Muliudes of Talent: Les Misérables (2012)
By Kimber Benton & Mary "Stormer" Phillips · Jan 17, 2013
Just FYI, this article contains material that might be considered spoilery based on our spoiler policy. In this instance, that includes discussion of all the stuff that you already know happens? So not really spoilers I guess.
Kimber: We just watched Les Misérables. It was…really, really, really long.
Stormer: And dumb. And kind of sucky.
Kimber: Shocking, right? Who would have expected that Russell Crowe was not able to sing “Stars” really well?
Stormer: His version was more like “Sas.”
Kimber: “Sas / I yo muliudes.”
Stormer: Exactly. No teeth at all.
Kimber: Hugh Jackman was okay, I guess.
Stormer: Jackman’s voice was better but I only thought he was competent in the movie. Which doesn’t matter, because he’ll still get awards and nominations and Anne Hathaway going on and on about just how amazeballs he is.
Kimber: “I’m so in AWE of his muliudes of talent!”
Kimber: Ugh. Anne Hathaway going on and on about anything is getting old.
Stormer: It makes me sad, ‘cause I think I used to root for her.
Kimber: When she was in The Princess Diaries, you mean?
Stormer: Like, right after she initially scaled her post-Princess Dairies wall, I think. I thought, “good work! You’ve made the leap!”
Kimber: She’s always annoyed me.
Stormer: You weren’t even just a little on her side when she was just suddenly in Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada and Rachel Getting Married?
Kimber: I liked those movies, I guess. But then she immediately did Bride Wars and Valentine’s Day and Alice in Wonderland and Love and Other Drugs and any credulity fell out the window.
Stormer: Out the window like when she was Catwoman?
Kimber: When I see her falling all over herself to talk about how amazing it was to play Catwoman on every episode of E! News ever she can have some credit for that. But…I’ve never seen her like this about any role, and I can’t get around the fact that she’s only doing it because Fantine isn’t a role so much as an Oscar pitch.
Stormer: You didn’t like the camera doing a no-cut closeup during “I Dreamed a Dream”?
Kimber: Snerk. It’s such a masturbatory film moment. All, “watch this.” Except “this” is only kind of okay, especially as a song.
Stormer: “I Whisper-spoke a Dream”? “Thanks, everybody, for acknowledging my big acting moment!”
Kimber: You know how Taylor Swift is like, all “mnooooh! This is so surprising!”, and everybody makes fun of her for it? Anne Hathaway is just doing the Taylor Swift thing well.
Stormer: But it’s not well, really, ‘cause it’s still annoying.
Kimber: No, it’s not well. Jennifer Lawrence just gave the best acceptance speech ever. That’s “well” in the context of How To Do An Acceptance Speech Well. But in the context of How To Do The Taylor Swift Schick Well, Anne Hathaway has got it down: “mnooooh! As colleagues and equals I’m sure we can all agree how challenging our craft is”—and here Jessica Chastain is nodding in serious agreement—“and I’m super surprised that you guys all agree I knocked this one out of the park.” And, like, it doesn’t even matter who’s giving out the award; it’s now just a testament to what happens when you film Anne Hathaway singing a super popular song from a super popular musical with a partially shaved head in one cut where the whole thing looks curiously like a Sinéad O’Connor music video from the early ’90s.
Stormer: I wish she was handling press more like Amanda Seyfried.
Kimber: Me too. But I suspect that Seyfried is smart enough to realize that Cosette is a bullshit character anyway so being too on about it would seem ludicrous. Like, “I really loved playing the symbol of unchanging hope in the midst of chaos.”
Stormer: “Gendered ramifications and all.”
Kimber: “It was a difficult thing to portray all the facets on Cosette’s non-existent personality.”
Stormer: “As well as the complexities of her straightforward feelings towards Marius, himself a super duper complex character.”
Kimber: “The best part was playing the totally natural and not-at-all contrived way they fall in love.”
Kimber: I bet Seyfried was like, “thank shit that crappy new song which is ALL ABOUT how I’m an unchanging symbol of hope is still young Cosette, ‘cause I just could not!”
Stormer: Who wants to put their head in Creepy Uncle Jackman’s lap for that long anyway?
Kimber: I miss when Jackman was hot.
Stormer: What did you think of Samantha Barks as Éponine?
Kimber: She was good. But she kind of highlighted what kind of film this might have been had Broadway folks been cast all over.
Stormer: A good film.
Kimber: No. I don’t think this could be a good film. All the songs seemed rushed; things seemed cobbled together. That’s ignoring whether the singing was good. But it probably could have been a less boring film.
Stormer: I thought “Master of the House” was pretty bland. Like, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were good as the Thénardiers, but the song’s scene itself was kind of bland.
Kimber: …exactly. And how do you fuck that up? It’s not a great song really, but it’s a great musical moment. Here it just seemed perfunctory.
Stormer: I kind of hated Marius.
Kimber: Eddie Redmayne? I loathed him. “Look at my sad eyes!”
Stormer: “Look at my conflicted face, though we’ve barely scratched the surface of that conflict.”
Kimber: “Feel bad for me, the rich kid, as I stay alive and marry symbolic Cosette while everybody else dies!”
Stormer: The end for everybody is pretty dumb, huh? Like, why does Javert kill himself? Why not just stop being a jerk?
Kimber: It makes much more sense when somebody good plays him. Well…it makes more sense, anyways.
Stormer: My favorite part of Les Misérables was the pizza we ate while watching it.
Kimber: My favorite part was when I took a nap.