Les Miserables

The Nominations:

  • Hugh Jackman – Actor In a Leading Role
  • Anne Hathaway – Actress In a Supporting Role
  • Best Picture
  • Costume Design
  • Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Music (Original Song)
  • Production Design
  • Sound Mixing

The Black-and-White:

A review by spacedcowboy

For me this is one of the more pleasant surprises of the year. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this film as much as I did. I do have a lot of respect for Hugh Jackman, so I went in with an open mind and expected to enjoy his performance. But all around, this film was very, very well made and has my deepest appreciation.

Plot synopsis from imdb.com:

Jean Valjean, known as Prisoner 24601, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. Set in post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion. Written by Anonymous

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, ‘Les Miserables’ travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjean, as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert on a journey beyond the barricades, at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile, the life of a working class girl with a child is at turning point as she turns to prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper and his wife who look after her child, Cosette. Valjean promises to take care of the child, eventually leads to a love triangle between Cosette, Marius who is a student of the rebellion, and Eponine, a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras leads the students to fight upon the barricades. Written by JBW

First, my reservations: I wasn’t sure the story of Les Miserables, so successful in live theater, was going to work on the big screen. I felt this was a story that needed to be appreciated in person.

I was wrong.

More than buoyed by the strong performance of one of the most versatile and talented actors of our generation, Hugh Jackman, the film manages to give the personal connection that you enjoy in the theater.

It is worth pausing for a moment to reflect on the many talents of Jackman. He can sing. He can dance. He is funny. He acts with or without his native accent. I cannot think of any major film star today that could pull off the trifecta of being Wolverine, Jean Valjean and one of the better hosts of the Academy Awards in recent memory. Hugh Jackman has it all, and more than deserves his nomination. In a tough category, I do not think he will win, but in terms of an overall performance perhaps his was the best.

Much of the buzz about this movie includes Anne Hathaway and her heartbreaking performance as Fantine. In a moment for the ages, she delivers, in one continuous shot, probably the best moment of the year in her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream.”

For that alone, she deserves to win. I believe she will.

In terms of costume, makeup, production design and sound mixing nominations – Les Miserables was excellent. These are all competitive categories, but for Costume Design, I think it may have the edge.

The nod for Original Song is somewhat odd. For the only major film that is a musical, I suppose it almost must have some sort of nod for its music. However, with the exception of “Suddenly,” none of the songs are original and so it does not qualify in this category. “Suddenly” is an acceptable song, but not memorable. In this category, I predict the night will belong, once again, to Adele…

A final shout-out as a nominee for Best Picture. This is not an easy movie to make and have succeed. I gather that the response from general audience members has been mixed; some loved it, while I expect that many others struggled with an all-sung script. I get that, but for me at least, it worked, and worked very well. Bravo.

2 Responses to Les Miserables

  1. […] review: Les Miserables. Best moment in film this year with Anne Hathaway’s memorable performance as Fantine and her […]

  2. […] They said: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables” […]

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