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Golden Globes and “Les Mizzzz”

Had a movie date today – my daughter got the day off from motherhood, her friend Holly took the baby to her nanny job, and Anna and I got to see a movie in the middle of the afternoon. She didn’t want to see the ravages of age up close in “Amour,” for some reason; her choice was “Les Miz,” straight from its big wins for Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman last night at the Golden Globes.

Digression and confession time: Yes, I watched the endless Globes – I decided I could waste that much time on one awards show because I would not allow myself to watch the Oscars. We’ll see how that works out. Also – I did switch to PBS and watch delectable “Downton Abbey” in the middle. (Is Bates looking more and more like a murderer?!) Still managed to catch the show highlights, especially Jodie Foster’s riveting speech. A lesson in public speaking – she kept threatening to go off the rails but never quite did, so we all watched with bated breath. A controlled and intelligent performance – like her onscreen work, only as herself.

She sat all night beside the outcast Mel Gibson, whose face was so vacant with mouth hanging open that he looked as if he’d had a lobotomy. Mostly I watched to see Tiny and Amy, who did not disappoint. Sassy but not cruel. Valiant, for such an interminable show.

So – “Les Miz.” Saw it here at the Royal Alex when it first came out, and adored it. I was then married to a man working for Andrew Lloyd Webber, so it didn’t help my marriage that I admired this musical far more than anything Webber ever did. Well – the movie version is pretty damn epic. But you want to throttle the director so often – oh for God’s sake, give those poor actors a break! It’s not enough they have to emote, weep and sing at the top of their lungs with the camera pointed about two inches from their tonsils – they have to do it in the RAIN? I mean.

But the scope of the show and the glory of the performances – Eddie Redmayne, adorable but looking about as French as a pot of tea, Colm Wilkinson as the face of God, Russell Crowe who can’t sing really but pulled off a tormented Javert, and especially the incredibly talented and grounded Hugh Jackman … the sweep of the revolution toward the end, and the finale – spectacular. Tears in the eyes, couldn’t help it. My Paris, being liberated, so that American tourists can stand just where those barricades once stood and complain about rude Parisians.

Beautiful Anne Hathaway is also valiant and brave and open, she just works way too hard. Too much tonsil. Too much screw-up-the-face suffering. But there’s a Hollywood rule: any actress who allows her nose to run on camera while she cries will get an Oscar.

There’s your movie review. What they pay me the big bucks for.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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