Last Days in the Desert
Very unique and enjoyable film, but -for me- this film is absolutely nothing to do with Jesus. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the events of this film and the ministry & passion of Jesus. No indication what so-ever that ‘Jesus’ (Ewan McGregor) is preparing for what is to come. We can be sure that when Jesus entered the desert, He knew that he was facing intense opposition and ultimately death-by-execution in the next few years to come. No sense of that here, at all. While Ewan McGregor is very watchable (I love his acting work), there’s never even a hint at him being the son-of-god, preparing for His ministry years.
To see McGregor hanging on a cross, at the end of the movie, was just plain bizarre.
Les Miserables - musical version with Hugh Jackman.
I hear people say that Russel Crowe 'can't sing', but that's not what I perceive. I think he can sing. What he is up against, is that the sound of his singing voice is kept very dry, the way it sounded 'in the street' (where filming took place). No great acoustics there.
Because his role represents 'power' and 'high authority', his singing voice could have (should have) been given some reverb and some extra body.
This kind of sound production is very normal in musicals and film (without singing). Listen to Crowe's voice in the Gladiator, and you might notice that the sound of his voice has been 'produced' (enlarged) substantially. And that works very well in that film.
It seems that Tom Hooper, the director of 'Les Miserables' insisted on keeping all the singing (and speaking) totally natural; a great choice on the whole, I would think. Great, because it keeps us close to the drama, and it keeps the drama 'on the ground'.
However, I feel that Russell Crowe was up against an impossible challenge, having to impress us with power & authority, even while he is all by himself on the screen most of the time, while there is no power to his voice. Not good; not good enough. The sound studio could have easily given him a more powerful sounding singing voice, even if that would be a little artificial, compared to the other singers. A necessary compromise, in my view.
While the above issue has caused a weakness in the film, the unusual and risky approach of having the actors (who are not opera singers) sing their dialogue has delivered AMAZING RESULTS. All other actors- singers do an amazing job combining top quality acting with incredibly beautiful and powerful singing. Wow; never seen anything like it!!!
I would like to own this film, it is so brilliant. It has all the strengths of the stage production while also giving the audience impressive and powerful filmic images and performances; the best of both worlds!
Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway are massively impressive in their work, and so is young Eddie Redmayne. Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant (as always) and so is Amanda Seyfield. Director Tom Hooper deserves an Oscar for this daring and extremely well crafted work.
Life is Beautiful
Long Walk to Freedom