This Rotten Week: Predicting Django, Les Mis, And Parental Guidance Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2012-12-23 15:02:07discussion comments
Les Miserables
A few years ago Mrs. Rotten Week said she wanted to “see a show” so we got tickets for Wicked. Award winning, moving, musically tremendous, visually engaging. I fell asleep mid way through the second act. After a brutal elbow to the ribs when I started snoring by Mrs. RW I came to the conclusion that I’m just not a “musical” guy. (Not really an animated movie guy or a horror movie guy, realizations that are starting to drastically cut down available flicks). So Les Miserable may not be the right fit for me. But I’m also a subjective dude who recognizes the “value” in the musical voice. I’m not here to bag on the film.

And why would I? Reviews have been strong (though not ground-breaking) and critics generally enjoyed the film adaptation of the wildly popular Broadway version and Victor Hugo novel. Though it should be said the reviews are falling well short of director Tom Hooper’s other work (The King’s Speech-95%, The Damned United-94%). With those movies, and especially the Oscar winner, Hooper settled on character-driven pieces about historically significant British dudes. This film is a departure from that formula and he may have paid some points in order to convert.

Throwing a musical up on the big screen is no easy feat, and generally not really attempted (one or so a year). Many big budget movies listed as “musical films” incorporate songs as part of a plot point (characters are in a choir, dancers, etc) or are just animated flicks. Others are of the High School Musical-teeny bopper variety. Those adapted straight from the Broadway stage, have had decidedly *meh* results. Sure there’s your Hairspray (91%) and Chicago (87%), but more often we’re getting middle of the road results like Mamma Mia (54%), The Producers> (51%), Rent (46%) and this year’s Rock of Ages (41%).

Les Miserables will out pace those last few on the list, but looks like it’ll fall short of stand out Broadway adaptations. With so many reviews already in, there’s little room for growth here. And if Mrs. RW wants to see it I’ll load up on the triple espresso and get my ass to the theater.

The Rotten Watch for Les Miserables is 70%
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