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Les Miserables Post Release - Page 3

post #101 of 236

From the interview with Hooper:

 

Quote:
I do find it hilarious that you can read reviews where they mention the close-up, but at the same time they mention that they were sitting in a row where people around them were balling with tears, and they don’t see there’s a connection.

 

Honestly, I think a lot of this has to do not with the close up (which I feel hamstring so much of the production design) but the music itself. It's Les Mis! The show has been around since 1985, people know this music; for a lot of people, I'm sure, it's the music itself and not necessarily the craft that makes them weep. Plus, considering how I'm sure we're talking about Hathaway's unbroken shot and the level at which she delivers her song, as long as we can see her face in any shot, we're crying because of her delivery.

post #102 of 236

There's also the fact that Les Miserables, the musical, is coming out at just the right time to ride a wave of nostalgia for people who were young enough to first experience the musical in their tweens and early teenage years. Les Miz was one of those "gateway musicals" (like RENT or WICKED) for a lot of obnoxious theater kids, and even for those that aren't theater people, the musical tapped into some pretty primal emotions that paralleled the same stuff you so often feel when you're of that age. Slate wrote a great article about this:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/12/les_miserables_movie_why_teenagers_tweens_and_kids_love_the_musical.single.html

 

So, I think that while Hooper's right about the performance affecting the audience, Doc is also right that for a lot of audience members -- myself included -- the music and the story alone is enough to cause a flood of memories to come crashing back. I don't know if Les Miz is a good movie. I had serious problems with it. But I was moved to tears, and those tears were often accompanied by remembering hearing these songs for the first time. 

post #103 of 236
The close-ups didn't really bug me, but if you're taking something from a constricting stage to an open film screen, I don't see why you wouldn't take advantage of that and open up the world of the story. Even the stuff that I suspect was meant to accomplish this, such as Javert on the roof, failed due to how constricted Crowe's movement was during that scene and the atrocious CGI background. Still felt like I was watching a stage show, and I didn't like it. You can hate on Phantom all you want, but when that film takes you out of the opera house, you aren't hamstrung by shit CGI and odd blocking of shots.
post #104 of 236
Thread Starter 

I find it hilarious that Hooper thinks there's a direct correlation between "close-up" and "emotional impact". What a fucking hack.

post #105 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post

Would've worked much better had it been called Close Up: The Musical. Look, I know it's not exactly the prettiest of times these characters are living in, but can we get a medium close up? Can we get an establishing shot? Where the fuck are these people located? I remember Marius had just sung his eulogy to his friends, an excellent song (the empty table one) and then suddenly, Cosette is framed up close, supposedly in the room with Marius or on the stairs or something and it just feels awkward as hell.

 

God, this.  I know the exact shot you're talking about, because it's when I threw my hands up in frustration, thinking "where the hell did she come from?".  I understand wanting to get up close and personal during your big emotional moments, but can I have some sense of environment and where the hell these people are in relation to one another?  And that shot with Cossette is closely followed by a super wide shot of some stairs, during which my eyes are bouncing around the entire frame trying to find where the hell the characters went (they were nearly cut off at the very bottom in the doorway).  There's style and then there's sloppiness, and this was the latter, unless Hooper was intentionally trying to make his audience really work to watch his movie.

post #106 of 236

The closeups bugged the hell out of me.  Why make a film adaptation if its going to be so un-cinematic?  There's more to musicals than just the pretty songs.  There's the ensemble dynamic, body language, etc.  You can't just press the camera against peoples faces for 3 hours.  Sometimes it works - Hathaway and Redmayne are legit and really sell it - but after a while, it became tedious.  The few times when Hooper decides to get adventurous with the camera are even worse somehow.  Those terrible swooshes during Crowe's big solo numbers.  Ugh.  I don't get the Jackman praise either.  Its a tough role and he's ok, but he veered into mugging territory an awful lot. 

post #107 of 236

I had a whole big comment about this earlier, but it got lost. I'll agree with Doc in that Hooper doesn't seem to get that it's the MUSIC that is moving people -- many of whom grew up on the piece, and have deep, nostalgic connections to the material because of when they experienced it for the first time. 

post #108 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I had a whole big comment about this earlier, but it got lost. I'll agree with Doc in that Hooper doesn't seem to get that it's the MUSIC that is moving people -- many of whom grew up on the piece, and have deep, nostalgic connections to the material because of when they experienced it for the first time. 

