Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Avoiding disappointment

In 1985 I was lucky enough to see the original cast of Les Misérables perform in the West End. The only notable exception was Patti duPone who had just left her celebrated role as the tragic Fantine.
I was a very.young 23 year old whose experience of stage productions was somewhat limited to say the least, so it is not an exaggeration when I say that the production was somewhat pivotal in cementing my-life love of the theatre.
Of course show stoppers such as the rousing ONE DAY MORE and emotional jacuzzi manipulation of Eponine's ON MY OWN are the songs that most people remember, but for me it was the delicate and moving STARS sung by Roger Allam that had the most powerful effect on me.

For this reason I think I shall wait to see the new Les Mis movie when it is out on DVD
I worry that it will totally disappoint me
Anyone out there seen it yet?

41 comments:

  1. If you don't expect too much - you won't be disappointed, John.

    You may be happily surprised.

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  2. So you don't read me at all then John? 'cos I have seen it and it was fabulous...lots of sniffling and crying going on in the cinema!

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  3. Gives gal a chance libs
    Which bit did you sob?

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  4. The song that i'd have to say is my favourite from Les Miz is "Bring Him Home."

    I've not seen the movie yet, and like you, think i'll wait till it goes to DVD.

    I saw it on Broadway in the '90s and found it amazing.

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  5. Oh John most of it made me teary eyed......Bring him home especially...and every time I looked at Hugh Jackman I could have wept thinking 'HE WILL NEVER BE MINE'!

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    1. I saw him years ago in
      Oklahoma and he was divine

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  6. Maybe I should have held back my own post on this until you'd seen it yourself. But as you've now just seen my blog you will note from some of the above comments that there ARE big fans of this film around, so don't take what I say as gospel. (Not that I'd ever want you to!) Of course it's all very subjective anyway. Looking forward to your own verdict.

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  7. I know exactly what you mean. I loved the book The Time Traveller's Wife and never went to see the film for the same reason.

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  8. Bryony went to see it yesterday and said she cried for the last hour. She would (and so will I, I suspect). Haven't enjoyed listening to Gavroche sing when Bryony plays the soundtrack... I have only seen one live production and from the far side of the World, I have to say that the North Canterbury Musical Society's 2008 production of Les Miserables in the Rangiora Town Hall was unforgettable for all the right reasons. It has obviously deep-seated itself because I find myself listening to the film sound-track searching for the vocal quality of our local singers! Of course I'm biased ;-)

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    1. As I can tell, the film singing seems more "realist" than we are perhaps used to in the stage production.......
      I can't see mecryingfor an hour.... Not unless one of the characters behind the barricades has a dying dog

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  9. I haven't seen Les Miz and after all the sob stories about it, I'm not really looking forward to it. My all-time favorite theater production is Fiddler on the Roof. I've seen it many times and love it every time.

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    1. It's also one of mine too. I absolutely adored the Sheffield crucible version a few years ack

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  10. I saw it on Friday and reviewed it over on my own blog...

    Whilst there were things to like about the film, the best thing its done is to encourage me to re-listen to Original Cast Recording, which I enjoyed on Saturday evening.

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    1. Andrew I have just read and enjoyed your review.the barks girl looks mighty fine as Eponine does she not

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    2. Thanks - yes, Eponine is well played.

      Hope you enjoy it when you see it - the more reviews I see and the more people I know who have seen it, the more out of kilter my view of the film seems!

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  11. I read the review today in 'The Spectator' and she slated it. I think the singing all the way through would get on my nerves and so I'll wait for the DVD too, so that I can switch it off as and when! The first stage production I ever so was 'Hair' at the Glasgow Empire in 1971 and it was also the first time I'd ever seen a gentleman's nether regions in such close proximity, which thereafter led me on the road to ruin....but I didn't half have fun along the way!!!

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  12. 'ever saw', even and I can't believe I've just 'fessed up to the whole universe and his missus!

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    1. Well I have a thousand hits a day so a few hundred people may now know it was the first knob you saw xxx

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    2. ...but not the last, trust me!

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  13. I haven't seen it, but everyone I know who has absolutely loved it.

