Melinda Doolittle

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Les Mis

So…I know I’m WAY late, but I just saw the Les Miserables movie yesterday. I have to admit, I was nervous to see it at first because I heard so many differing opinions on it. Some people loved it and sobbed as they watched this tragic story of redemption and others could not get past the fact that some actors could not sing and this was, in fact, a musical and therefore required that ability.

Normally, it is extremely hard for me to watch/listen to any musical performance without my “singer hat” on, so I was not excited about having to try, but I gave in because I knew I would kick myself if I failed to see Les Mis on the big screen.

Turns out, I’m so glad I did. I loved it! I didn’t sob (I’m beginning to think I only cry at animated films like Toy Story), but I loved it. Now, there were definitely times I questioned my sanity as some characters (one in particular) let out some vocal sounds worthy of an entire episode of Idology critique, but what I loved was the commitment these actors had. I was actually inspired by it. The fact that they immersed themselves SO deeply into something that does not come naturally to them and most of them carried it out beautifully was a wonder to me. It was also a challenge to me to push myself harder…to dive deeper into my songs…and to not be afraid to let imperfections color outside the lines a bit for the sake of a message.

I am fully aware that I have heard and seen beyond amazing performances of these songs by Broadway actors and I would have loved to see more of them utilized for this movie.  ***Side note: Eponine and Marius were absolutely brilliant and they are perfect examples of Broadway actors being utilized so very well.***  However, I thought this was definitely cast well. I mean, have you ever wanted Javert to die as much as you did in this movie? Also, wasn’t Anne Hathaway beautifully flawed? How about that “Master of the House” performance? Was that not brilliant? What about Gavroche? Plus, I can watch Hugh Jackman lift anything heavy off of anybody for as long as you’d like me to. ;-)

All that to say, I had a great time watching the story unfold. Next time, I may watch with my “singer hat” on and have a different story to tell, but for now I will give them their kudos for One Day More!

I’m so curious to know what you thought about the movie? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Hit the comment section and let me know. 


Blogger movingforward said...

Hi Melinda
I, like you am an avid Les Mis fan from its beginnings. Very beginning - in London. I am so picky about it that I couldn't even listen to the OBC recording having listened to the OLC first! Generally I want to rip my skin off when non-singers try to sing in a musical (with the exception of Moulin Rouge). However, I loved it also! I did cry- through the entire movie. ENTIRE MOVIE! For me, it gave me a closer glimpse into the characters that I have known and loved for 30 yrs just by seeing them closer than one does on the stage. I felt so much more moved by them as individuals. Although I must admit there were two in particular that when singing made me squirm in my seat and want to yell out for a moment "okay STOP SINGING". But I agree, bravo to them for following through, glad it inspired you to take more risks. Although I cannot imagine you sounding anything short of amazing!

February 26, 2013 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I really enjoyed it! I didn't know what the story was until I was on my way to the theater on Christmas Day. I would prefer not to have to watch the sad scene with Anne, but loved her song. I loved all the singing :0)

February 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Rodrigo said...

I loved the movie. I have watched the stage version many times and absolutely love the music. I agree casting actors who could sing would have been awesome, I did only have problems with one. On stage it seems that there is a priority given to the delivery of a song (more like it's my solo, don't I have a great voice). In a film with a camera in your face acting is so much more the priority. I think they did great. . Side note, one particular character is given such great priority on stage and by casting the weakest singer in that part in the movie I feel mad sure that he was not the main character in the story telling of the film, this a good decision.

February 26, 2013 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger prd9601 said...

Thanks for your review. Eddie Redmayne is just dreamy!

February 26, 2013 at 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you to an extent, but I am still of the school that it's a musical and I want to hear actors who can maintain their musicality while emoting. Couldn't agree more about Eponine and Marius - Eddie especially was a standout to me. And I mostly wanted Javert to die so I didn't have to hear him sing any more lol.

February 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Brian McPartland said...

Nothing to do with the movie, but just had to say that you were my favorite idol! You are loved my oh so many, and not just for your god-given talent, but because of your incredible spirit and demeanor. What class!
No need to respond to this. It is a simple and easy gift. Just wanted you to know that people still adore you.

February 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger giantslor said...

Melinda, you're the only Idol contestant I ever bet money on. D'oh! Anyway, I loved you and I wish you could have the same level of success Jennifer Hudson has, because your voice is just as good if not better!

February 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger queen_spoo said...

Hi Melinda! We saw Les Mis over Christmas and I was mostly impressed with the movie. I think they all did a fine job of acting/singing in this musical movie. I think the only character I really had an issue with was Javert. I just didn't think Russell Crowe fit the role - not only singing-wise, but also embodying how I see Javert. I actually didn't hate him enough like I think the character is supposed to be. Using Sascha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter made for quite the Thenardier revelry and even though it's a bit different from the stage, I think it worked in the movie. I also liked the actors who played Eponine, Marius, and Enjolras with excellent voices and Gavroche was cute as everything. Adult Cosette was a bit on my nerves. I think Anne Hathaway did a fine job as well as Hugh Jackman in the lead role. So overall, I liked the movie but think there could have been a few differences to make it even better. I like your review just as well, Melinda, and you can speak to the vocals much better than I can. :) Lacy

March 1, 2013 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Melinda, I wasn't as impressed as you. I liked it but didn't love it

March 23, 2013 at 6:24 PM  

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