Director: Tom Hooper
Writers: Claude-Michel Schönberg (book) & Alain Boublil (book) & Victor Hugo (novel) & Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics) & Alain Boublil (original: French text) & Jean-Marc Natel (original: French text) & James Fenton (additional text) & William Nicholson (screenplay)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway
I have always loved musicals. I grew up watching Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, etc, and loved everyone of them, good and bad. My favourite film is Singin’ In The Rain and will continue to be until my life’s end. I say that in order to justify my instant love of Les Misérables. I have never seen it on stage but I have had friends in the past who have raved about it. I now understand why.
Although there are parts of the film which could be improved, *cough Russell Crowe cough*, the musical is adapted onto film brilliantly. It has a raw and gritty quality to it which makes the story feel real and grounded in history. The music is beautiful and the integration of story-telling with the music is seamless. Hugh Jackman does a great job of Jean Valjean and really carries the film and us with him on the journey of his hard life. However, the kids in the film are what really make it for me. Daniel Huttlestone (Gavroche) and Isabelle Allen (young Cosette) are incredible little talents. They come alive on screen and steal every scene they are in, especially Daniel.
The best thing about this film is that it has real heart. I cried, nay, I sobbed as Eddie Redmayne sang about how his friends would never sing again. Oh my gosh did I sob! Every moment was breathtaking and heartbreaking and heartwarming and oh just everything! It wasn’t that this was a brilliant film, or a brilliant musical, but it is a great story, well told, and in a lot of ways that is what films should be, even musicals.
My Week With Marilyn – Official Poster – from IMDB.com
My Week With Marilyn (2012)
Director: Simon Curtis
Writers: Adrian Hodges (screenplay), Colin Clark (books)
Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh
My film critic friend (he has a proper job as a film critic whereas I’m a wannabe) remarked after we saw this film that society is intrigued with Marilyn but the majority of people will have never seen one of her films. I nodded my head as I tried to recollect whether I had ever seen her in anything other than documentaries. To my film-lover shock I realised I hadn’t seen anything but snippets of her in films. I had always been intrigued by film stars like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, James Dean, etc who had died in tragic circumstances, but whether I had actually seen them act in anything was a different matter.
My Week With Marilyn is a soft, tortured look into the world that Marilyn lived and shows a little of what life could have been like for the star who tragically fell into the history books as a tortured soul. Michelle Williams’ portrayal of this starlet was a gorgeous representation and it felt faithful to the woman. Her coyness, emotion, and playfulness all came to brilliant light on screen and brought Marilyn back to life. Williams was able to transport me back into Marilyn’s time and illuminated the beauty and hypnosis that this woman possessed. It’s easy to see why men fell for her and wanted to rescue her by loving her.
The story itself was compelling but didn’t feel genuine at moments. I suppose there is an irrationality with things like love and Marilyn, but I didn’t feel like the story was plausible. Colin Clark’s choices seemed irrational and to be honest a little bit stupid. I mean I can understand that a man would fall in love with Marilyn but are men that stupid to not see that film stars like Marilyn don’t fall for PAs? I mean sure, in a perfect world, yes they might, but if you really think a film star that is in Britain for a short stint for a film, is married to someone else, and has a reputation for using the men around her is going to fall in love with you and leave everything for you then you are seriously deluded. And yes I know this is based on a recount from a living person but as a story goes I don’t see it as plausible. And I still think you’re an idiot for thinking Marilyn really loved you. Plus Emma Watson is gorgeous and why would you ever let that pass you by? All in all it was a good film and I was fully sucked in by the characters and the story but on reflection it loses some of its allure.