28 December 2012

les misérables

i was 15 or so, and my brother's good friend aaron had come to visit and was staying at our house. he asked if i had heard of les misérables, and i hadn't, so he got out his cd of the 10th anniversary concert at royal albert hall. he put it in my stereo and we laid on the floor in my bedroom and blasted the music for more than an hour. he skipped to his favorite songs while he explained the story to me, and i was hooked from the first note. later that day i hijacked his cd's and made a tape so i could listen to it after he left. i listened to it over and over until i could sing every word of every song. (i got the cd's at some point but they were stolen out of our car when we lived with my parents during graduate school.) in high school my friend lara bought me the vhs tape of the same performance, which i also watched over and over. dave and i went to see the play one year in salt lake city and it was even more amazing in person than on tape. i actually composed a letter to write to "hollywood" (i had no idea who to send it to) to ask if somebody would please make it into a movie. i have loved this musical for more than 15 years, and today, i had the opportunity to see the motion picture. i went by myself since getting baby-sitters at this time of year is tricky and it was probably a good thing. i had tears in my eyes from the first scene and cried through the entire movie. luckily there were only about 5 or 6 people in the theater so i sat way in the back and cried in the dark, (hopefully) unnoticed. i was surprised that i could still sing every word even though i haven't listened to the music in years. i loved it.

my favorite part was the scene with the revolutionaries singing "red and black". i love it when men sing together period, but these men were so impressive. i loved enjolras (i think he's been on gossip girl? he looks like my cousin doug), his voice was spectacular. marius reminded me of joseph smith for some reason (weird, right?) and his voice was amazing! he broke my heart when he sang "empty chairs at empty tables." it was so amazing. and the other men singing in that room were just incredible.

i was really impressed with russell crowe. i think they could have found somebody with a better voice, but his acting was stellar and he did surprisingly well. the rest of the cast was terrific and the music was amazing. i'm so glad i watched it on the big screen. i can't believe how high amanda seyfried can sing! that would be a difficult part to play i think, but she nailed it. i also loved éponine and could not get over how tiny her waist was! her voice was amazing as well.

my very favorite was gavroche. that little boy was SO GOOD! his voice was perfect and he was so cute.  i love the part when javert is talking to the revolutionaries and he yells out "liar!"


there were parts of the movie that were so hard to watch, especially with fantine. there were more than a few parts where i cried like a baby--when the bishop gives jean valjean his silver; when fantine cuts her hair; when cosette sings "castle on a cloud"; when fantine sings "i dreamed a dream"; when  éponine and marius sing "little fall of rain"; when gavroche gets shot; when marius sings "empty chairs at empty tables;" but most especially the final scene with all the people singing for the revolution. it is a beautiful story of redemption and whether or not you're a fan of musicals or les misérables (and even if you think the singing is terrible like some people), it's worth your time.

annie leibovitz photographed the cast for vogue and here are a few of my favorites:


13 comments:

ellen said...

I wish I could have seen it with you

Emily Foley said...

Me too, Ellen. Me too. But you might have been embarrassed with my sobbing at the end.

ashley said...

I can't believe the theater was empty. Come on, Gallup.

Jacob and Cami said...

My thoughts exactly! Loved it and have been singing the songs for 3 days. Jacob said that Marius should play Joseph Smith too and my sisters and I couldn't believe how tiny Eponine's waist is. It's funny.the things you notice.

Lindsay said...

We saw it two nights ago and i want to see it again. I almost teared up reading your post. Scott and i are seeing the play in june

Natalie said...

jay and i saw it last night and i am still exhausted from all of the sensory and emotional overload. complete thoughts on my blog in a few days. i had to laught when you thought of joseph smith -- i am a humanities and history major because of my love of both things and got a teaching degree in both subjects. i found that the easiest way for me to compartmentalize history was by the clothing people wore at the time. it is amazingly easy to remember people, places and events if you can group them with other similar people, places and events by clothing and hair styles - i'm serious! it may or may not be easy to remember that the student uprising in paris (portrayed in les miserables) happened in the same time period as early church history. i love the way history speak.

Ammon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lynette said...

We just saw it this afternoon and I bawled like a baby! It was the first time I've ever seen/heard it and I can't wait to see it again!

P.S. I had no idea it was going to be all singing. I'm a moron, I know.

P.S.S. I read someone's post on either Fb or Instagram and they said something about Anne singing, "I Dreamed a Dream" while her hair was being cut, but she sang it after that, right?

J Fo said...

I'm ridiculous Les Mis nerd! I have loved it since listening to the cd as a kid. I knew all the music before I actually knew the story. Greg and I got to see the play right after we were married and I was tearing up when the opening music started. Watching the movie was pretty much the same for me. I loved how it tapped into the raw human emotion and the reality that these characters were facing. I love the story of redemption, hope and love. I thought the characters were all great actors and pretty good singers. The voices that knocked my socks off though were: Marius, Eponine, and Enjolras. I almost had an emotional meltdown during "Empty Chairs..." ;) I'll definitely be seeing this one again!

p.s. Did you know that the Priest was the man who was Jean val Jean in the original?

p.p.s Did you know that Marius went to school with prince William?

p.p.p.s Did you know I'm such a nerd? Sorry for the crazy long comment!

Emily Foley said...

Yep Lynette, that was after.

Yes Jess! Colm Wilkinson. Totally amazing. No, I did not know he went to school with the prince. Awesome.

Jennifer S said...

I love the book but have never seen the musical. Looks like I may have to, especially since the book is so good.

April Sweat said...

love this post! and the pictures. after reading your post i decided i would like to see the movie in the theater, and chris let me pick out a movie to see yesterday. well we got to the theater with some starbucks in hand and for the first time ever were told "no outside food or drinks" needless to say i wasn't going to let our $8 spent on starbucks go to waste, so we didn't go to the movie, and i was super disappointed all day yesterday. Chris says he's going to take me on Friday. we'll see.

Kelly(M&M) said...

Had to come back to this review because I finally got to see this tonight. I LOVED the movie and cried like a baby during most of it. Musicals always make me emotional. Wish I could sing like that, but audience members are important too right? :-) Your review was spot on! Love ya!