It's here, it's here!
The most talked-about prestige pic of awards season, Les Misérables, finally opened this week — to rather mixed reviews. Some absolutely adore it and are already planning sing-along dinner parties for when it's released on DVD; other feel it hits a few too many wrong notes.
Yet amongst fans and detractors alike, there is plenty of agreement on who stole the show and brought the house down, and who was lacking. Using a highly scientific process of calculation, we have determined which characters come out on top and which suffer the most in this movie adaptation.
So without further ado, here are the Official (well, official to us) Les Misérables power rankings!
Crotch-flash? What crotch-flash? Even those who don't like the movie come out of it knowing that Anne Hathaway's mostly single-shot "I Dreamed A Dream" is far and away the film's highlight, a breathless moment of movie magic that seems sure to win her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. After all, Oscar loves show-stopping females in supproting roles in musicals — just look at Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls. Now Anne can breathe a big sigh of relief that her massive wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet wasn't her sole Les Mis legacy. Who would have thought a singing, penniless, dirty hooker missing teeth and hair would come out on top?
Standout Number: "I Dreamed A Dream"
Four major movie stars were advertised as the standout performers from Les Misérables, and none of them were Eddie Redmayne. He's a mostly-unknown performer (until now, anyway), but he's easily the breakout star of the movie. In fact, he shows up some much bigger stars with just the right mix of cinematic oomph and musical theater panache. Bravo! If there was any justice in this world, this dashing gent would have an Oscar nomination alongside Anne Hathaway.
Standout Number: "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables"
Even in the stage musical, Eponine tends to be a scene-stealer with her unrequited love ballad "On My Own." She, too, is played by a largely unknown British actress and singer, Samantha Barks, but her fresh appeal makes us wish she had more screen time (and that Marius would wake up and forget about that silly Cosette). In fact, her long-take "On My Own" might have been the standout number of the movie... if Anne's long-take "I Dreamed A Dream" hadn't stolen her thunder earlier in the movie. (Ditto the death scene.)
Standout Number: "On My Own"
4. Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean is the true star of this show, even if the best songs are given to other characters. And Hugh Jackman (mostly) delivers, particularly in the film's early scenes, where he plays a scraggly prisoner and thief who must learn to find the goodness within. We must admit, though, as the film crawls toward the three hour mark, the audience gets a little restless with Valjean's endless moral flip-flopping, and he doesn't have any truly show-stopping numbers like those who outrank him on this list.
Standout Number: "Epilogue"
5. Young Cosette
Even with at least six major movie stars in the cast, young Cosette gets the poster all to herself? Well played, Little C.
Standout Number: "Castle On A Cloud"
It's one of the smaller parts in the movie, but as played by Gossip Girl's Aaron Tveit, Enjolras makes his mark as the ringleader of the revolutionaries and Marius' buddy. Even if the movie doesn't make it totally clear what this whole revolution is all about, Enjolras makes you want to jump on board this suicidal mission, anyway, through pure charisma.
Standout Number: "Red and Black"
7. Monsieur & Madame Thénardier
The show's comic relief is amusingly brought to life by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, but it feels more like we're having flashbacks to Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd than that they truly belong in this movie.
Standout Number: "Master of the House"
The mini-revolutionary who pays a steep price for hanging out with the bigger boys has a few winning moments, and also an awkwardly fake-looking ride on the back of a carriage. As Les Mis moppets go, we're afraid he has to defer to Cosette.
Standout Number: "Look Down"
Was Amanda Seyfried actually in Les Mis? It's hard to remember. Despite being billed as one of the top stars, she has almost nothing do for the entire movie except gawk at Eddie Redmayne with her big doe eyes and hit a few shrill high notes. Her best musical performance to date remains her frog rap — it's just too bad all her drunken talk show appearances upstaged anything she did in this movie.
Standout Number: None
Hmm. What happened here? Russell Crowe is a terrific actor and a somewhat passable singer, yet he bored us to tears every time he was on screen in Les Mis (which was, unfortunately, quite a lot). What should have been a formidable foe for Jean Valjean comes across instead as a whiny, none-too-scary villain whose lengthy musical numbers serve as perfect bathroom breaks. By the time he jumps to his death near the end of the film, it's not tragic — it's a relief.
Standout Number: "Javert's Suicide" (spoiler alert)
So that's the good, the bad, and the mediocre in Les Misérables. Hathaway is "Master of the House," while if you want to find Russell Crowe... "Look Down."
Surely some of these performers will be rewarded with Oscar nominations (and possible wins), and others will forever be remember as sorely miscast. We were definitely surprised to find some major movie stars at the bottom of the list.
Do you agree with our Les Mis power rankings?