Ryan Thomason

The Theater Chair – Les Miserables

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Les Miserables made me LE SADFACE.
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Even if my best remembrance of learning French in High School is that ‘Frommage’ means Cheese (I’m sorry Madame Stiles, I’ve FAILED YOU), I knew Les Miserables was going to be a downer, but man, can Australians play French dudes.

I’m not the Musical Theater guy here at WPR, if you’re looking for that, talk to Xopher or something, he’ll gladly serenade you. I was actually contemplating how long it would take me to doze off in this movie when I realized that on the way to seeing it with my wife and in-laws that it was a musical. Now, I should have known that, but my brain doesn’t recognize musicals, sure, I’ve watched Grease, but who hasn’t? Russel Crowe and Hugh Jackman were great, though I couldn’t get past the fact that they’re playing Frenchman. Even though Anne Hathaway wasn’t in the movie that long, her presence, especially in the song about her Dreams or whatnot was so captivating you can’t take your eyes away as they well with tears and feelings. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter where I typically ignore them, were actually a highlight for me. Also, Damn, It was a purty movie, despite the dreary darkness of the times.

Pretty Moving Pictures Film AHOY

Alright, let me focus a bit. The cinematography was pretty damn good, and usually I ignore all of that crap in movies. In this movie though, you can’t help but take in the scenery as dark, dirty, depressing, and dirty dirty as it was. Did I mention it was dirty? This is France at it’s poorest, after the Revolution and Napoleon declaring himself Emperor. So, things didn’t turn out too well after the chopped every Nobles head off. Paris and the surrounding environs is a rabble of a place and it’s hard not to soak everything in. Enjoy it. Then take a bath.

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Aussies make the best Frenchmen

Russle Crowe and Hugh Jackman are the only Frenchmen I ever want to see again. Especially Russel Crowe with his “lawful good” character Javert. Javert is a man of the law, and enforcer of the law, the law holds everything together. So, when his life quest is to get Wolverine, Jean Valjean (Jackman) back in prison for breaking his parole it’s a game of cat and mouse. Honestly, I felt like I had a closer ideology with Javert because he’s just doing what he has to, to keep chaos from further spreading. He’s so engrained that the law is the key to civilized society, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to enforce it (within the law), I was actually a little sad at his last climatic song. Jackman is just as good, we all know he can sing and dance too, but his emotion in this movie was captivating, in song, IN SONG. I was moved by dudes singing in a musical, where I’d normally just say that I need my so called “man-card” pulled, I’m not, I enjoyed all of it.

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Anne Hathaway

Oh, Fantine. This character was probably the most depressing out of all of them, Anne Hathaway essentially knocked this one out of the park. Especially in the song about Dreams, it was pretty raw and just listening to her character singing about everything unraveling had every woman in the theater sniffling, probably some men too. I totally toughed it out, barely. The woman just wants a job to get her daughter back and ends up having to resort to hair butchering and prostitution before meeting her end in the story. It doesn’t seem like anybody really comes out unscathed, but I’ll always remember Fantine’s part in the movie vividly, you can thank Anne Hathaway’s great acting for that.

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They Actually Entertained Me For Once

Normally I tolerate Sacha Baron Cohen, he’s sometimes funny, but I don’t get all of his characters and mocumentary movies. Helena Bonham Carter just annoys the hell out of me in everything she does. She scares me honestly. So, I was surprised to see them in this movie, and when they did the “Master of the House” or whatever it was called, I was actually liking it, Helena Bonham Carter still scared me, but their characters provided what little fun in the movie that could be allowed, for that I thank them.

If you’re looking for a date night movie, while this may be the obvious choice, measure the emotional state of your date before going. This movie is depressing as heck, terribly sad but in so many ways a great and capturing experience that you have to see in the theater, it is well worth the price of admission. Now, I want to see a theatrical version, damn you Les Miserables.

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