Jump to content

Menu

Have we talked about Les Miserables?


Nakia
 Share

Recommended Posts

If I missed a discussion, please point me to it.

 

If not, I'd like to hear from those of you who have seen the movie. I haven't read the book, but I know the story. I want to see it, and my 12 year old wants to see it. I am almost 100% sure I'm going to let her see it with me. I'm sure she can handle it.

 

The dilemma is my 9 year old (almost 10). She is begging to go. I don't usually have a hard time deciding about these kind of things, but I'm really torn. She's pretty sensitive, and I don't know how she'd do with the subject matter. OTOH, I am betting a lot of it will go over her head.

 

What I'm really wondering is if there are any graphic $ex scenes.

 

Any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Um...trashy sex scenes? Well, during Master of the House, Santa has a romp with a prostitute. He's on top, FYI. And then when Fantine sells herself to a man, it's a little graphic for a 9 year old...and for a 12 year old, for that matter. If you can talk your 9 year old into closing her eyes for those two scenes, it would probably be ok. Much of the story will go over her head but scenes with prostitutes might have her asking questions you're not ready for her to ask.

 

We thought the movie was well done!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't worry about the Santa scene because it goes by quickly and everyone is clothed. The scene where Fantine first engages in prostitution, well, it's vague and no genitals are shown and a kid with no street smarts would just be confused, I think. A child who does understand what's going on would probably not be much negatively damaged. She turns her face and cries and that is mainly what we see, no body parts, no graphic sex noises.

 

I would more worried about the part where Gavroche is killed. It is not bloody but there is a good amount of emotional attachment to him built up in the audience at that point. Maybe it's just that I had little boys that size running around the Occupy camps doing that sort of thing Gavroche did, but it was hard for me to take and I'm not nine years old myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took my kids (8 and 9) but they've grown up listening to the music and they've had me tell them the story. Both also know about s*x (ds took it well when he asked and I told him, dd was horrified and wished she had never asked) so they understood those scenes. DS voluntarily closed his eyes and whispered, "This is inappropriate. Tell me when it's over!" Lol!

 

I thought it was very well done, although I was deeply disappointed in Russel Crowe's performance. It may not bother those unfamiliar with the musical, but I've seen both the 10th and 25th anniversary specials, I've owned the symphonic version of the cd since I was 17, I've seen the live musical, and I listen to the music all the time. I had a lot of other Javerts to compare to Russel Crowe, and he doesn't measure up. I wasn't expecting much from him vocally (I heard some clips prior to watching the movie) but his acting was flat as well. Javert is one of the most complex characters in the play. Russel Crowe was dull.

 

Anne Hathaway was as good as Russel Crowe was bad. She was by far the best Fantine I've ever seen. She moved me to tears several times. If she doesn't win an award for this role, there is something very wrong in Hollywood!

 

Hugh Jackman held his own. I've seen better, but I've seen worse. His acting was excellent and his singing was good. Samantha Barks was convincing as Eponine, though they killed her off more quickly in the movie than they do in the stage version, which was disappointing to me (she's my favorite character). Marius had one of the better voices in the cast, though he went a bit high and girly at times, unlike other actors I've seen in the past. At least he did better than whatever horrific Jonas brother they cast in the 25th anniversary concert. Amanda Seyfried was lovely as Cosette. She got panned in some reviews, but I thought she was perfect.

 

If you go, bring tissues! It's a tear-jerker.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, as much as I love Crowe, he did not have the needed chops for this role. Plus Captain Aubrey would never support the French, much less be one ;-) And his end - what the ?

 

Poor Eponine. .

 

Hathaway better get an Oscar. She is the best part of the film!

 

I am so glad not to have lived back then - very dirty! Urg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved it. I would take my 10 year old if she wanted to see it, but not the 9 year old. I think she would be bored and the entire thing would be over her head. Just different kids.

 

I completely agree about Anne Hathaway's performance, but not necessarily about Russell Crowe's. He won't win any awards, but I thought he was fine. He certainly didn't detract from the movie for me. I thought it was a beautiful production.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took my kids (8 and 9) but they've grown up listening to the music and they've had me tell them the story. Both also know about s*x (ds took it well when he asked and I told him, dd was horrified and wished she had never asked) so they understood those scenes. DS voluntarily closed his eyes and whispered, "This is inappropriate. Tell me when it's over!" Lol!

