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Movies // Hot Ticket
Nicole Kato

Les Miserables

Yvonne Elliman
Singer/musician/entertainer

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I went with Allen Alexander to Ward Consolidated Theaters.

Overall what did you think?

By the mere fact that we both stayed awake through the whole three-hour event, I can definitely say that we were involved and entertained.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

The opening scene was heart-pounding and large.

You were introduced to the two male leads, one of them being Hugh Jackman, whom I’ve never seen or known of him to do anything other than his Wolverine role, and Russell Crowe, also an actor with heroic roles and interesting topics under his belt.

When they started singing, I squirmed in my seat thinking, “Uh oh. This could get either corny or worse.” I had seen a review that revealed that all the singing was done live.

That’s right, no lip-syncing to a pre-recorded performance, but live, on the spot, don’t screw up because that’s a lot of lost bucks, L-I-V-E. And then they featured one little snippet of an example of how it can go a little sour.

So, as Jackman’s Jean Valjean (I didn’t realize that it was Jackman yet) made his escape and sang with vengeful passion, I studied, very closely, the movement of his lips, throat, and his breathing, certain I would see multiple syncing mistakes because the sound was so good!

How can you be singing live, out in the open and sound that good? I noticed that I clearly understood the lyrics, as well, and that is vital to a movie with a message or complicated storyline.

So, if he was lip-syncing, then he was a magician of otherworldly skills, because there were no hiccups at all, from anyone, from beginning to end. That opening scene set the stage for me, and then there was Anne Hathaway’s unbelievable song of woe that made me sit up and go “Whoa.”

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

★★★★. No hesitation.

Was the message/theme clear?

Oh, yes, you definitely knew who the good and bad guys were, and that love would prevail. Neither Allen nor myself knew the story of Les Miserables, so we were unbiased and unopinionated.

To whom would you recommend this movie?

I would recommend this movie to those who enjoy historical events, musicals, possess a fair degree of patience and want to see some surprise, stand-out performances.

Did any of the actors stand out?

Without a doubt, Anne Hathaway gets the nod. She absolutely blew me away.

I had no idea the woman was so gifted in music. She captured your sympathy with her opening scene in a factory where she worked, a victim of abuse from bullies, then eventually gets tossed into the street.

As she wanders through the grimy alleyways looking for shelter and work to support her young daughter, she meets up with more abuse and slides hopelessly into the perils of prostitution.

This is where she sings, with perfect intonation and precise enunciation, the sad tale of her life, going from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, hitting all the notes, turning up the volume and then, with nothing but a whisper, ushers out the final note with unfaltering vibrato and tears streaming down her face. She’s so watchable.

Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film?

Yes. Without it, Allen and I might have fallen asleep!

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD?

I rarely buy DVDs. This one, I’ll buy.

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Raisinettes.

On a different note, what’s new with you?

I’m currently taking care of my mom and dad, which leaves little time for gigging, visiting with friends or going to the movies.

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