I used to have a hatred of musicals. My opinion wasn’t based on evidence or experience.
I’d never been to see one – in fact at the point that I first started being vocal in my disgust with the art form I think I’d seen Grease on the television and nothing else.
I’ve always loved plays but I couldn’t think of anything worse than one riddled with songs and dance numbers. Then came Moulin Rouge! It blew me away. I went to see it on multiple occasions. I then relented and went to see Blood Brothers on stage. I loved it.
Since then I’ve seen Phantom, Les Mis, A Little Night Music, Oliver, Wicked and The Lion King. All shows that I’ve enjoyed for different reasons. However, the experience of watching them on film had lost its edge. Until last week.
We’d been excited about the prospect of Les Miserables on the big screen since Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and co filmed at Boughton House last summer. The reviews were good, the trailer epic – but nothing could prepare me for what was waiting at the Odeon on a snowy Thursday night.
Somehow Tom Hooper has managed to take the spirit and emotion of a stage musical and put it on screen. I didn’t feel like I was at the pictures, I actually believed I was there. Anne Hathaway was remarkable and big-screen debutant Samantha Barks phenomenal.
I hate it when critics over-hype movies but, believe me, cinema has changed forever. To put it simply: miserable, I was not!