Movies That Make Me Irrationally Angry: Les Misérables

I dreamed a dream that I don't want this to happen.
I dreamed a dream that I will hate this movie.

Okay. I have a dilemma. Since October, I have been struggling (struggling) to write about Les Misérables. This post has gone through multiple drafts. First, I attempted to mock the character posters, which are awful. Then I called it “My Inability to Give Two Shits About Les Mis,” which fell through because obviously I do give a shit. Now I’m hoping to write this post without seeming like a bitter bitch who hates Anne Hathaway, which is an easy trap that some people apparently fall into. (Hating someone’s face is an absurd reason to dislike an actor/actress. But I digress.)

So why does everything associated with Les Misérables make me irrationally angry? I honestly don’t know. We are in the middle of the full Les Miserables publicity onslaught. Red carpets, talk show appearances, magazine covers, everything. All of this has me convinced that Les Mis will be a massive disappointment. This is really bothering me.

Let me go down my list of grievances and maybe work through my issues.

This trailer makes me irrationally angry.

When the first trailer for Les Mis debuted, I knew this was the beginning of a difficult relationship. I like Anne Hathaway but not enough so that her singing voice makes me invested in a movie.

Telling me that because Tom Hooper directed The King’s Speech and therefore Les Mis will be good makes me irrationally angry.

No. Tom Hooper directed The King’s Speech is a fact. Not a reason to see Les Mis.

These character posters make me irrationally angry.

Oh god. The character posters.
Oh god. The character posters.

These posters are aimed at selling the film to people who are already in love with the musical. That’s fine. That’s the only logical reason to produce character posters. But these posters offer nothing new or interesting to a casual Les Misérables fan like me. The tag lines are ridiculous as are the actor’s facial expressions. Worst of all, they are a distraction (as all character posters are) from the film’s otherwise excellent main poster. (This is my main grievance with character posters in general. By emphasizing a film’s many characters, the art of having one good poster is lost.)

This featurette makes irrationally. 

Don’t tell me a movie is innovative as a selling point. I hate that. The Jazz Singer was an innovative movie. Les Misérables is not.

Discussions About Anne Hathaway’s hair, weight, weird long-sleeved dress, and now crotch shot make me irrationally angry.

Did you hear? Anne Hathaway cut off her hair and lost a ton of weight to play Fantine. Did you hear? How could you not? At this point she sounds like she’s whining about a creative decision that actually makes her look better. (The hair. Not the weight.) Oh, and now she is attempting to master avant-garde looks on the red carpet. She also got photographed going commando and now has to talk about that. Basically, I’m tired of hearing from Anne Hathaway about how she prepared for her role and about Anne Hathaway in this role.

The Anne Hathaway Oscar campaign makes me irrationally angry.

Anne Hathaway has received a lot of buzz for her performance. She was nominated for a SAG Award.  She’ll probably be nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Look, here she is front and center on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, overshadowing her co-stars.

Anne Hathaway is the film's star even though she dies like 40 minutes into it.
Anne Hathaway is the star of Les Mis. Sorry Wolverine.

This movie is all about Anne Hathaway and her potential Oscar. It has been promoted and sold this way from the very first trailer to every poster, article, interview, etc  since. It has gotten exhausting.

This brings me to my least superficial problem with Les Misérables. I actually like Les Misérables. (Even though I am haunted by my high school’s production of the musical. But that’s another story.) It is a good musical. I want to see Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. I want to see Russell Crowe as Javert because why the hell not? I want to see Samantha Barks as Eponine because she seems pretty damn talented. But at this point, I’m just sick of hearing about how great or not great Les Mis may or may not be. It’s tiring and makes me assume the worst.

I hate the way every Oscar frontrunner is always overhyped. It happens every year for whatever movie is a Best Picture frontrunner and every year it ruins movies for me. And now I find myself in a situation where I’m apathetic towards every likely Oscar contender released. It sucks.

So I’m sorry Les Misérables. It looks like we won’t be getting along any time soon.


13 thoughts on “Movies That Make Me Irrationally Angry: Les Misérables”

  1. I keep mistaking Russell Crowe for Ricky Gervais in all the promo stuff for Les Mis. Is there a resemblance or am I crazy? Yep, there should be a term for irrational anger directed at movies you know will be awful. I think the worst part is that a good Les Mis movie could have been made–but this would never have been it.

  2. I have to agree with you on Anne Hathaway. I like her but she is way to sensationalized in this movie. There are other actors involved in this. They’re just not getting the same publicity as she is. I think I’d stay away from this movie and resort to reading the book instead.

  3. As a les misérables fan, I couldn’t agree more with this.
    I’m going to see this movie just because Samantha Barks and Aaron Tveit are on it, because they are the really talented people. The others seem to be the whole day on my screen so why would I want to see them again?

  4. Thank you so much for this post. You are not irrational at all – you are just pointing out some home truths the movie industry likes to keep quiet about. The amount of mutual backslapping and self-congratulation is reaching vomit-inducing levels, and the film is still a month away from opening in the UK. Yes, it is possible to be a fan of the musical and have serious concerns about the movie. It seems pretty obvious that A list Hollywood actors are unlikely to be as good at singing as their lesser known musical theatre counterparts. Yet we are fobbed off with the ‘oh but they are singing live and acting’ line. You are not alone! Come and visit our blog to see what we thought…..

  5. Les Misérables is my sister’s and mom’s latest obsession – which is okay. But I can’t get into the fever for the movie. All the things you pointed out makes me irrationally turned off. It’s getting the royal treatment to be nominated (and let’s face it win) every award. I don’t like how Anne Hathaway has put on this Oscar-nominee persona in her interviews – where’s the girl that rapped on Conan about the paparazzi??
    And, the push that we should love it because Tom Hooper is the director?…. the cinematography looks like a hot mess to me. The camera is in every actor’s face bouncing around their heads as they sing, walk, etc. – highly annoying!

  6. Holy Crap. You are really miserable aren’t you! What a non review. All I heard was your bitterness. This was not a critique of a movie but a rant by an unhappy person.

    1. Well, yes. This isn’t a review. It’s a critique of the publicity leading up to a movie and how that publicity has made me less-inclined to see Les Mis. And I’m hoping that I will actually enjoy Les Mis once I do see it.

    2. Ang (hehe) did you read the title? Especially the part in which in never ever ever says “This is a review?”. I could never write a public blog, someone always reads what they choose to see and then yells at the author.

  7. It has bugged me that AH’s character is barely in the book, or the play, or the film, but if you just see the ads and the buzz, you think “Wow, lots of Anne Hathaway!”. My favorite character in the musical was always Eponine. She kind of has a worse time of it than Fantine. Oh well, I’ll probably keep skipping the flick and remember how much i loved the stage show, 20 years ago this month. Although my memories have been kind of stomped on. Oh well, now that AH has her Oscar, maybe we can just focis on movies and not buzz. Hopefully.

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