Writing left handed

Russell Crowe Just Isn’t Brooding Enough

In lieu of our annual trek to Toms River for Christmas Hibachi (an event rendered unnecessary now that the Abuelos are living with us) the Richter clan went to see Les Miserables the movie on Christmas Day.


My mother thought that we’d be the only ones (right, for a star-studded cast slated to open on Christmas Day) and was surprised to find that the theater was full to the brim and we couldn’t get four seats together except in neck-craning territory.

(I, on the other hand, knew that this would happen as a result of dating the movies-obsessed TWD but did anyone listen to me when I said we should leave earlier to get good seats?  Of course not…)

At any rate, I was pretty skeptical heading into the theater.  I get really pissed off when non-singers get cast in roles that require… you know… singing.  And don’t even get my started on non-dancers getting cast in roles that require dancing (two words for you: Rene Zellweger).

That said I’ve got to give it to Anne Hathaway.  I have a thing about Anne Hathaway (probably because ever man I’ve ever dated has been in love with her, including TWD) but as she finished her STD-riddled rendition of I Dreamed A Dream, I turned to my mom and hissed, “She’s gonna get a freakin’ Oscar nomination for this, isn’t she?”

Samantha Barks was fabulous as Eponine (she made me cry on numerous occasions) and I didn’t even mind Amanda Seyfried as Cosette (I’ve always found adult Cosette is kind of lame anyway).  Hugh Jackman was awesome, even though I’m pretty sure they lowered the usual high note at the end of Bring Him Home for him and Helena Bonham Carter, well, she was born to play Madame Thénardier as far as I’m concerned.

But Russell Crowe…

I’m sorry.

He’s just not Javert material.  And I love Javert.  I love Stars and I love all of his angry, manly duets with Jean Valjean.  I love how he struts around all pissed off and self-righteous in his trench coat.  I love how conflicted he is and how hell-bent he is on catching Valjean but Russell Crowe?  Even the scene where he—well, I won’t ruin it for the uninitiated—but let’s just say what should have been his most dramatic scene was lackluster at best.

That said, the cinematography was excellent.  And even my mother, the Les Mis purist, liked it.  (And she would know, she’s scene Les Mis in theaters at least half a dozen times.)

5 Responses to “Russell Crowe Just Isn’t Brooding Enough”

  1. chauffeur

    OK, I am an admitted caveman, and I thought it was really very good. Richard Harris was a great actor, and tried to sing with mixed results, (remember McArthur Park?, what agent or handler suggested he record that song?) That is where I see Hugh Jackman, great actor, way better than just Wolverine, very good singer,… but that is not what he brought to the screen, he was really amazing in the role because of his acting, not his voice.
    Also. worth mentioning…. The guy who played Marius, Eddie Redmayne, (I have never heard of him) He was over the top good, when he sang empty chairs I was just awed. OK, it was not Christmas Japanese BYOB Hibachi, but a close 2nd,.

  2. CMrok93

    Definitely deserving of the Best Picture status it is likely to garner, and even still a worthwhile movie that should please the fans of the play. Nice review.

  3. Landlord

    I really tried to like Russell Crowe, but I must admit I came into thinking it was a bad call to cast him as Javert. It surprised me that they cast him in this role, and I think they will regret it, as I’m sure others will pan his part as well. His songs are crucial, especially the dueling duets with Valjean…and it just didn’t work at all. His death scene…with such terrific background scenery and still he couldn’t make it work?

    I was very pleasantly surprised by A. H., she did a very nice job, the best part for me though was casting Colm Wilkinson as the bishop, it was a nice nod to the eminent Valjean, and a chance to hear him sing again. I had not realized he was in the cast before seeing it, and I almost spilled my “special lemonade” when I saw him, I was so excited 😉 I didn’t want to spoil anything so, tried not to read or see any of the publicity beforehand. It was a great way to spend our afternoon, and yes, Kat we should have gone earlier, you were right! All in all, I am a happy camper!


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