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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, February 5

Les Miserables

I don’t quite know what to say, and that’s pretty unusual for me. I usually have something to say about nearly everything. We just saw Les Misérables and were both pretty miserable for the nearly three hours it ran. I’m a lifelong lover of music and musicals, but this one was more laughable than moving. I saw it on stage and was impressed with the singing and the set designs, but this film’s sets felt more like bad Disney than good theatre. Maybe it was the voices. Hugh Jackman can sing with the best of them, but Ann Hathaway and Russell Crowe should stick to straight drama. Especially Russell Crowe. He might be a great “gladiator” and have “a beautiful mind,” but he stunk as Javert. I could hardly wait for him to leap into the Seine near the end, and I almost felt like cheering when he did. I’d even rather have had them use real singers dubbing in most of the score. I mean, Audrey Hepburn had Marni Nixon dubbing for her in the film version of My Fair Lady, so why not real singers here in Les Miz? Or maybe it was the story. Hugo’s characters didn’t necessarily need realistic motives when Hugo penned this novel, but I need them, and too much of what happens to the characters doesn’t make any sense. Why would Javert so relentlessly pursue Valjean for simply breaking his parole after he served nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread? Why did Valjean need to break his parole? How did he manage to become so successful in the years following? Why did he feel so obsessed with caring for Fantine’s daughter? Sorry, Andrew Lloyd Weber, other than “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Bring Him Home,” I can get along just fine without the rest of the score, especially the operatic singing of every line of dialogue whether it deserved song or not, no matter how mundane the thought. And I’d rather have had them all do a Beyonce bit and lip synch the numbers than have the cast do it all live, especially when they had to shoot too many in full-face close-ups, noses dripping and eyes simply gushing tears as they emoted Weber’s words. Please let me know if you disagree with my assessment, but don't get violent. Just let me know where I went wrong. Or right.
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