-Anne Hathaway :: I've never been her biggest fan, so it means something for me to say that she completely blew me away. I've always watched the first half of Les Miserables with a sense of impatient anticipation - waiting for the meatier moments of the revolution and the Marius/Cosette/Eponine love story. This is the first time that I have been breathless during I Dreamed a Dream - her performance was nothing short of magical.
- The realism :: The difference between a stage adaptation and a film is that the former needs to pack a theatrical punch and the latter can be more subtle. While in the stage production the main focus is on the music, the intimacy of the film means the actors can indulge more in the story, play with vocal power, and mix singing and speaking to greater effect. I've seen Les Miserables a dozen times and never before have I so deeply felt Jean Valjean's inner conflict as in the transformative What Have I Done sequence at the monastary. Good on you, Jackman.
- Samantha Barks :: I love Eponine, y'all. L-O-V-E everything about her. I related to her ugly duckling, unrequited love story through my formative years. I mean, that was my LIFE in high school as portrayed by this French 19th century street urchin. And Samantha Barks was...fine. She has a nice voice. That's about all I have to say about that.
- Russell Crowe :: I'm clearly not alone in thinking that Russell Crowe is the weakest link in a mostly superb cast - just read any review of the film. And despite what you read, it's not that his singing voice is that terrible; it's that Javert should be a powerhouse, and Crowe just can't deliver. Not only is his vocal prowess remiss, but his portrayal of the stoic man of the law just comes across as devoid of emotional depth.
- Bring Him Home :: I am going to preface this by saying that I like Hugh Jackman and I think he made a good Jean Valjean. That said, I think his voice has limitations - namely those high notes in Bring Him Home. It was a huge let-down in an otherwise respectable performance.
Did you see the movie? What did you think? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.