Best Actor

Les Miserables Review

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Director Tom Hooper gave us The King’s Speech as well as the miniseries John Adams which were both fantastic. You would think that as he has directed on a large scale with historical context you would think he would be able to make a great film with Les Miserables. This is a musical film and I knew that going in but the cast and the director gave me hope watching it. I don’t think all musicals are bad but it is something that I don’t really watch because it just doesn’t appeal to me.

This is the first time a musical did live recordings of the performances. Usually they would record the soundtrack in the studio and then lip syncing on the set of the film. I did think live seeing added something but that hardly saves the film. I am glad that Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter feature and provide the much needed comic relief to the film. I think it would be too dull without something to break up the drama. I don’t think any of the cast are bad singers at all but I feel that they deliver forgettable performances. I expected a lot more from a cast of such talented actors.

I don’t like long films and if they are long they need to be interesting. I am sure this film is interesting to some but it wasn’t for me. After and hour I was checking the time. I remember joking to my friend about 20 minutes before the film was due to end that there was another hour and a half to go. He said’ You’re f**king kidding me?’ I think that proves how boring the film is. My friend had lost his sense of time and was annoyed when he thought it was no where near the end.

The film did manage to pick up some Oscar nominations and Anne Hathaway took away best supporting actress Oscar. This really was not deserved at all in my opinion. A lot of people liked her performance and think it was deserved but I felt it was too over the top at times and too subtle at other points. Also the fact that she is hardly in it makes me wonder why she got the Oscar. Even a supporting actress Oscar is too much praise in my opinion.

Hugh Jackman picked up an Oscar nomination for his role of Jean Valjean although he missed out on the win. I felt that this films only good bits had Jackman in them. It is good to see that Jackman can play an intense character other than Wolverine and he demonstrates his performance skills as well and a great deal of emotion. I don’t really know how this film could be improved at all. I know it is easy to criticize the film without giving solutions but I really have no interest in giving solutions for this film. I do appreciate that any motion picture has so much effort put into it and that is something to be proud of. But the film failed to keep me entertained but I don’t want to take away its success. Me not liking it is just my opinion.

Overall, this film does have some impressive sets and a decent cast but that cannot save the film from how dull the plot is. I don’t think fans of musicals would like this film that much either as it is so different. The film may have deeper meaning but it was lost on me because I felt the film was so boring and it was a painful experience to watch. Regretfully I have to give this a low rating. I think I am being generous but I did like Jackman’s performance but a lot more than one decent performance to save this miserable film.

4/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Do The Academy Awards Matter?

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Everyone likes to get praised for their work. Awards season for the film industry is important to so many people and winning an award really matters to them. The Academy Awards is considered the most prestigious film award a person can win. Actors dream of winning Oscars in particular and many not just actors but anyone who works in the film industry would be so honored to have their work recognized. However with mixed opinions on films and performances do awards really matter? There have been many roles by actors which I feel were undeserving of Academy Awards and many actors who have missed out on an Oscar nomination despite receiving praise by other awards for their performances. Some have actually made me really angry and even though some may be my personal opinion towards a performance or film I can still show my disapproval and approval of what happens at the Academy Awards.

Meryl Streep is a fantastic actress and has received so much recognition from the Academy Awards but one thing has really annoyed me recently. She won best leading actress for The Iron Lady. Now I can only say this is my opinion but I know many agree with me. In The Iron Lady it is not a powerful biopic about Margret Thatcher it is a pathetic attempt at a dementia awareness the film. He performance was so weak and she only got nominated because she gets nominated. There were better roles that year for the actresses who would have loved to have won an Oscar instead. Also many of Streep’s nominations mean that other new actresses are not getting recognized just because of the Academy’s stupid obsession with Streep. Some nominations are good but some are just put there for the sake of it and it is unfair.  I really don’t get how she won and it really makes me angry. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes the academy has ever made.

Tommy Lee Jones is a fantastic actor and gives great performances in all his films. However he won an Oscar for The Fugitive. Now if you have seen the film it is hardly a pioneering film in the world of cinema and Jones basically plays himself. Its not a terrible performance but its not an Oscar worthy performance. Compared to the other nominees in that category I am surprised that Jones came out on top. I personally would have awarded the Oscar to either Pete Postlethwaite for In The Name Of The Father or Ralph Fiennes for Schindler’s List. The other two nominees were John Malkovich for In The Line Of Fire and Leonardo DiCaprio for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. These were all worthy performances except for Jones who has done many better roles than The Fugitive that were worthy of Oscar nominations and even wins. What were the academy thinking when they gave the Oscar to him? I really don’t know.

There are many snubs made by the academy. Some have been nominated and still have not won whereas some great performances have been ignored  completely. As I said there were many better performances when Tommy Lee Jones won. Also more recently I felt Anne Hathaway was an unworthy winner of the academy award for Les Miserables.  I felt her role really lacked something but that is my opinion. Someone else should have won but I am torn at who should have though.

Gary Oldman finally received a Oscar nomination  for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy two years ago. However he did not win despite giving a fantastic performance. Jean Dujardin won for The Artist which I think is another overrated film. That is only my opinion. Oldman has been snubbed by the Oscars on many occasions but I would not have wanted him to win for just because the academy was trying to make up for snubbing him on in my opinion on 5 separate occasions. I feel that the academy did this with Russell Crowe. He won for Gladiator which was a great performance but I think he only won to make up for him not winning the previous year for the film The Insider.

Michael Fassbender received recognition for his role in Shame at the Golden Globes but was snubbed at the Oscars. He gave a really intense and powerful performance but the academy deemed the topic too sensitive and ignored his fantastic performance. Will Ferell a well known comedy actor gave a brilliant performance in Stranger Than Fiction which I felt was Oscar worthy as well as actor Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I thought that range would be recognize range in performances.  I worry this will be done again for this years academy awards with Steve Carell. He is playing a serious role in the film Foxcatcher but because of his body of work the academy may snub him. I think the Academy needs to look at range of actors performances and not just the performances they are being marked on.

Snubs are not just for actors but it has been done for directors as well. Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed seemed to make up for snubs for his films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino. Although I liked The Departed I felt some of his other films are more deserving of recognition. The Departed is actually a remake which most people don’t know.

It has also been done for best film at the Oscars. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture a few years ago and I don’t think it was the best film of that time. I felt District 9 was more deserving of recognition. Also it is controversial that Forrest Gump won Best Picture over both Pulp Fiction ans The Shawshank Redemption. There two films are considered some of the best pieces in cinema history and The Shawshank Redemption is number one on Internet Movie Data Base’s top 250 list. I personally did not like Forrest Gump and I think most people would say that both The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction are much better films despite the Academy disagreeing.

Overall I do like to keep up with the Academy Awards and other awards but I do think they have made the wrong decisions on many occasions to the point that if you work in the industry that winning an award is a bonus and may help your career but sometimes the voters don’t have a clue and it is down to personal preference and if something is good but not recognized critically it does not mean it is any lesser than a film that has received recognition.

What do you think about the Academy Awards? Do you think they are unfair and they make the wrong decisions often? Please comment below and thanks for reading.