Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

30 December 2012

The Miserable Ones

This is not a review of Les Misérables; it is actually a famous excerpt from Lee Edelman's No Future. Still, because it is the first thing I think of when I think of Les Misérables, and because it is such a famous piece from queer theory, I will ask it to express at least a little of how I felt about Tom Hooper's total mess of a film:
Fuck the social order and the Child in whose name we're collectively terrorized; fuck Annie; fuck the waif from Les Mis; fuck the poor, innocent kid on the Net; fuck Laws both with capital ls and with small; fuck the whole network of Symbolic relations and the future that serves as its prop.
And now, five things I actually liked about Les Mis:
1. Aaron Tveit! Finally someone who can sing is in the movie!
2. Little Daniel Huttlestone who plays Gavroche.
3. Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried, both in good voice and both rather charming.
4. Because there are two people in the sequences with Thénardier and his wife, Tom Hooper can't shoot their scenes in the extreme-close-up style he uses in all of the other sequences. So: thanks, Thénardiers.
5. Russell Crowe, not for his voice (god help us), but because he is an excellent actor, and he understands that acting oughtn't to look like it is hard work.

I have complained before about the state of movie musicals since Chicago, so I won't go over all of that again. Suffice to say, that I think that what movie musicals need is singers, and until producers start feeling comfortable casting singers in movie musicals, we will continue to be forced to watch movies like Les Misérables, Sweeney Todd, and Nine.