Les Miserables Review

18 January 2013

As a literature junkie, I am well-versed in Victor Hugo's novel,  Les Miserables and have also had a good listen to the 20th edition of the Broadway musical. As a result, I had high expectations for this movie (both because I already enjoy the story, and because it was nominated for Best Picture). I have to say, it didn't disappoint.

Not only were all of the actors in the ensemble cast very talented singers, but they sang each scene LIVE. Which I thought was incredible! Singing live brought so much more emotion, and stayed true to it's broadway-style genesis. Anne Hathaway singing "On My Own" with so much vulnerability and emotion really reeled me in. It was heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time! Not to mention how big of a blubbering bafoon I was when (spoiler alert) she died.

And that little girl who played young Cosette? Holy smokes she was good! Her and the little boy who played Gavroche were cast so well! I loved them.

I wasn't a huge fan of Russell Crowe's or Eddie Redmayne's singing, but they certainly did bring a great mix into the ensemble cast, who were AMAZING. When they sang "Do you hear the people sing" it was so marvellously done, I had chills!

Other notes:

- Thenardier and Madame Thenardier were simply evil, and I loved it! Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are such great villains!
- The harmony between Cosette, Eponine and Marius during "In My Life/ A Heart Full of Love" was remarkable!
- "You're here, that's all I need to know. And you will keep me safe. And you will keep me close. And rain will make the flowers grow." Simply beautiful.
- Eddie Redmayne singing "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" = COMPLETE water-works.
- "To love another person is to see the face of God". Wow.

It's a long movie, but well worth it. If you're not into musicals, this probably isn't going to be your cup of tea, but if you enjoy a could tear-jerking sing-fest, definitely go see this movie!


16 January 2013

The Academy Awards are the creme de la creme in cinema. Being a fan of all things cinema, one of my goals of 2013 was to watch all the movies nominated for Best Picture. But since I'm somewhat of an optimist, and enjoy a good challenge, I've decided to try and watch every film nominated for and Oscar this year.

Of course, the Oscars are next month, and there is no way I can watch every film by the Oscars, I am still attempting to check off this list. Below I have a list of films (in alphabetical order) and I will be graciously checking off each film as I watch them. Maybe I'll even post a few reviews up here! I'm surprised at how many I've already seen, given that I hadn't created the list until the nominees were announces. But here goes:

[ ] 5 Broken Cameras (Best Documentary)

[ ] A Royal Affair (Best Foreign Language Film- Denmark)

[ ] Adam and Dog (Best Short Film [Animated])

[ ] Amour (Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film- Austria, Best Original Screenplay)

[ ] Anna Karenina (Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music [Original Score], Best Production Design)

[ ] Argo (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Music [Original Score], Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing)

[X] Avengers, The (Best Visual Effects)

[ ] Beasts of the Southern Wild (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay)

[ ] Brave (Best Animated Feature)

[ ] Chasing Ice (Best Music [Original Song])*song only

[ ] Django Unchained (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Screenplay)

[ ] Flight (Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay)

[ ] Frankenweenie (Best Animated Feature)

[X] Fresh Guacamole (Best Short Film [Animated])

[ ] Gatekeepers, The (Best Documentary)

[ ] Head Over Heels (Best Short Film [Animated])

[ ] Hitchcock (best Makeup and Hairstyling)

[X] Hobbit, The: An Unexpected Journey (Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design)

[ ] How to Survive a Plague (Best Documentary)

[ ] Impossible, The (Best Actress)

[ ] Inocente (Best Documentary Short)

[ ] Invisible War, The (Best Documentary)

[ ] Kings Point (Best Documentary Short)

[ ] Kon-Tiki (Best Foreign Language Film- Norway)

[ ] Les Miserables (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Music [Original Song], Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing)

[ ] Life of Pi (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music [Original Score], Best Music [Original Song], Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay)

[ ] Lincoln (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Music [Original Score], Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Adapted Screenplay)