 

Right. And I'd also argue that it's the acting, too. But Hooper appears to have developed a self-aggrandizing streak after winning Oscar gold, so he gets to spout of utterly stupid comments like what the good Doc quoted. If I had any goodwill leftover for the guy despite the fact that I think he dropped the ball here, he just dissolved the rest of it with that little quip. 

post #109 of 236
I saw a bunch of movies today. 
 
First up was a remake of THE FUGITIVE. Except it took place in 1800s France, and Tommy Lee Jones kills himself for no apparent reason. And when Harrison Ford shaves his beard and is good looking again, he becomes the mayor of Munchkinland.
 
Next up was Tim Burton's SWEENEY TODD. I seem to recall Johnny Depp played against Helena Bonham Carter, but Sacha Baron Cohen did his part well enough.
 
Then I saw a teen movie, where everyone is young, vapid and good looking, and fall in love because the story requires them too, not out of any actual romantic interaction or emotional nuance. I think it was TWILIGHT?
 
The last movie was a GHOST remake, except it's Demi Moore who comes back, just in time to visit a dying Michael Corleone who somehow got old and sick overnight because he's paying for his sin of having stolen a piece of bread.
post #110 of 236

I felt more or less what everyone else here did. It all works better on stage, mostly because Tom Hooper kinda fucked up. I mean, not really, the movie more or less works and you could certainly imagine a shittier version, like the Phantom film. Moments are transcendent. All the ones with Hathaway, basically. But if you want to make an intimate musical, then you adapt a Sondheim show, not fucking Les Mis. There might not be a grander, more expansive show out there, and this movie looks more like a stage production than most stage productions. Use your close ups sparingly!

 

But regardless, I still more or less liked it and if one removes it from the oscar race and best of the year lists, its a pretty good movie that serves the fans well. The music is awfully good, and as was said above, you'd have to work hard not to get an emotional reaction from the fans on Do You Hear the People Sing or Empty Chairs. 

 

And fuck! I've always liked Hathaway but even with all the advance hype, I did not know she had that in her. Nice year for her.

post #111 of 236

Arjen Rudd, I...Say Thee Nay!  Les Miserables is...Definitely one of The...Best of 2012!  I prefer it to the...Broadway version, as I prefer Movie Musicals to Theater!  Forget Hathaway.  Anne Hathaway isn't even in the film all that much!  Les Mis to me is all about...Jackman, Crowe, Barks, and Seyfried!  Older Cossette was the exact same in the Broadway Musical as well!

post #112 of 236
post #113 of 236

Man, Denby's such a pretentious ass. An amusing one, sure, but still an ass.

post #114 of 236

And you gotta love the streak of misogyny in there too. It's the Titanic backlash all over again.

post #115 of 236

Thing is, he and anyone else is free to dislike the film. When your complaints boil down to "WAAAH I LIKE OLD MUSICALS BETTER AND I HAVE HIGHER TASTE THAN EVERYONE ELSE", I take you much less seriously. And I realize that this is meant to be partially tongue-in-cheek, but still.

 

Misogyny? I don't necessarily think pointing out the lack of agency in the female characters is misogyny.

post #116 of 236
Every character in the stage show is 100% generic, every story development 100% predictable. It's worth watching for the live singing and the staging, but that's it. Also the female characters are all to varying degrees helpless/vulnerable/wretched/pointless.
post #117 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

Misogyny? I don't necessarily think pointing out the lack of agency in the female characters is misogyny.

