Rewatched the movie to celebrate my 4th year in this fandom. It's interesting to watch it again now with the knowledge of book and musical in mind. Hope I won't bore you to death with this super late review.
The best casting choices imo are Anne as Fantine and Colm as the Bishop. They remain my favorite in respective roles. I was a bit hesitant to say that before, but now I seriously consider Anne as the BEST Fantine I've ever seen. Amazing is not even enough to describe her acting. Really, it's been 4 years and I've seen the same story over and over again, but Anne still made me cry. I'd be very happy if those stage Fantines could do half as well. Samantha is a good Éponine. Not my absolute favorite, but good enough compared to the rest of the cast. Enjolras looks...book-ish, but honestly I can never see Aaron Tveit as Enjolras again since I discovered Next to Normal, lol. Feel a little disappointed that Marius and Cosette are less attractive than they should have been.
But good thing that Marius' acting has made up for that. I actually cried at ECAET which I don't usually do. Aaand, speaking of attractiveness...could anyone please explain that illegally beautiful Grantaire??
He's quite impressive. I mean both his face and his acting are really impressive. Never cared much about the amis but he did catch my attention. The biggest disappointment of the cast is the two leads. Poor Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, I know you've tried, but you're just not the material. Your singing is really painful to listen to.
I was so surprised that they managed to work so many book details into the movie. My favorites include:
- Fantine hating Monsieur Madeleine
- Javert's confession of the wrong report
- the graveyard scene with Fauchelevent
- Gillenormand...being there. Yes, I'm a Gillenormand fan. I'm just happy that he made an appearance.
- Gavroche's brothers and the elephant
- Éponine trying to separate Marius and Cosette. Not strictly in the way she does in the book, but close enough.
- Marius threatening to blow the barricade
- Éponine taking the bullet for Marius
- Valjean's reaction after knowing about Cosette and Marius. It's one of my biggest guilty pleasures of the musical. I just love Valjean being a bit dark from time to time.
- Enjolras and Grantaire dying together
They really put a lot of thought into the adaption. Good job guys, apparently you've done your homework. Funny that they really made Enjolras do that "French Revolution" thing. Now I understand why everyone thinks Les Mis is about the French Revolution. *facepalm*
There are some changes to the musical that I love. First, BISHOP IN THE FINALE. No comment.
And switching "Lovely Ladies" and IDAD makes perfect sense. Didn't know I'd prefer this until today. I LOVE the movie version of ODM. Honestly I never liked the staging of ODM. Seems a bit dull to me. Another surprise was Javert being rather sympathetic after the barricade fell. Well done, Crowe. You deserve an A+ here. On the other hand, I don't know if I should be glad or disappointed that Gavroche is so book-ish in the movie. I'm not a huge fan of book-Gavroche to be honest.
Overall, I like this movie. I liked it as a newbie who knew nothing about Les Mis 4 years ago, and I still like it now as a somewhat more experienced fan. Of course there's bad singing and weird cuts and changes, but I didn't find anything really unbearable. And I'm forever grateful to it for introducing me and many others to this incredible wonderful amazing fandom.