Before I continue, I feel like I need to come clean and admit that I've never seen it before. I've heard some of the music before, of course, but haven't seen the theater production at all. Take this as my plea for someone to take me? Please? I feel like I need to compare the movie to the play in order to really give an opinion. ;)
In the meantime, these are just some of my thoughts on casting alone. There were a few tweets out there from folks that gave their thoughts on how the characters were cast but I thought everyone was so fantastic, I just can't fit it into 140 characters!
Let's get going, shall we?
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean blew my mind. The fact that he was singing live on camera made the experience so much more real. The raw emotion in his voice gave so much to the character. I can't say enough how much I loved him in this role. He was perfection.
I've never been a huge Anne Hathaway but Fontine has absolutely changed how I look at her. She played the role beautifully. Her voice was spot on. Tears were streaming down my face every time she opened her mouth and I really cannot tell you how much I loved her in this movie, there are no words.
Samantha Barks. Éponine. Perfection. I don't know what else to say. She gave one of the most emotional performances of the entire movie and was perfect for this role.
I've heard a couple people say they weren't really impressed with Russell Crowe as Javert but since I really have nothing to compare him to, I thought he did great. I didn't realize he was such a great singer but I think he played the role well.
I'm not a huge Sacha Baron Cohen fan but his humor was perfect for Thénardier. And as usual, Helena Bonham Carter does not disappoint. I'm seriously convinced that she can play any role thrown at her.
Last but not least, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. While I'm a big Amanda Seyfried fan (Mean Girls anyone?) I was not blown away by her performance. This is where maybe I would have benefited by seeing the play? Is Cosette supposed to sing that high? I feel like she squeaked most of her songs. I wanted to love her, I really did.
So, to sum things up, the movie was great, the casting was great, the singing was great, the sets and scenery were great. I don't know what else to say. Go see this movie. Bring a lot of tissues and prepare to cry for 3 hours. Hold hands with your BFF while watching Fontine sing... wait, maybe that was just me. :P
Regardless. I cannot rave enough. Les Mis for movie of the year? I think so.