 

I thought it was very well done, although I was deeply disappointed in Russel Crowe's performance. It may not bother those unfamiliar with the musical, but I've seen both the 10th and 25th anniversary specials, I've owned the symphonic version of the cd since I was 17, I've seen the live musical, and I listen to the music all the time. I had a lot of other Javerts to compare to Russel Crowe, and he doesn't measure up. I wasn't expecting much from him vocally (I heard some clips prior to watching the movie) but his acting was flat as well. Javert is one of the most complex characters in the play. Russel Crowe was dull.

I agree, as much as I love Crowe, he did not have the needed chops for this role.

 

One of the many so-so to negative reviews I've seen/read said that Crowe got lost in "an uncanny fog of atonality." We opted to skip seeing the film.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We LOVED the movie!! I can hardly wait to get the dvd/blue ray as I want to see the commentary and why they did things the way they did. I totally agree about Russell Crowe's acting. And, Anne Hathaway was amazing. I wanted more of her. As much as I enjoy Amanda Seyfried, her vibrato makes me crazy. It is very distracting. Samantha Barks and Hugh Jackman were both great. I also enjoyed the young Cosette. I can't remember her name.

I forgot to take kleenex and I was blubbering from the very beginning all the way through to the end. I don't know if it's because I was just so emotionally caught up in the movie or if I was anticipating what was coming. I was disappointed in Marius, but we saw the musical in Seattle last summer and the Marius for that production was the best I'd seen.

I just put the book in my Amazon cart (haven't read it yet) and if anyone has a recommendation on what version to buy, I'd love to hear it. I put the Penguin Classic hardback Denny translation in my cart.

I also agree that the Gavroche death scene would probably have the most impact on a child.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just put the book in my Amazon cart (haven't read it yet) and if anyone has a recommendation on what version to buy, I'd love to hear it. I put the Penguin Classic hardback Denny translation in my cart.

 

 

I have only read this version:

http://www.amazon.com/Misérables-Signet-Classics-Victor-Hugo/dp/0451525264

 

But, I know a lot of people find the Denny translation more readable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just saw it today, and my dh, dd, and I cried. A LOT. But then, we cry at the play. My dh cries when he listens to the recording! ;-)

 

We LOVE Les Miz; I've seen the play 5 times, and read the book once. We have the 10th anniversary DVD, and the original cast recording CD. Do you think I love it? :laugh: The movie was great, and I do agree: Russell Crowe could have been better. He could hit the notes, but his voice just doesn't carry that role. Hugh Jackman was amazing...what a great surprise. Anne Hathaway...wow, who knew she could sing like that?

 

The best part: did anyone notice that the actor who played the Bishop was the original Jean Valjean? Very cool!!! :thumbup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great minds think alike! I just saw the movie tonight. I don't know why they cast Russell Crowe; he wasn't awful, but he just didn't fit. I was so glad that Enjolras was good; I love that character. Amanda's thin voice and vibrato didn't distract me as much as I was afraid they would; her acting was really lovely. Hugh Jackman was very good, but I have to be honest and say there were a few times I was disappointed in how he did certain lines. But overall, he was a very good Valjean. Anne Hathaway hit it out of the park. Samantha Barks was good, as I expected. Eddie Redmayne has a pleasing voice, and his face is so honest and expressive. He was very believable; loved his "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". Gavroche was the best I've seen. Little Cosette was excellent. Thenardiers were fine, but not my favorites. I loved seeing Colm Wilkinson as the bishop!

 

I cried several times, and not always at the times I thought I'd cry. (I've seen the touring production three or four times, and the anniversary concerts, etc.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because we saw it on Christmas Day, I think the brief glimpse of Father Christmas was more noticeable. I have to say, the big screen seemed to make the Master of the House number more 'in your face' than the stage productions I've seen. Probably because I've always been in the cheap seats for live shows- and the big screen in high def showed all the thieving, hooking, and such in full clear view. But it had to be that way- it was great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm only catching up on this thread as we've had college boys home...

 

But yes, we went to see Les Mis last Friday and even the males in my family (that would be everyone except my mom) loved it. They did a terrific job with the production IMO - far, far better than many musicals to film. My youngest (a 17 year old who I thought would be bored) has been on YouTube memorizing the words to many of the songs. He and middle son may go watch it again.

 

I don't know how young I would take a kid. It would probably depend upon the kid. My kids grew up rather unsheltered when it came to theater and similar movies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went Sunday, and I wouldn't take a sensitive child to see. It was wonderful, but unlike the stage production I don't think anything will go over her head.

