A small collection of clips from the upcoming musical film Les Miserables were uploaded to YouTube a couple days ago. For example, this one:

My thoughts:

Musically, sounds good. The singing sounds good, save for Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, who’s rapid vibrato makes it sound like she’s singing while driving over a bumpy road. I’m not sure the “live singing” adds anything spectacular, at least not in these brief clips, but it certainly doesn’t take anything away.

Camera-work wise, GAH!! I don’t mind the close-ups and the wide-angles, which I think will look awesome on the big screen, but why the wobbly handheld look? Is this a home-made movie? Is this a British TV show? Why can’t the English learn to hold a camera steady?

The worst example is in this clip, at about 35 seconds:

Oh, yes, let’s glance down at the letters and then back up at his face…? Very unprofessional looking. It makes me, as an audience member, feel like I’m not there, like elements of the scene are being concealed from me, like I’m being forced to watch something through the eyes of a tipsy drunken man. Ugh.

Categories: Movies

2 Comments

LanthonyS · December 5, 2012 at 9:39 PM

I haven’t heard many of the songs of this musical, but I find what I’ve heard musically (and somewhat lyrically) uninteresting…

S P Hannifin · December 5, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I can only recommend giving it a chance by listening to a Broadway version of the musical from start to finish. I think the songs are certainly more pop-music-influenced than, say, a Sondheim musical, or an opera. The lyrics are certainly pretty simple, to the point, and always rhyme, but I think that helps tell the story almost completely through song instead of having the songs come forward only as set pieces. Finally, when heard as a whole musical, it’s wonderful to hear how all the songs musically relate to each other and to the characters singing them, how relationships between the characters and their situations are paralleled melodically.

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