 

I'm talking about the bit where he says "Of course this mostly appeals to teenage girls," [with their inferior brains] being the implication. I'm starting to hate that shit whenever I see it--even the snobbiest [male] critics usually give more leeway to action or exploitation flicks than to "girlie" movies.

post #118 of 236

Must have missed that part. Yeah, that kind of judgment is starting to piss me off as well. Example: I don't hate Twilight because it's aimed at teenage girls. I hate it because it sucks out loud. There have been plenty girl-oriented or girl-aimed shows/movies that I've enjoyed. All we ask is that you make it good.

post #119 of 236
Personally, don't care if teen girls like good things or bad things.
post #120 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Mike View Post

Every character in the stage show is 100% generic, every story development 100% predictable. It's worth watching for the live singing and the staging, but that's it. Also the female characters are all to varying degrees helpless/vulnerable/wretched/pointless.

 

I love how Fantine's song is meant to set the stage and lament how bad the world has gotten, and how by the closing notes of the story, every one of those things is proven correct, though we're supposed to believe otherwise.

post #121 of 236

Well, my parents saw it last night. Mom thought it was great, Dad didn't (though he's not a musical fan to begin with). I asked them about the "close up" thing, and Mom actually thought it was interesting because of the teeth detail.

post #122 of 236

I was the biggest target for this. I'm a theater fan that works in the industry (lol not really but close enough) that has never seen Les Mis before, but if one hangs around with just a single actor or ANYONE in the theater industry Les Mis is like the end-all be-all to musicals. So I was stoked to finally see it, despite it not being on stage.

 

 

Thought it sucked, long, boring, I honestly felt no connection to anyone. The love story during the revolution threw me completely off, the only scene that felt somewhat theater-ish was the hotel song with cohen and carter, as I could actually imagine all those small gags happening on stage.

 

 

Not to say i was expecting a very broadway-esque perfectly staged adaptation, but i was expecting SOME theatrical flourishes. Dancers, synchronized movement, a chorus (besides the end song), something. But it was just a bunch of solos with the shitty camera work mentioned above. I wanted big sweeping...things! I was so enraptured by the opening shot zooming in on them pulling the ship and everyone singing while pulling it in. That opening scene was such a cock-tease. I would've loved for the whole movie to have the grandness of ship pulling scene. But no, just a 3 hour long solo-off.

 

 

I thought the singing was excellent though, even Crowe's I liked just for the uniqueness of it. Like I said, I love musicals but have zero experience with Les Mis.

post #123 of 236
This movie makes me want to see the stage show just to see if I might enjoy that more. How can so many people be so ravenous....

I was just about to type how can so many people be so ravenous about something so terrible, but then I remembered Twatlight.
post #124 of 236
The thing is, even if the story is more of a pageant than a real, cohesive narrative, a lot of the music is (On My Own, The Confrontation, Look Down, Do You Hear the People Sing?) quite stirring when it's sung well and the orchestrations are lush.

Lea Salonga's On My Own from the 10th Anniversary Concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjfmP7h3gBw
post #125 of 236

Loved this.  Love it love it loooooooove it.  Suck it Harley.
 

post #126 of 236

Freeman, I am glad...Somebody else...Loved Les Miserables, even as many found it...Les Miserable!  I am guessing it will be one of the...Only Oscar Best Pictures, that I will have enjoyed.

post #127 of 236

Saw it yesterday and will echo a lot of other peoples statements of the first 30-45 minutes being good and then it goes off the rails once they meet up with Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. I also agree with Gabe's analysis of this being the Avengers of musicals. Probably one of the most restless experiences I've ever had in a movie theater.

post #128 of 236

You're right.  This movie IS the Avengers of musicals.  It's flawless.  You want to laugh, you want to cry?  It's got it all!

post #129 of 236

nagboy92, Miserables...Les Assemble?  No Avengers, but The Wolverine and Jor-El are both...Super in Les Miz...Man!  Anne Hathaway isn't too...Catty as Fantine, even though she was...PURRfectly cast!

post #130 of 236

Was it just me or did Jackman go Irish for the song in the church after the Priest has helped him out?

 

Couldn't agree more about Hooper's framing completely sabotaging the good work done by most of the actors. Just awful. Some of the singing was great, some of it not so great. I think Harley-Quin mentioned Crowe sounding like a fog-horn. From what I've heard that's what he was known as by the crew as well and while I thought he did OK, it's not that harsh a description. I also support a ban on any future crazy-hair, bug-eye HBC roles. Enough already.

post #131 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperjones View Post
 I also support a ban on any future crazy-hair, bug-eye HBC roles. Enough already.