 

I agree it was a tear jerker, and I'm not sure there were any dry eyes in the house...even the men were sniffeling.

 

 

My husband and I saw the on-stage production years ago, and he was surprised at the movie prostitute scene with Fontaine...He realized it was a gitchy-happy little song, and said he'd never be able to listen to it the same way.

 

If I missed a discussion, please point me to it.

 

If not, I'd like to hear from those of you who have seen the movie. I haven't read the book, but I know the story. I want to see it, and my 12 year old wants to see it. I am almost 100% sure I'm going to let her see it with me. I'm sure she can handle it.

 

The dilemma is my 9 year old (almost 10). She is begging to go. I don't usually have a hard time deciding about these kind of things, but I'm really torn. She's pretty sensitive, and I don't know how she'd do with the subject matter. OTOH, I am betting a lot of it will go over her head.

 

What I'm really wondering is if there are any graphic $ex scenes.

 

Any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sensitive dd18a chose not to go with us. She chose correctly. It is a bit gory. (She does not do gore well. Won't see The Hobbit either.) It definitely has "inappropriate" scenes. They might go over the head of a child who doesn't know about s#x. They might disturb one who does. The scene with Fontaine was very moving and disturbing, as it should be. The "Santa scene" was quite obvious even though nothing was truly shown. It is definitely an iffy movie for younger viewers. Not truly inappropriate, but most definitely questionable. You might want to do a preview run first if you have sensitive eyes in your group.

"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You gals may think Les Mis was TENDER.

But this judgement I will RENDER,

It's like TORTURE to my GENDER,

Like a hand stuck in a BLENDER,

Couldn't wait for the film to END or,

I'd have gone off on a BENDER.

 

Bill

 

Are you changing your boardname to "Dr. Seuss"? You have the talent for it! :hat:

 

:D

 

Faith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sensitive dd18a chose not to go with us. She chose correctly. It is a bit gory. (She does not do gore well. Won't see The Hobbit either.) It definitely has "inappropriate" scenes. They might go over the head of a child who doesn't know about s#x. They might disturb one who does. The scene with Fontaine was very moving and disturbing, as it should be. The "Santa scene" was quite obvious even though nothing was truly shown. It is definitely an iffy movie for younger viewers. Not truly inappropriate, but most definitely questionable. You might want to do a preview run first if you have sensitive eyes in your group.

"

 

 

I wouldn't say it was gory at all! Dh and I discussed how impressed we were that even with all the CG available, they didn't turn the barricade into a bloody mess. It is disturbing. I bawled and shared kleenex with the stranger next to me, but Gavroce didn't have a spot of blood after being shot twice. I was very impressed - the visual let the music create the emotion instead of showing you - be horrified now! I was really impressed.

Usually it's the song "Bring Him Home" that has me completely wrecked - in this one the song "Empty Chairs" absolutely broke my heart. I had a hard time catching my breath it was so emotional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say it was gory at all! Dh and I discussed how impressed we were that even with all the CG available, they didn't turn the barricade into a bloody mess. It is disturbing. I bawled and shared kleenex with the stranger next to me, but Gavroce didn't have a spot of blood after being shot twice. I was very impressed - the visual let the music create the emotion instead of showing you - be horrified now! I was really impressed.

Usually it's the song "Bring Him Home" that has me completely wrecked - in this one the song "Empty Chairs" absolutely broke my heart. I had a hard time catching my breath it was so emotional.

 

 

Depends on your tolerance for gore. To someone who is sensitive to it, it would be way too much. Dd doesn't handle gore due to violence well at all, even at 18. Oddly, medical type of gore doesn't bother her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say it was gory at all! Dh and I discussed how impressed we were that even with all the CG available, they didn't turn the barricade into a bloody mess. It is disturbing. I bawled and shared kleenex with the stranger next to me, but Gavroce didn't have a spot of blood after being shot twice. I was very impressed - the visual let the music create the emotion instead of showing you - be horrified now! I was really impressed.

Usually it's the song "Bring Him Home" that has me completely wrecked - in this one the song "Empty Chairs" absolutely broke my heart. I had a hard time catching my breath it was so emotional.

 

 

 

Like you, I was surprised by how emotional I was hearing Empty Chairs! I was disappointed that Do You Hear the People Sing was so short- that's usually a song that totally breaks me up and stage productions of that are much longer than the film's version. I wanted it to last longer!

