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George At 

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Featured Movie Reviews

Les Miserables

Les Miserables has a special place in Tamara and my history together, as it's one of the first plays we saw on Broadway many years ago, and we've seen it live many times since. We went in hoping for a great film from director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) knowing that he had recorded all his actors singing live and had a big budget to bring this legendary musical to the screen. In short, we loved it. Hugh Jackman has his best screen performance and is Oscar worthy as Jean Valjean, imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to keep his nephew alive and pursued for his entire life by Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). It's a huge story covering many years and a big cast, with some amazing standouts and only one major fail in casting for me. Anne Hathaway is a sure Oscar bet for her acting AND singing as Fantine, whose daughter falls under Valjean's care for life. She matches the amazing Jackman stride for stride in duel great performances. Jackman has never shown this kind of emotion before and its powerful. Aaron Tviet (who I've had the pleasure of seeing in amazing performances on Broadway in "Catch Me If You Can" and "Next to Normal) is terrific as Enjoiras and Eddie Redmayne all but steals the movie as Marius. Samantha Barks is also great as Eponine, doomed to sadness. If you don't like musicals, this will be hell for you..haha, its almost completely sung through. If you appreciate musical theatre, as our parents introduced us to at an early age and Tamara and I continue to enjoy together, this is an amazing film version. Songs like "On My Own", "Bring Him Home" , "Colors" and "One More Day" get new life on the screen and take on huge proportions with great sets, special effects and casting. The ONLY casting flaw for me is Russell Crowe as Javert. He is a great actor in the role, but Crowe's singing is really a weak link in an otherwise flawless cast. This is an epic, sad, moving film of a classic musical. Like "Chicago" about a decade ago, it opens up the stage musical with great visuals and strong performances. If you loved the play, you are going to LOVE this movie. It sang its way to an A for me.

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