Les Misérables was an a very good film for quite a few reasons that this reviewer couldn't be bothered to notice:
1. The choice of live action, singing on the set creates a sense of realism and authenticity - this balances out the appropriately emotional tone of the acting, lyrics, context, setting and overall subject matter. As a consequence of this match, a fine balance of realism (to induce believability) and expressionism (to emphasise the raw emotion of the afforementioned aspects of the story and music) is born.
2. The choice of using handheld cameras also gives a much needed emphasis on the emotional nature of the storyline - the motionless, neutral standard of Hollywood filming tends to clash in a very unsavoury way with musical numbers. The judicious use of handheld filming further leads the audience to be 'in the moment' - the primacy of emotion is clearly evident.
3. The sets were all done well - this is reflected in the sparseness of Marius' arpartment, the grubbiness and dramatic positioning of a hideously damaged and distorted mermaid at the docks where Fantine falls into selling her body for money. The blood drowned barricade is yet another example of appropriate set design.
4. The costuming was well thought out and difficult to criticise. Small details such as the fact Jean Valjean is so heavily muscular he cannot wear buttoned collars serve as an example of well reasoned costume design. A small point, I know, but this instance merely serves as a microcosm of the many fabulous costumes.
5. The facial expressions in particular make a truly fitting companion for the lyricism and expressionism of the film. Amazing as the dreamcast was, they were made for singing first and foremost. It is fine to note that the cast in this film were primarily made to act, rather than sing perfectly.
6. The handling of the first duet, 'A heart full of love', between Cosette and Marius was magnificent. The nervous excitement of the two young future lovers is palpable, and the actors carry it in such a way that no pretension is evident. The singing was simply flawless, unlike some of the more prominent stars. Furthermore, the natural lighting of this scene serves the previously mentioned balance between expressionism and realism - once again the emotional lyricsm of the singing is peppered in this way to keep down the scepticism lf the audience.
7. The director has made novel use of crane cameras to dramatically segue from one problem to another. This is sparingly used (maybe twice), and so the audience doesn't become desensitised to it. Once more, though it is a relatively small point, the direction is well represented by this choice.
Likewise, some journalists shouldn't review movies.
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