 

Gavroche's death was perfect- like you said, even without blood, it was a heartbreaking scene. Hollywood, take note- gore isn't always necessary to evoke emotion!

 

I'm most bugged that the soundtrack is only highlights and totally excludes Do You Hear the People Sing. Fans want the whole thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You gals may think Les Mis was TENDER.

But this judgement I will RENDER,

It's like TORTURE to my GENDER,

Like a hand stuck in a BLENDER,

Couldn't wait for the film to END or,

I'd have gone off on a BENDER.

 

Bill

 

I went with a friend. The same friend that dragged me to Mamma Mia years ago. When I saw Russell Crowe at the top of the slave galley, I held my breath because I was having flashbacks of Pierce Brosnan's horrific vocals. When Crowe started to sing, we both heaved a sigh of relief in that at least he can carry a tune. If his singing had been painful, I would have left her there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went with a friend. The same friend that dragged me to Mamma Mia years ago. When I saw Russell Crowe at the top of the slave galley, I held my breath because I was having flashbacks of Pierce Brosnan's horrific vocals. When Crowe started to sing, we both heaved a sigh of relief in that at least he can carry a tune. If his singing had been painful, I would have left her there.

 

 

I was dragged to my Mamma Mia by my mil. I wish I had also been drugged! I am permanently scarred.

 

It's not just that Pierce Brosnan stood out as atrocious, there wasn't a decent one in the bunch. So, ALLLLLLL of the music was terrible, and then adding Brosnan on, made it positively painful.

 

You are all making me very, very nervous about seeing this. Dh wants to take me, but I'm scared that I'll develope a facial twitch.

 

Really, it's just a combo of bad musicals to screen situation. We saw Chicago on Broadway with our niece when we visited her in Manhatten. Then it came out in film.....GACK, OH GACK, OH GACK!!! Seriously, while Richard Gere was plausible, Zeta-Jones and the pouty chick...what's her name???? nearly killed me. You just can't see this done on Broadway with people who have actually studied voice and dance for years and then see some big names flop around singing badly and not have some issues.

 

Hmmmmm......Russel Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway...what are the chances? I'm a professional musician and my ears are sensitive to the cremation of good music. Should I skip seeing Les Mis?

 

Faith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went with a friend. The same friend that dragged me to Mamma Mia years ago. When I saw Russell Crowe at the top of the slave galley, I held my breath because I was having flashbacks of Pierce Brosnan's horrific vocals. When Crowe started to sing, we both heaved a sigh of relief in that at least he can carry a tune. If his singing had been painful, I would have left her there.

 

Lol! I just told my friend that Russel Crowe was to Les Mis what Pierce Brosnan was to Mamma Mia.....but you're right. Crowe is not as bad in Les Mis as Brosnan was in Mamma Mia. At least he CAN sing, though he doesn't have a strong enough voice for Javert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You brought up a funny memory.

 

A VERY long time ago my Mom took some of her siblings and her parents to see this.

 

It was not a hit. Most people slept through parts of it, and no one could agree on what happened. I vividly remember the discussion afterwards. Someone would mention something, such as, "Remember when that person jumped off a bridge". Then someone would say, "Who jumped off a bridge" and someone else would say, "What bridge, I don't remember a bridge".

 

Someone may or may not have jumped off a bridge.

Someone may or may not have had sex.

Someone may or may not have stolen a piece of bread. (or stolen a lot of money)

A cop might have been chasing the thief. Or the cop could have been his lover.

The robber may have been deported to Australia.

 

Ay. It was so funny listening to them all argue about what the play was about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, so what is it actually ABOUT? I have never read it, and I think I have it mixed up with La Boheme. DH and DD want to go see it, and I don't know enough about it to be interested or not. DH thinks it might be about the French Revolution. Is that correct?

 

Cliff Notes Book Summary

Wikipedia book article musical article 2012 film

25th anniversary concert

 

There is lots more than the French Revolution. Most of the film versions (not musical) I've seen barely touch on the French Revolution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I was dragged to my Mamma Mia by my mil. I wish I had also been drugged! I am permanently scarred.

 

It's not just that Pierce Brosnan stood out as atrocious, there wasn't a decent one in the bunch. So, ALLLLLLL of the music was terrible, and then adding Brosnan on, made it positively painful.

 

You are all making me very, very nervous about seeing this. Dh wants to take me, but I'm scared that I'll develope a facial twitch.

