Mar 11, 2013

Monday's Words of Wisdom

"You wouldn’t think a big-budget adaptation of Les Mis would need much showboating to distinguish itself. Though the show was plagued by bad reviews after its 1985 stage debut, the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel about post-revolutionary France has since became an enormous hit, a global phenomenon that easily ranks among the longest-running musicals in history. Hooper, though, seems intent on making his interpretation especially memorable, saddling his version with an absurd procession of off-kilter cinematic compositions that either lop off his performers heads or peer dangerously far into their nostrils. This isn’t so much an adaptation as a smell-o-vision extension of the original production, bringing Jean Valjean’s tragic tale of abjection and redemption to life by plunging us ever deeper into his armpits or shaking jowls, as if the camera’s proximity to star Hugh Jackman’s body is better than proper characterization ever could be."

- From Angelo Muredda's brilliant mini-review of Les Miserables

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