As should be clear from our Past Projects page, the Schools Edition of Les Miserables is a favourite of the YMTS cast and production team! There was therefore much excitement in the run up to the recent Les Miserables movie release, with our Facebook followers chatting endlessly about their hopes for the movie, then offering their opinions after having seen it (most of them several times!). We decided to task our members with writing a review for a website to encourage them to think critically about the production, and here are the ones we received. Enjoy!
The new Les Mis film was phenomenal and surpassed everyone’s expectations. Tom Hooper has cast and directed the film perfectly, although Russell Crowe’s vocals weren’t up to much, he still exceeded us “theatre kids” high expectations with his acting skills. It was lovely to see that Hooper has also stayed true to the book, and not just the musical. The acting overall was stunning and we saw sides to the characters that were maybe not highlighted in the stage production. Also, after reading a few negative critiques, I think that we must remember that the majority of the cast are actors and have not received years of vocal training and so I think their live singing should be credited. I think all are agreed when we say Anne Hathaway simply “stole the show” with her emotional rendition of “I dreamed a dream”.
Gill Dryburgh (Participant)
Props: Interesting though didn’t get the elephant and felt that the barricade looked like a tsunami had passed through Paris.
Costume: great. Loved the Thenadiers ,mixed about Fantines frocks and the prostitutes were far too panto/drag/cats rejects. The rest were great with amazing broken down costume.
Javert: fabby good singing by Mr Crowe. He convinced me and his dive into the weir was epic especially the crunch at the bottom.
Val Jean: Great acting but felt his voice was struggling quite a lot.
Marius: fantastic on all points.!!!
Fantine: okay I guess….
Eponine : fabby!
Cossette: as expected.
Mon Thenadier: Funniest line……my poor courgette!!
Madame Thenadier : funny, loved her costumes!! A tad reminiscent of Mrs Lovett!! without the pies…
My favourite bit….all of it but the end made me want to stand up, clap and holler!!
Musing….i still think the YMTS productions are amazing and on a par with this major budget outing. Do we have a camera man??????
Jane Rigby (Wardrobe Mistress)
In my opinion, it delivered on its award-fuelled promise of greatness. Particular stand out performances include Anne Hathaway playing a BLINDER as Fantine. The daring single shot rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” is so captivating. I forgot to breathe! Something I wasn’t sure was the rearranging of songs, but I struggled to fault them, particularly “Do You Hear The People Sing?” and its place.
In a piece that is LADEN with tragedy, the only downside I found was the Thenardiers. They were too underplayed for my liking. When the funniness starts to happen, it’s supposed to be almost a euphoric sense of relief because of all the sadness, but in the movie it felt like an inconvenient stop on the bus. I just wanted to get that next stop closer to home!
I loved it. For all my worrying, I found I had no reason to. I know it’s divided many among our ranks, but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t even fill in that missing harmony! I was so caught in the moment, I forgot!
Paul Copland (Participant and Assistant Practitioner)