"He's inside me, and he wants to take me again!"
It's good. Kind of liked Hooper's direction, the scenes and time periods flowed well together to me. It feels like more of a director's movie than TKS. Is it amazing, no, but I'm not sure it was ever going to feel fresh enough to have a chance at that unless Baz directed it or something. Enjoyable experience and the movie I expected. It's critics and BP race fall from grace seems more random than anything, if I saw this 2 months ago I would've thought it's well on its way to 1st or 2nd in BP
I saw this with my grandma. not joking. she was laughing 50% and crying the other 50%!!!! this movie does this to you. and did anyone get a tad grossed out by Jackman's acne?
Yeah, I wonder. If this movie was up in the 80s on rottentomatoes and not 70% or up in the 70s on metacritic and not low 60s, and if a few more champions surfaced from bigtime critics, or if it made more BP lists on critics awards ... if this movie would be more of a factor in the race.
I'm not saying that it's not now, but it definitely has a damaged goods feel.
People who love it, love it. I know the film is not perfect. I can nitpick away. But most people who hate it scream "close-ups" - which I still just don't get. I didn't find them abrupt, at all. No one I saw this with mentioned close-ups. I heard no one buzzing about awful close-ups. Most people clapped loudly at the end (though, I'm sure plenty did not like it).
But yeah, I actually found the close-ups riveting, like I was right there - which I suppose was Hooper's intent.
But that's just me. Again, I would love to know what the race would've looked like if ZD30, Lincoln, Argo, Life of Pi (which I still think is very strong in this race), SLP, Django, Les MIserables, and even the Hobbit (which I also thought got screwed by critics) ... were on a more similar playing field.
LOL, so if Les Miserables was a different movie you wonder if it would be winning the Oscar?
I don't what else is there to say? 60-65 at Metacritic feels about right. The movie felt simultaneously overlong and too short. I think the adaptation might have benefited from having more spoken dialogue in it, to open up the story a bit. I thought the techs were fine, I wasn't even bothered by the cinematography. Sure, it's messy, but I felt it gave the film some immediacy, while making the sets look good. For all of Hooper's boasting about how daring and innovative he was with the musical, he could've done more. This is simply the work of a good journeyman director. I'm not much into musicals and there were a few moments where I wanted to shout "Jesus Christ, stop singing and just say the words, you prats!" at the screen.
As for the acting: Crowe was a fist-biting embarrassment, Jackman sang only marginally better but at least his acting was pretty good throughout. A Globe nomination would've been enough, he doesn't really deserve a place in Oscar lineup. Hathaway knocks her big number out of the park, her raves are wholly deserved. She won't be a bad winner at all. Eddie Redmayne may actually be the MVP. He somehow takes the silly loverlorn hero role and turns it into a showcase. It's a shame his buzz never took off. Hathaway' brief turn aside, he's easily the best thing about the film.
The rest make only minor impressions. Seyfried in a period costume looks about as appealing as Olive Oil. One has to wonder what Marius ever sees in her, especially with Barks practically shoving her boobs in his face at every turn. The latter is fine, easily the best singer in the cast, but the role feels oddly brief. I could've done without Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen altogether. They were funny the same way a drunk uncle at a wedding party is funny.
Film Crit Hulk does an outstanding job of articulating why the visual design of this movie is such a misguided mess. The connection he draws between Hooper's love for Kubrick and his misapplication of Kubrick's techniques is really illuminating.
Last edited by Bean; 01-12-2013 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Derp
How did I copy a different article?! That was the only one of his I read tonight...
Anyway, yeah, the one Dent linked to.
Well, it was impossible for me not to like this. I liked the use of the closeups during I Dreamed a Dream and On My Own, but during the rest of the movie it was tiresome and unnecesary. I wanted to appreciate the production design they spend so much time on, I wanted to see the Parisians interacting in the background, etc.
I liked Jackman from the beginning up to his scenes with Isabelle Allen, and at the end. "Bring Him Home" made me suffer, but I loved seeing Marius with Cosette's handkerchief LMAO.
Crowe was meh. I've read so many people saying "he's not the best singer, but his acting makes up for it" but sadly, the "wet puppy eyes" were not doing it for me Javert's Suicide is usually the most emotional moment for me and I didn't felt a thing here. That said, the movie totally manipulated me with the medal scene.
I love of many book elements they included, particularly for Eponine. A better actress (say, Celia Keena-Bolger) would have been able to portrait the madness and creepines of the character, but Barks did a decent job overall and she was the best singer. Everybody else was wonderful and I could have used more of the revolutionaries, since they actually had pleasant voices.
By far my favorite part of the movie were the last 10 minutes, Jackman and Seyfried were really moving and the DYHTPS reprise, as always, killed me. And thank God they replaced Eponine with the Bishop.
Ok. I have watched this last Thursday and held till today to post something about it. lol I have never seen the original musical and I wasn't/ am not very familiar with the whole hoopla surrounding this story. My mom is like the ultimate fan, tho.
