, and as hilarious as Crowe’s singing is I thought he was quite good as Javier, being both imposing and some-what self-concious at the same time, which is far more interesting than just all stern, all the time. Finally the Hyperbole Metre goes of the scale when you talk about Hooper’s direction, you pointed out the diagonal, room-tilting shot angle out to me less than half way through the movie and I started to watch out for it: Barring the times when scenes started level and then panned into diagonality to keep the aforementioned close-ups I found a single diagonal shot in the rest of the movie and at a point where it’s arguably relevant too. Also I found the two action scenes easy to follow. Maybe I’ve just watched enough action movies in my time to process who’s firing at who with a gun in a picosecond. Certainly i didn’t have the gripes that you do, also films that shoot war are often shot like that in order to get that stunned, shell-shocked across to the audience, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as Transformers 2, I would be the first to know. I didn’t think it was perfect (one thing that really pissed me of that you didn’t mention was that every poor person in 19th Century Paris talked in the thickest, most over-wrought cockney accent since Dick Van Dyke.) but it’s not a bad film.
Immature? Perhaps. True? Most definitely.
Seriously though. I disagree. With everything you said. Most of it comes down to opinion and taste, but the action was HORRENDOUS. I get it, it’s not an action movie. Or a war movie, but it was SO BAD. I feel like a crazy person here, can no one else see this?! Hell, even Christopher Nolan could give Tom Hooper tips on directing action!!!
“Maybe I’ve just watched enough action movies in my time to process who’s firing at who with a gun in a picosecond.” Wait are you suggesting you’ve seen more action films than me? HA! Fuck no.
On a couple of your points.. =D
‘discussing a musical in which there is almost no spoken dialogue.’
One thing that annoyed me about this film is that they hardly speak. This isn’t because its a ‘musical’ film.. as other musical films adapted from stage musicals don’t have that problem. So discussing the length of the songs and how it dragged on (as they never stopped signing) is relevant. I guess its a fault of the original stage script, but the film-maker should have considered that the constant singing might get a little aggravating in the film format. I’d have preferred more spoken dialogue, even if it meant going away from ‘staying true to the stage’.
‘They exist because you can’t get close up views of an actor’s face in a musical and so they’re exploited to their full effect here.’
Erm.. I doubt thats why exactly… no-one sits at the theatre and wishes they could get a real close up of the actors spittle flying as they sing. Its possibly more likely as most of the songs focused on emotions and, well lets be honest, its downright amusing just to watch two people standing still singing at one another in film. Thats why film-makers have to be so careful when filming musicals, because you either have to make it as ‘camp’ as it is on stage (which is accepted on a stage medium because its theatrical campness) which makes it look too comedic on film for les mis… or you find some other way of making the shots more interesting.. like close-ups. Course this makes it annoying to watch and you get sick of peoples faces after a while :P.
”with the notable exception of Cohen and Carter’s’ (song)
Their song was actually quite good… and the comedy worked for a short while… but after half-way through the comedy got a little strained. I didn’t like these characters because the rest of the film was so stiff, so they just looked out of place. It’d be like a gritty remake of Pokemon, where the Thénardier’s are like Jessie and James, just popping up every so often and being annoying.
‘Less than half way through the movie and I started to watch out for it’
I didn’t notice it, until one particular scene where I literally had to move my head to the side to make it straight. And there wasn’t any need for it, either.
‘most over-wrought cockney accent since Dick Van Dyke’
Hah, yeah, this was strange… a friend of mine speculated that it could just be an easy way to show British people that these french are lower class… which is clever in a way,but strange still.
Ha, I wasn’t planning on starting a debate with this review, but it’s nice to see things getting so heated XD http://tinyurl.com/bpjlpj3
Sam, I agree that whatever people say about the songs its their opinion, personal taste and what-not. But you can’t argue about the direction. It was a poorly directed movie and there is no argument against that fact. The action scenes were awful, but I didn’t see the film for the action, I’ll watch a James Bond film, or a Spielberg film if I want to see well directed action. But the rest of the film was so poorly shot, edited and just so poorly put together, it reminded me of films from the 20’s before people figured out how films should work.
The direction really wasn’t that bad. You two are the only people I’ve heard talking about this, and there is an argument against it because I’ve just presented one. I don’t know about you but I’m getting super tired of this conversation when neither of us is budging an inch from their established positions. Pax?
“Looking at the nine films nominated for Best Picture, I find only one that I flatly don’t believe was a good film, the near-unbearable “Les Miserables.” Victor Hugo’s superbly entertaining novel has been transformed into a lumbering musical of dirges that rise and fall, with the occasional relief of a little rinky-dink tune. Not only do you fail to come out humming the songs, you almost don’t realize they are songs. Hugo’s set piece about the escape through the sewers of Paris is one of the great passages in fiction, and although the film indeed shows it, it doesn’t bring it to life”
That was Roger Ebert. See we’re not the only ones who thinks it’s shit.
But I agree, I’m certainly not changing my mind anytime soon. Handshake? http://stream1.gifsoup.com/webroot/animatedgifs3/1365021_o.gif
p.s. This debate is really pushing up my stats.
The film felt like it could have been much better though, they had the music and the actors but his direction brought it down. Rather than post a list of all the critics who criticised the direction (there was a lot), this sums it up rather well – http://www.awardscircuit.com/2012/12/29/how-tom-hoopers-direction-hurt-les-miserables/