Friday, December 28, 2012

Family accounting

Tickets for four to see Les Misérables: $34.

Champagne cocktails and one family member’s imitation of Anne Hathaway’s mouth: priceless.

[Les Misérables seems remarkably ill-conceived. Casting a musical with actors of limited vocal ability deprives those actors of any real chance to act. About all they can do is perform. Anne Hathaway seemed to our ears the best voice in the film. On another note: champagne cocktails — sugar, Angostura bitters, champagne — are delicious. Does the champagne cocktail immediately suggest to you, as it does to me, someone from “the movies”?]

comments: 1

Elaine Fine said...

It's not so much about the quality of the voice, but the quality of the musicianship. Just because someone can vocalize on pitch does not, in the case of Russel Crowe in particular, mean that he can make what was intended to be a musical phrase any more than pitches and words. Acting is not singing. The notes of a piece of music do not make phrases, and the words "sung" in ways that film directors tell the actors to sing, would be better not sung.

There were people in the film who were better musicians than other people, but the whole thing reminded me, in retrospect, like an episode of "Dancing with the Stars" (not that I have ever watched a whole episode) because people famous for doing one thing (and thereby drawing audience) are then called upon to do another thing that they might be able to pull off on an amateur level.

Stage singing is also different from what I guess we could call "film singing," because no projection is necessary. The difference experiences in diction completely missed the mark.

Why so much of the movie was filmed so that all you saw was the face of the singer is puzzling. Was it just so that you could admire the fact that it wasn't lip-synched? That the orchestral parts were added to the vocal tracks?

I won't get started on the script and what people who have never read the book will never understand about the movie. The book is great. The 1998 movie with Liam Neeson is also great.

Skip the theater and spend your $34.00 on some good champagne.