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    1. Well there's another positive x

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  14. I hear that cinema audiences are breaking into spontaneous applause at the end of the new Miserables flick - could it be that they are pleased it has finally finished?

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    1. I have NEVER clapped at a movie YET
      booed yes
      Clapped never

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    3. I used to clap at the end all the time when i was a child. Once, when Himself and i went to the movies to see a particular film (i forget which one now), it was sold out. So, we opted to see "The Three Muskateers," and figured it'd be all right but probably not great. From the conversation around us, others had wanted to see the sold out film, too, and picked this as a distant second. It was very enjoyable, light, funny, and we loved the sword play. Very entertaining all around, and we were glad we saw it. .

      As the film ended, nearly everyone clapped, which astonished Himself and me. We clapped, too.

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  15. No don't wait. Go and see it on a big screen.
    I'm a Les Mis devotee and I LOVED it. I felt like standing and clapping at the end and have heard that lots of others felt the same response too but Aussies are a bit backward in standing ovations especially at the movies.
    Oh I've just read above that people are actually clapping elsewhere!
    Being up close enough to actually see the faces ( as opposed to real people size from afar when it's on stage)adds another dimention to the movie version.
    Don't miss out on the experience!!

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  16. Helsie,
    You won me over
    Ok I will go perhaps tomorrow x

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  17. This is a movie that should be seen on the big screen. You will lose so much watching it on a DVD. The sets are magnificent and the close ups of the characters are mesmerizing. I loved every minute of this two hour, 38 minute movie. You might though want to bring a pillow to sit on because your butt will probably get sore from being so long on movie theater seats. It is worth the pain though.

    BTW, I took your suggestion and went to see Life of Pi. It was a small theater and I could only see it in 2D. It was a great film and beautifully made. This also had to be seen on the big screen. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  18. You should see it on the big screen. Anne Hathaway's performances will have you in tears.

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  19. I haven't seen the new production yet, but adore the 1998 non-musical version starring Liam Neeson! sigh. Oh yes, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes. Did I mention that Liam Neeson was in it also?

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  20. I remember when I saw it on stage oh-so-many years ago. In the beginning, I thought "oh, I'm not going to like this", and by the end, I was crying like a baby! I too will wait.

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  21. Saw it, absolutely amazing. Anne Hathaway is stunning. Well deserved Golden Globe for her and as for Hugh Jackman, well, amazing, as always. God I love him. He can do no wrong. :-)

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  22. I have no choice but to wait for the DVD can't afford the cinema these days ! I'm looking forward to it though.

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  23. I'm going Thursday to the Showroom - i'll let you know. I think the big screen will be better than DVD. xx

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  24. All those positive views above, J.G., make me think that I may have seen the wrong film - though it probably WAS the right one as there was applause at the end from 'my' audience too. (I did NOT participate!)

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  25. Yes me last night !
    At first I thought oh no - I've looked forward to this so much I'm going to be disappointed but Hugh & Anne's singing & acting were incredible & totally worthy of the big screen. Anne was incredible ( though Hugh couldn't belt out bring him home I'll forgive him, he was superb )

    Russel - I had to surpress giggle at times which was a shame.
    The audience were silent apart from one man tapping his feet & one sweetie eater. We did clap at the end & it was worth it.

    My eyes welled up at the end.

    Bravo !

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  26. Hasn't arrived yet but can't see the farmer wanting to go - he would accompany me but would probably fall asleep and snore - guaranteed to put the kybosh on it anyway.

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  27. Saw it on Boxing Day with both my daughters...we all three sobbed through the whole thing, just as we did when we saw the stage production in Toronto in 1989. I went with absolutely no expectations and loved it. It's such a great story, and really lends itself to a film version (just think of all those stage sets being expanded by movie-dom).
    My only criticisms - Russell Crowe's voice is a little too pop-ish for me, and for some bizarre reason they threw in an original song when Val Jean first brings Cosette home.
    Go see it on the big screen John - you won't be disappointed.

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  28. I loved it. I think is will be more enjoyable on the big screen than a tv. But of course no movie can compare to going to a live musical. They are very different experiences. My dear husband said it was okay. I may go see it again next with a friend whose husband won't go with her. There is not limit to the number of times I would go.

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