Inspired Watching: Les Miserables (2012)

Les Mis

My rating: Three stars

I had extremely high hopes for this film, as I had heard that the singing was captured live, rather than dubbed in. I read the book and saw the 1998 film with Liam Neeson, although I never saw the play. So I was familiar with the story and looked forward to hearing some of my favorite songs–“On My Own” and “I Dreamed a Dream.” Ironically, my biggest criticism of the film is that there is TOO MUCH singing, if that’s even possible with a musical. It felt like 99% of the “dialogue” occurred in song. I’ve seen many musicals, and most have normal dialogue with musical numbers mixed in. The songs seem more special somehow that way, and you get a chance to understand what characters are saying and see their relationships develop naturally. But Anne Hathaway’s performance was absolutely amazing and the emotion she conveyed was so visceral. However, as Fantine she didn’t have quite as much screen time as other characters. So overall, I did enjoy my favorite songs and seeing the crazy physical transformation that Hugh Jackman goes through. All of the actors had beautiful voices, but it felt like the focus on the music made the actors’ interpretations of their characters seem a bit overblown. This is just my humble opinion, though. If you are a fan of Les Mis or musicals, you should see it for yourself and decide.