 

Really, it's just a combo of bad musicals to screen situation. We saw Chicago on Broadway with our niece when we visited her in Manhatten. Then it came out in film.....GACK, OH GACK, OH GACK!!! Seriously, while Richard Gere was plausible, Zeta-Jones and the pouty chick...what's her name???? nearly killed me. You just can't see this done on Broadway with people who have actually studied voice and dance for years and then see some big names flop around singing badly and not have some issues.

 

Hmmmmm......Russel Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway...what are the chances? I'm a professional musician and my ears are sensitive to the cremation of good music. Should I skip seeing Les Mis?

 

Faith

 

I'm not a professional musician, but I've been singing/acting all my life, from church choirs to classical oratorios to musical theatre. I saw Les Miserables a few days ago, and I have seen the touring production three or four times live, and watched the 10th and 25th anniversary concerts over and over, and listened to the soundtracks (I have about three different ones) until I can mimic each singer. I bought the album for the movie yesterday, and it reminded me how the singing is really hit or miss in the movie. Russell Crowe is out of his element; he can certainly carry a tune, but that's about it. (For an amazing Javert, go to youtube and type in Norm Lewis Javert.) Anne and Amanda don't have musical theatre voices, but Anne's performance is so powerful that it works well for the film. (She could never carry it off in the West End, I don't think.) Amanda's voice is thin and has such vibrato constantly that, listening to it without watching her performance is disappointing. But again, her loveliness and acting makes her succeed in the film. Eddie Redmayne sounds like he has more of a theatre voice; I liked his singing very much. Hugh Jackman, of course, has a lot of musical theatre experience, and I LOVE him in Oklahoma. His acting as Valjean is wonderful, but I will admit there were a few times I really wished they had cast someone like Alfie Boe or John Owen-Jones. He didn't nail "Bring Him Home". Again, check youtube and watch Alfie Boe sing that song. The chorus numbers were all shorter in the film, and in the cinema, the voices didn't seem to blend as well as I would have liked. The Thenardiers are not really singers, and I wasn't impressed with them. I like Matt Lukas and whoever the lady is with him in the 25th anniversary better. Enjolras was pretty good, but again you need a more commanding presence and voice onstage for that role, I think. The film version is definitely a different species than the theatre version. I did like it, and will definitely buy it on Blu-Ray and watch it again, but at the end of the day (do you see what I did there?), I'll prefer the 25th anniversary concert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm most bugged that the soundtrack is only highlights and totally excludes Do You Hear the People Sing. Fans want the whole thing.

 

Thanks for that heads up! It just saved me $$ as youngest certainly won't like it with just highlights and without Do You Hear the People Sing. I do believe that was his favorite song from it. I had been contemplating buying him the soundtrack - not now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, so what is it actually ABOUT? I have never read it, and I think I have it mixed up with La Boheme. DH and DD want to go see it, and I don't know enough about it to be interested or not. DH thinks it might be about the French Revolution. Is that correct?

 

It is about redemption. It is about balancing justice and mercy. The French Revolution is the backdrop of the story, and it plays a much bigger part in the book.

 

It blows my mind that people would decide not to go because Russell Crowe isn't the best singer. As a lover of the book (and I have never seen a stage production), I think he did well depicting the character of Javert. I don't really care if he can sing. I felt differently about Gerard Bulter as the Phantom of the Opera since the singing is integral to the plot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still love Much Ado About Nothing in spite of Keanu's laughably awful performance in that movie. Surely Russell Crowe isn't as miscast as that?

 

No, I don't think so. Russell Crowe can carry a tune - his voice just isn't big enough for the role. But as someone who loves the play, has several DVDs, cast recordings, and has read the book, I don't think it is super-distracting. We enjoyed the movie and I'd see it again. I'm sure when it comes out on Blu-Ray we'll get it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Russell Crowe was not hideous. He wasn't as good as the others. I really like his suicide. [if one can like those things] I thought it was well done. His struggle with Gavroche made me sob out loud. For the most part, when he sang his voice was heavy and the song didn't move well. It wasn't awful. I thought they could have done better casting and filming Master of the House. Not a fan. The thing about the film for me was that they better portrayed [imo and really probably b/c it is easier to do on film than stage] the filthiness and squallor that was all around. I could almost smell the slums. When Anne sang it wasn't pretty, it was real and heart-wrenching. Marius was wonderful. Empty Chairs had me bawling. At times the live recording bothered me and Marius was the main reason. Watching his mouth quiver while singing that close was distracting, but it was worth it for the realism of the songs in the moment. I loved it and want to see it again, right now. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...