 

Eh, she's found herself a niche, and as an actress nearing middle age, she's positioned herself well. And besides, when she gets too old for cleavage, those roles will become Rachel Weisz's responsibility. And no one wants that.

post #132 of 236

This is true. Hadn't considered the Weiss ramification.

post #133 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

Loved this.  Love it love it loooooooove it.  Suck it Harley.

 

Eat a dick!
post #134 of 236

Had a good time with this, and being aware of the close-ups at least had me prepared. I was unfamiliar with this ahead of time, so I wasn't prepared for the jumps in time. Regrettably, I could not get invested in Marius or Eponine, so the second half had my mind wandering a bit. When Valjean finally becomes the heart of the film again, when he decides to intercede and look after Marius, I reengaged and luckily the movie ends on a high note with Fantine showing up (literally got goosebumps, and Jackman handles grief and relief so well). 

 

Also, had one of my favorite in movies: the curtain call! I love when the whole cast returns at the very end, even if they're characters that had never met before. Works in The Blues Brothers, works in Bring It On, and works here.

 

Marking off my list, I've seen four of the nine movies nominated by the Oscars for Best Picture. Have to keep working at it!

post #135 of 236
Quote:
Eat a dick!

Man, looking at the reactions online, people HAAAAAATE this movie.  Hate it hate it haaattttte itttttttt.  Faraci and Jeremy on Badass tear it apart(Drunkenly)

post #136 of 236

Just saw this today and maybe it's because of the mixed to negative reviews on here but I liked this movie a lot.   The performances across the board were excellent, especially Hathaway, but what I really loved was of all things, the cinematography.   I dug the handheld look, the ultra wide angles, and the long takes and having been a fan of the look of John Adams it didn't take me out of the picture.   I much prefer this look to something more generic like Phantom of the Opera where it's technically perfect but sterile.   Something tells me Tom Hooper at some point in his life saw the movie "Goodbye Uncle Tom" because the aesthetic of those two movies are very similar to each other.

post #137 of 236

I must be the only one in the world who isn't bugged by Hooper's style. I still haven't seen this in full, but I thought The King's Speech and John Adams were quite good from a visual perspective.

 

Does it disturb anyone else that people just fawn over folks like Devin or Film Crit Hulk over at BAD because they bash it? Meredith Borders had a very well-considered negative review of the movie, but Hulk just ripping it to pieces seemed excessive to me. I like him, but I feel like he is better in either shorter pieces (like the New Yorker one about the various portrayals of the Hulk in non-comics media) or when he has someone else with him (as in his three-part piece about the art of action scenes with cinematographer Tom Townend).

post #138 of 236

Devin goes as far as to say that Tom Hooper doesn't know how to direct a movie.  That's an unreal hyberbolic statement.

post #139 of 236

Count me in as a fan of the look of the movie.   Do we really want Les Mis to look like Glee or Phantom of the Opera?

post #140 of 236
I thought it did look a lot like Phantom or Glee. The trailer promised a grandeur and sweeping quality that this material kind of demanded, but in practice in all felt small, set bound, and proscenium theater based. If ever a musical deserved a cinematic approach, it was this one. As is, Chicago looked more epic.
post #141 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

As is, Chicago looked more epic.

Cell Block Tango alone destroys 80% of this movie.
post #142 of 236

HarleyQuinn22, I still say...Les Miserables was a...Les MIZterpiece of Musical Cinema!  

post #143 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

I thought it did look a lot like Phantom or Glee. The trailer promised a grandeur and sweeping quality that this material kind of demanded, but in practice in all felt small, set bound, and proscenium theater based. If ever a musical deserved a cinematic approach, it was this one. As is, Chicago looked more epic.

But Les Mis isn't an epic broadway musical. It's a operetta, it's all about the music not sweeping epic musical numbers. It does have a couple like the finale and master of the house. But I feel it would of been terrible if they turned it into a typical Hollywood musical, like what Disney turned Hugo's other masterpiece of Hunchback of Notre Dame.