Needless to say, I had been reading the threads on AD about it cos they were just so much fun and my expectations were as low as ever. But f*ck it, I really did enjoy it.
It's kind of a mess yea. And I blame that entirely on Hooper. The film and this project was way too big for a director like him and it seemed sometimes he kinda lost control over the film and just decided to go along with it so he could finish it. I command him for his ambition but it really didn't pay off since this material would have worked much better in the hands of another and more talented director. I also wasn't a fan of most of his directing choices. I really didn't get the excessive use of the dutch angles and as many I wasn't a fan of the close-ups since it somehow created a claustrophobic atmosphere to the film, where I guess it was supposed to feel epic and big. However that worked in some scenes, especially in Hathaway's I dreamed a dream. It was effective and added much to an already powerful scene.
Russel Crowe was a big no for me, sadly. I usually like him but he was way out of his league here, vocally. And I guess due to that, I had trouble seeing anything but Crowe playing the character.
As for the rest of the cast, I thought pretty much everyone was damn great? The standouts were Hathaway (and I'm really not a fan since I always think she's a way too mannered actress but loved her in this) and especially Redmayne. I will probably nominate him for BSA? LMAO. He was that good for me, for some unexplained reason.
The "live" singing also worked for me and I couldn't be more in disagreement with Ebert and the whole "we don't even realize they are songs" bullshit. I was not familiar with any of the songs, apart from I dreamed a dream and On my own but I have been listening non stop to the soundtrack for the past couple days cos they really got stuck in my head right after I walked out of the theatre.
Anyways, I am not really sure how I feel about this as a whole or how I would grade it or anything as you can see by my rambling thoughts. I just know I was really entertained throughout the entire thing and really admired the ambition and especially the commitment from the entire cast to it. I kinda want to watch it again? It's really baffling cos I was expecting to hate it and I can see why many do hate it. I just didn't, at all. And would probably go as far as saying I really enjoyed it?
Yay, I guess?
LOL, yay indeed!
McTeague, you sneaky little shit, what did you put in my tea? I kinda liked this?
Disclaimer: I haven't read the novel, nor have I seen any stage production or other film version of this story. The only song I knew was "I Dreamed A Dream". I have a deep dislike of virtually all Broadway musical-to-film adaptations (and most other musicals as well).
There is a lot to not like here: the music is rather dull and not memorable, the Marius-Cosette-Eponine love triangle feels inconsequential, everything with the Thenardiers is unnecessary, the film is way too long, Hooper's direction can best be described as weird.
But still.... I kinda liked it.
A lot has been said about Hooper's Dutch angles, and I think there are more of them than there are regular shots in the film. Most of the times they don't make a lick of sense stylistically, but they do stroke my personal aesthetical taste (as does the shallow DOF in a lost of the close-ups), so I found it very pleasing to watch. I think the nature of the work (romanticism; musical) makes it necessary to ramp up the drama to the max (just look at the CGI on the very wide shots, which can only be described by McT as Peter Jackson-esque), and I feel Hooper thought the angles would add an extra bit of drama in the shots (striking images as they become). Again, I think it's idiotic and has no valid connection with what's on the screen, but it works for me visually.
The close-ups are another criticism leveled at this, but I do think you have to remember there is a lot of dialogue in this, all in song form. If you were to watch a very talky film, you get a lot of close-ups and half-body shots too. And I also think the live singing and the fact that everything had to be done on a soundstage prevented Hooper from having the ability to do a lot of wide shots.
I can understand why people find these visual decisions distracting, and intellectually I can make no excuse for them, but I found the film very visually pleasing most of the time. Some wonderful framing again too, but he already showed us that in TKS. There are a few shots of Cosette, just before she first talks (well, sings) to Marius through the gate that were absolutely gorgeous. The man sure knows how to create a pretty picture.
Judging the acting is rather difficult, with this contrived sing-saying going on, but other than Hathaway going really overboard with the dramatics during her big scene (very well sung though, I'll give her that), I thought it was pretty much okay. I thought Barks in every way you can imagine (looks, singing, acting) was way too modern to be in this, but that's hardly her fault. Together with Redmayne she was obviously the best singer in the cast, but other than a strained Crowe and both the Thenardiers, everyone else acquitted themselves nicely in the vocal department. Again, I find the music rather boring, apart from the opening theme (Look Down, or whatever it is called; how would I know?).
Production design is excellent, hair & make up pretty good. As I said, the film was way too long, and some stuff could have easily been cut/re-adapted, and I'd put that down to the screenplay. Which was full of lovely coincidences, by the way: just as Fantine scratches a prospective 'customer' at the docks, Javert AND Valjean happen to pass by. Just as little Cosette is in the woods to get water, Valjean happen to stroll through the forest. And so on and so on.
So in all, this is far from a great film, and I will likely never see it again, but it was a somewhat entertaining 2 1/2 hours. I can see why the haters hate it, but for me, somebody who has no experience with the source material, it was not bad at all.
You should have said all this BEFORE I saw Amour and I would have tried to be nicer to it.
LMAO I love how Au and me pretty much had the same reaction.