Chow Bella

Les Misérables and Dinner at Scratch Pastries in Scottsdale

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Les Misérables The Christmas season has its fair share of depressing movies with happy endings, but Tom Hooper's Les Mis makes the starving and deathly ill Tiny Tim or George Bailey's attempted suicide seem almost cheery. We have never heard so many people sniffling in one movie theater, and there was even a grown man openly weeping somewhere behind us by the end of the film. So is all the misery worth it cinematically?

After hearing the film was shot sans lip-syncing, we were definitely more excited to see the latest take on the classic French tale of despair, revolution and love. In some scenes, the long, dramatic, emotional monologues told via song were a little hard to get through. The nearly two-and-a-half hour movie could have done with some more conservative editing in general. Not to mention some of the rougher vocal moments from Russell Crowe could have been clipped.

However, in other scenes, such as Anne Hathaway as Fantine (who had just finished selling her hair, teeth and body) singing "I Dreamed a Dream," the live singing paid off. Hathaway is sure to be an Oscar favorite with her gasping, sobbing and heartbreakingly realistic performance, but her parts were the most interesting and once (spoiler alert) Fantine dies, our interest kind of did, too.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch