Does The Film Of ‘Les Miserables’ Fail As A Result Of The Dreadful Singing?
Yes. Without question, Yes. Not since Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin grunted their way through the also dreadful ‘Paint Your wagon’ have we been forced to listen to so many untrained singers murder a score. And the only voice in the film of ‘Les Miz’ is singing in the rain ladies version of ‘On My Own’. But even that is a rather per functionary version of the song. Hugh Jackman, who at least has done musicals before allows a strong vibrato to distract from Jean Valjean’s songs. Crowe cannot sing at all. The comic relief people cannot sing. The young lovers are truly awful with reed thin voices that make for a cringe worthy addition. But Anne Hathaway, with an endlessly indulgent version of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ kills the movie within the first ten minutes. To say she murders the song is an understatement. She refuses to sing one note as written and breathlessly over-emotes and cries through a strangled indulgent shit fest that loses all sense of the character and the song……
Ruthie shows you can service the song emotionally, and still hit every single note. Don’t get me wrong, I think ‘Les Miz’ is an awful musical. The endless recitative is toneless and as a whole the score limps along with endless 11 o’clock numbers that have no relation to each other.
But here is the perfect example. Judi Dench does not have the best voice. One of her perfect castings was as Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret’. Sally was not the greatest singer, hence her appearing at the Kit Kat Klub. So Dench was wonderful in the role. Years later she destroyed the role of Desiree in ‘Send in the Clowns’ and gives a master class in a ‘non singer’ act/singing a role….Watch and learn Anne Hathaway.
She does not cry. She makes us cry. That is a trained, professional actor.
I shall not post the songs from the film here, they disgust me. But this version of ‘One More Day’ sum it up very well for non musical fans and just listen to this to hear my pint made. Their lack of musical talent remove the power of the score and make it a torturous experience.