Last night, I saw the movie ‘Les misérables’ directed by Tom Hooper, and I really liked it. This movie was adapted from the successful musical which of course relates the story of Victor Hugo’s novel. After a short summary, I’m going to share with you my feelings about this realisation.
After serving a nineteen-year sentence, Jean Valjean escapes from jail and gets back in a sad and hopeless world where peole are fighting against poverty. In a revolutionary atmosphere, he meets Fantine, a former worker, who becomes a prostitute and is completely deseperate; she had a child, Cosette, and she can’t pay the money that the the unscrupulous Thénardier are asking her. Jean Valjean promises to raise Cosette after Fantine’s death.
The movie was filmed in London’s studios. The director wanted the actors to sing in live during the takes. Even if some of them actually have a part as singer, it was a difficult task for actors who don’t practice music as a full-fledged occupation . They had to do as well as the musical ! And I have to say that I’m relatively suprised by their performances.
Anne Hathaway interpreted very well Fantine, especially the famous song ‘I dreamed a dream’. She had to transform radically her physical appearance in order to look like a cadaver. For this, she cut her hair and lost weight. She is unrecognizable in the movie. Besides, I really like HughJackman’s interpretation of Jean Valjean, he expresses well all the emotions of this character from the moment when he got out of jail until his death ; and his tenor voice is rousing. I was enthused as well by the little Gavroche, Daniel Huttlestone, who is very touching, and by the girl who plays Cosette as a child : she has a lovely voice. However, much less enthusiasm for Russel Crowe’s (Javert) and Amanda Seyried’s (Cosette) vocal performances.
Thus, Anne Hathaway was rewarded and won an Oscar for her perfomance as best actress in a second role and Hugh Jackman won one too for the best performance as an actor in a musical. The global opininon must admit that both of them deserve it ! One must admit that the movie is specific in a way that it creates a particular atmosphere, a really Americanized one ; this movie is definitely modernized, that’s why I understand that some people could find it too staggering compared to Victor Hugo’s novel. But Tom Hooper assumes his choice and gives to the movie his own style and universe.