When I sat down for Les Misérables the multimillion dollar film adaption of the world wide musical success I was unsure of how the audience would react. I had heard many concerning tales from screenings in America, where the film had come out just before Christmas, that the showings at been plagued with people singing along and clapping every ten blooming seconds. Now I’m a bit of a cinema Nazi (if there is such as thing) so the prospect of sitting in an opening weekend screening of the film that every musical theatre fan has been waiting for, seemed like a bad idea.
While there was a little bit of chatter from the audience in the first twenty minutes, the second I dreamed a dream hit the screen, everyone fell silent. It would have felt rude to clap or talk or sing after watching possibly the best performance of the year. In the space of three gloriously sincere, heartfelt minutes, the scene confirms Tom Hooper as a director capable of great things and Hathaway as one of the best actors of her generation. Hopper simply points the camera at Hathaway and lets her stark and bleak performance do all the talking. It is beautiful.
When the Les Mis team inevitably take the stage at the Kodak Theatre next mouth to pick up there Best Picture statuette (seriously, they might as well start engraving it now). I will sit there and think of nothing but that scene.
The film is not perfect in anyway, it feels slightly over long, but that’s a good thing seeing it runs at 157 minutes that I have only said “slightly”. The scene could do with having trimmed out the new song, one that was created just for the film. I call it the new song, because I have no bloody idea what it’s called, seeing as it went in one ear and out the other. The new song really is just there so they can get there Oscar nod for best original song.
Along with Hathaway the rest of the cast is on top form, managing to grasp the gritty and un-jazz handy nature of the production. The only true weak link is Russell Crowe who doesn’t do a bad job, but simply feels out of place in this musical, almost as if he is too good a singer? One that would fit better in Rock of Ages.
As I sit here watching Come Dine With Me writing this review the one thing I can’t help but rake over 24 hours after the film is Hathaway. I know I sound like a broken record but she really is good! I mean REALLY good.