Les Miserables **

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I am not really the biggest fan of musicals. There have been a few in recent years that I have enjoyed but overall the genre just doesn’t impress me. When I saw the previews for “Les Miserables”, I got to say I was pretty absorbed. Something about Anne Hathaway’s voice singing over the epic looking production just sucked me in. The results unfortunately are a major disappointment.

I think the reason I found myself frustrated with this movie is because every spoken word is sung by everyone in the cast and it is done live on the set. The results are startling bad, especially by some of the less then stellar voices in cast. You can really tell who has experience in live theatre and who does not.

Another reason I was put off by this flick is by the direction of Tom Hooper. The sets, locations, costumes and overall production are pretty awesome. It is just a shame that we don’t get many shots that let us drink it all in. There is an odd number of scenes where we get close ups of the actor’s faces during their songs that seem to go on forever.

The cast itself includes Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. All of them do what they can but seem lost in a production that has simply overwhelmed them. I felt like I was looking at miserable actors standing around in the cold.

To see this movie get so much awards recognition does not give me a lot of hope in the current state of the film industry. I feel like it is receiving all this attention simply because it is based on a legendary musical.

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