Friday, December 28, 2012

Just Misérable?

I'm not a fan of musicals, so I won't render a judgment on the new (and endlessly promoted) Les Misérables movie. But this passage from a review by Slate's Dana Stevens probably captures its essence: "In the “I Dreamed a Dream” scene—the standalone set piece that will no doubt become the movie’s Oscar audition tape—[Les Misérables tries] to fuse raw emotional immediacy with the mechanics of virtuoso ballad-belting. Anne Hathaway’s big song, delivered in extreme close-up in a single, very long take, is deeply felt and impeccably delivered. ... [But] as the camera reverently gazed through the alabaster pillars of Hathaway’s teeth, all I could think about was the proximity of her tunefully vibrating larynx. She nails the song, no doubt about it, but it’s a performance that, to me, is too much about the awesomeness of its own nailing. (And it doesn’t help that Hooper’s camera won’t stop asking is she nailing this or what?)"

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