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Posts tagged ‘Aaron Tveit’

Oscar Audience Applauds, Cries & Cheers for “Les Miz”!

Ok. It’s my SECOND time seeing the masterpiece of masterpieces that is “Les Miserables.” I was soooo overwhelmed the first time I saw it, I couldn’t write anything about it, but now on my SECOND viewing more than a week later, I’m able to pull myself together and focus enough to tell you, yes, it’s THAT good! It’s my Best Film Of the Year! Maybe one of the Best Films Ever Made! Certainly the Best Movie Musical Ever Made!

My hero, Tom Hooper, has once again done the impossible! He’s topped his Oscar-winning “The King’s Speech” with an even more moving movie movie! Astonishing, but true! “Les Miserables” is a rapture.

“Les Miz” is what a great movie should be. Rousing, enthralling, epic, unbelievably effecting. And the cast! AND THE MUSIC! Song after song after unforgettably classic song! I never wanted it to end!

I’ve always LOVED Hugh Jackman, but after seeing his heart-breaking, grounding-breaking achievement as Jean Valjean, I admire him deeply as an artist. And a singing one at that. With a voice I’ve never heard him use before, especially in the upper registers of “Bring Him Home” which has high notes that not many male singers can hit.

“Bring Him Home” got applause. Anne Hathaway’s heart-rending “I Dreamed a Dream” got applause and she just got nominated today for a Golden Globe Award, as did Hugh Jackman. They also doubled that in the SAG award nominations and tripled it in the Broadcast Film Critics earlier this week. If they three-peat, than an Oscar nom is probably certain, too.

But back to tonight’s audience. They applauded Anne’s ” I Dreamed a Dream,” then “One Day More,” then “Bring Him Home,” then Eddie Redmayne’s “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables”. Interestingly they didn’t applaud at the end of “On My Own.” Maybe all that rain that newcomer Samantha Barks as Eponine has to sing in THROUGH THE ENTIRE SONG, was just too much. It was for me. And then at the end in her penultimate moment on the barricades, she is also suddenly inexplicably rain-dappled. When everyone else is dry.Did director Hooper feel she NEEDED All.That.Rain.? IDK.

But why find fault when there is soooo much wonderfulness to be recommended?

I Loved It! I Loved It! I LOVED IT!

It’s just relentless as it builds to the climax, which is shattering beyond belief. The academy audience, mixed with press, that I saw it with, applauded Tom Hooper’s name when it came up on the credits. And also Hugh Jackman. The applause sustained through Russell Crowe’s name, then erupted in cheers when Anne Hathaway’s name appeared. Died down again until Eddie Redmayne’s name appeared, when there again were cheers. And at the end bravos as the audience was standing. I’ve never seen such an ecstatic reception of a movie IN MY LIFE! How can it not win Best Picture?

When does this happen? NEVER! