Midweek Musical Open Thread: Les Miz

Happy New Years, Persephoneers!

Y’all may not know this about me, but I’m a huge musical theater geek. I’m finally on my way out to see Les Misérables, so I’m getting in the mood with some of my favorite songs from the show.

(This version is from the 10th anniversary concert, with actors from around the world singing Jean Valjean. Yes, that’s “Chairman Kaga” from Iron Chef at 0:38. I love it.)

Have y’all seen the movie yet? How were your holidays? Let’s chat in the comments.

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

17 thoughts on “Midweek Musical Open Thread: Les Miz”

  1. I’ve yet to see a production of Les Miz I didn’t like, even though they’ve all been different in sometimes subtle/sometimes substantial ways.

    And I enjoyed the movie, too. I even liked the occasional pitchiness of the songs because I knew they were singing live and the performances weren’t autotuned to soulless perfection.

  2. All the feels! All the feels!! The 10th anniversary production was the first way I saw/heard Les Mis. Colm Wilkinson! Ruthie Henshall! Lea Salonga! Judy Kahn! I was so happy when I realized Wilkinson was in the movie. :D

    Also, that finale clip with all the ValJeans from around the world is so moving. I think it really shows just how much this story speaks to people all around the world. So cool! :)

  3. I saw it! I was not a fan of the opera-style standing there staging of the musical (I know, I know) but I’ve always liked the music, so I quite enjoyed the movie. PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY DOING THINGS.

    Plus, you know, Hugh Jackman 4Lyfe.

    Now, I’m not really a cry-at-the-movies sort of person, but this one got me.

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  5. I saw this, and I guess I’m probably in the minority, but I really didn’t like it. It wasn’t like bad or anything, just not by cup of tea. I felt like the movie took about twelve different plotlines and crammed it into way too little time. But I’ve never seen the play or read the book so perhaps I’m not the intended audience. A lot of the singing was good, but I feel like Russell Crowe was a weak link and that the pretty dark-haired girl (Ebony?) was painfully underused because she was by far the best singer. She also seemed like the least famous person involved so I’m guessing she’s an actual singer. Anne Hathaway was also really good, but I think she is getting way too much buzz considering how little of the film she’s actually in. Maybe it should have been like a trilogy, and then the plot would have been better explored.

    1. I feel exactly the same as you. I probably would have turned it off if I was watching at home, but didn’t walk out because I had paid $7.50 for my ticket, dammit (and because I’d bought my ticket to the showing of The Hobbit after Les Mis finished and didn’t want to lurk in the cinema foyer for two hours).

      I really did love Eponine, so I’m glad I stuck around. I kind of felt Russell Crowe’s character ended up singing too much. I started tuning out when he was singing about stars on the rooftop.

      I guess if I’d read the book/seen the musical before, I may have liked it more. Has it been a non-singing play? I thought it’d be perfect for that. Or at least have a few longer bits of spoken dialogue.

  6. I saw the movie and I cried maybe 5 times and I’m not one to really cry at movies. I know musical theater geeks have been ranting about Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway and while I’ll give them Crowe, I thought Anne’s performance was spectacular. I was crying partway through “I Dreamed a Dream” before I ever knew what was happening. I also wept at the ending but there were some personal reasons wrapped up in that.

    1. I enjoyed the movie but found myself really missing Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean. It felt like a tease to have him play the priest, then sit through Hugh Jackman (who is one of my fav actors… don’t get me wrong!) trying to do justice to “Bring Him Home”. I feel like not enough credit is being given to the man who played Marius. Beautiful voice!

    2. I think in a non-musical version of the story that Russel Crowe could act the hell out of Javert, but his voice was just SO wrong for the role. And I will fight my musical snob friends who didn’t like Anne Hathaway; she’s gone through hell and she should sound like it. I don’t mind a more operatic style in an actual theater where the songs have to fill the auditorium, but in a film that just doesn’t work as well.

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