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Movie rant: Why “Les Misérables” Will Leave us Misérable

Our movie rant: Les Misérables may look cool, pretty and shiny, but what's missing?
Joy! Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman star in yet another version of “Les Miserables” to release Christmas Day – (Universal)

Really Hollywood?  Is the new Hollywood now the very old Hollywood? Les Misérables?

Have you run out of ideas for new musical movies that you have to turn to an 1862 novel that’s been filmed over 70 times?  As if the 2012 version is the one that will be the definitive musical version and make us forget the others?!

But who are we to quibble with the tastes of the “money men?”  After all, it has come to pass that they have picked Hugh Jackman (get ready to be “shocked, shocked!”) in a lead role in a musical; supported by Russell “Mr. Musical” Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and a cast of established non rising stars whose days in the indies trenches are long gone.  Yes, if you’re looking for “almost famous” thespians ready to burst upon the scene, then go to an indies festival.

But if you’ve got a hankering for hot actresses, go to “Les Misérables.”  At least if the plot isn’t much to hear, moviegoers can look at Ms. Seyfried.

Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne may be the young, cool factors to an old tale like Les Misérables,, but can these people sing?
Despite a young hip cast of rising stars, we think Les Misérables the movie will leave us a bit miserable.

And of course, because it’s a musical, Hugh Jackman is front and center.

To say Hugh Jackman is not a fan of musicals is like saying Mitt Romney has chilled champagne while chilling with Jay Z.  Sure, now and then he appears in action films (“X-Men” etc. etc.).  But, seriously: Hugh Jackman should just play the Liza Minnelli part in a remake of “Cabaret” and get his splashy, theatrical fix permanently satisfied.  After all, he is already one “Six Degrees of Separation” from Liza —as in his lead Broadway role as Liza’s ex, Peter Allen, in “The Boy From Oz” attests.

Russell Crowe and a few A-listers join the almost famous actors in Les Miserables.
Russell Crowe as Javert, on the “Les Miserables” (2012) poster – Universal Pictures

The real head-scratcher is Russell Crowe in a musical.

I don’t know…Whenever I see Russell Crowe, I see an angry New Zealander/Aussie “macho” guy who hates himself for putting on his accommodating Hollywood happy face in interviews, but the vibe he gives is that in his youth (?), was one can of Foster’s and one goading comment away from doing some serious gay bashing and/or women slapping in the Land Down Under—where women blow and men chunder (or is it the other way around?).  This mug looks to be simmering with volcanic anger that could erupt anytime.

EXHIBIT A: This occurred after he was arrested for throwing a telephone at an employee of the Mercer Hotel in NYC who refused to help him place a call when the system did not work.  Goo!  Goo!  Wah!  Wah!  Russy want phone to go ring ring!!

No news yet if the caller asked him if he wanted to play second fiddle in a musical with Hugh Jackman.

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What do you think?

Written by Henrick Vartanian

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