[X] Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare' (Best Short Film [Animated])

[ ] Master, The (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress)

[X] Mirror, Mirror (Best Costume Design)

[ ] Mondays at Racie (Best Documentary Short)

[ ] Moonrise Kingdom (Best Original Screenplay)

[ ] No (Best Foreign Language Film- Chile)

[ ] Open Heart (Best Documentary Short)

[X] Paperman (Best Short Film [Animated])

[ ] ParaNorman (Best Animated Feature)

[ ] Pirates, The! Band of Misfits (Best Animated Feature)

[ ] Prometheus (Best Visual Effects)

[ ] Redemption (Best Documentary Short)

[ ] Searching for Sugar Man (Best Documentary)

[ ] Sessions, The (Best Supporting Actress)

[X] Silver Linings Playbook (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay)

[ ] Skyfall (Best Cinematography, Best Music [Original Score], Best Music [Original Song], Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing)

[X] Snow White and the Huntsman (Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects)

[ ] Ted (Best Music [Original Song])*song only

[ ] War Witch (Best Foreign Language Film- Canada)

[ ] Wreck-It Ralph (Best Animated Feature)

[ ] Zero Dark Thirty (Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Screenplay)

Today I'll be watching Les Miserables, and I'm very excited to see how the film adaptation turns out!


12 January 2013

You know when you're in a job interview and the person interviewing you asks the question, "what are some of your weaknesses?". Obviously, I answer with some exaggerated fable about how I just work too much, and I have a hard time leaving things unfinished. But the first thing that always runs through my mind when I think of some of my weaknesses is, I'm a procrastinator.

I mean, sure once I do get started on something, I really do want to finish it. The issue is, getting it started. Take this post for instance. I thought about writing something at least once a day this week. It took me finally just sitting down and making myself do it. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I had to force myself to write because I didn't want to, it's just that I never make the time, and the opportunity slips by.

Which is why this is another thing on my list of 2013 that I want to change. Not just because procrastination can bring so much pressure and anxiety, (have you ever tried writing an 8-page research paper in 1 night? Not fun) but I'm just tired of letting opportunities pass me by because I waited too long. I'm making a conscious effort to make the deadlines, and experience things I never got to before because I procrastinated.

Step one: apply to university.

Odd Numbers

06 January 2013

I like odd numbers. I don't know why, but I do. When someone asks me to "pick a number between one and 10", I always choose an odd number. The volume on my TV always sounds just perfect when it's sitting at 7, and even now I'm trying to think of another example to write, just so I could have three.

You see, I have a strange connection to odd numbers. I was born in 1989, and odd number, I was 15 when a very crucial and life changing event occurred in my life, that being my mother passing away, and I am an only child. Perhaps I feel connected to odd numbers, because I feel a lot like the "odd one out" in most situations, (third-wheels, unite!). Regardless, I think my connection to odd numbers is why 2013 is such a crucial year for me. You see, I'm 23 years old (another odd number) and I feel like my whole life I've been playing the safe card. I've never taken risks, or really done something that makes me so nervous I could throw up. Why someone would want to feel that way is beyond me, but darn-it, I want to feel that way! I want incredible memories of, "I can't believe I did that!" instead of, "I wonder if..."

2013, this is it. The year I want to take risks, try new things, experience new things. So, I've made a list of goals. I'm going to call them goals because everyone knows that when you make "New Years resolutions" no one ever sticks to them. These goals are going to consist of a variety of different things, from little things like trying to finish reading all of my unread books (I have about 15), to big things like moving out of my boring city into a completely new place. The first thing on this list was create a blog.

I'm choosing to write this blog for my own accountability, mostly. But also in the hopes that if anyone does stumble upon it, they would be inspired to take some risks of their own, and share their stories with me. So please, share them! I need encouragement too!

So, if anyone is out there reading this, stay tuned. If not, I can't wait to share my year with myself, because even though I'm just a 23 year old odd girl from Canada, I know this year is going to be big.

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