It's not perfect but it's not bad and the close ups, although over done at times and live signing gave you a sense at the emotional sense of the characters, it's a very Arthouse outlook of a musical and very different approach is why I liked it, I get the sense that people can't accept any different and want the same old crap over and over again.
post #144 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arturo RJ View Post


But Les Mis isn't an epic broadway musical.

 

Les Mis is THE epic broadway musical. Along with Phantom, it practically invented the genre. It's telling a period dress saga spanning decades. It's about Revolution, Love, Poverty, Forgiveness, Death, and Faith. Half the songs are enormous chorus pieces, the other half are about life-defining catharsis.

 

Small intimate musicals are things like Company. Or Assassins. Or hell, Little Shop of Horrors. If anything would have been well served by blowing out the frame, David Lean style, it would have been this. I bet Baz Luhrman's version would have been stupendous.

post #145 of 236
It's not perfect but it's not bad and the close ups, although over done at times and live signing gave you a sense at the emotional sense of the characters, it's a very Arthouse outlook of a musical and very different approach is why I liked it, I get the sense that people can't accept any different and want the same old crap over and over again.

 

I don't think anyone's saying they should have gone 100% pre-recorded, or not used any close ups. They're both great ideas for which Hooper deserves credit. It's just the insistence on live singing and no post mixing all the time and 90% close ups that damages the film. The opening dockyard shot at the beginning was great, more shots like that would be nice. And do we really need live singing when we've a medium shots of Crowe, or shots of the back of his head? Mixing it up would have been nice, so would some decent framing. It's about choosing your battles. Take My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison's singing was live on set, Hepburn's was over-dubbed by a professional singer, other songs were lip synced - choose your battles. Live singing in close up isn't the right choice for every single line.

post #146 of 236

If there's anyone I want nowhere NEAR musicals, it's Baz fucking Luhrmann. My dislike of him has been made clear in the past, but suffice it to say that I think he's a hack who can do pretty costumes, big sets/visuals... and not much else. He would have been a poor choice for this project, which relies on its soul-baring songs as much as the BIGNESS.

 

Luhrmann's attempts at drama have left me laughing my ass off in the past, not touched by emotional power.

post #147 of 236

Hmm, Moulin Rouge is easily my favorite musical of the last twenty years. That or Team America.

post #148 of 236

There is approximately one sequence that approaches beauty or genius in that film: "El Tango De Roxanne". Aside from the actual songs (which I admit are quite nice), the rest of it annoys the shit out of me.

post #149 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

Devin goes as far as to say that Tom Hooper doesn't know how to direct a movie.  That's an unreal hyberbolic statement.


FilmCritHulk says the same thing, but he goes into (semi-convincing) detail in his argument. Not saying I agree with him, but he's clearly thought his comments through.

post #150 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

Les Mis is THE epic broadway musical. Along with Phantom, it practically invented the genre. It's telling a period dress saga spanning decades. It's about Revolution, Love, Poverty, Forgiveness, Death, and Faith. Half the songs are enormous chorus pieces, the other half are about life-defining catharsis.

Small intimate musicals are things like Company. Or Assassins. Or hell, Little Shop of Horrors. If anything would have been well served by blowing out the frame, David Lean style, it would have been this. I bet Baz Luhrman's version would have been stupendous.

I don't know I sort of disagree with this. I like the small intimate moments of this film. It does have big chorus moments too but what dominates the film are the personal torch songs. As I said with Les Mis its all about the music and story not the pageantry.I always hated how it got compared to Cats and Phantom it's totally different than those broadway plays. Maybe it's my utter hatred for most Hollywood musicals but turning Les Mis into Moulin Rouge would be utterly terrible and laughable. I guess it's mostly because the musicals I like are smaller affairs like Dancer in the Dark, All That Jazz and A Little Night Music. I think going smaller in a musical is the right way to go no one buys into the large spectacle of Hollywood musical anymore. Most times it comes off as lame, Chicago was good and definitely was entertaining but Nine was dreadful and Moulin Rouge can be best explained in my nickname for the movie, "Narcolepsy:The Musical!".
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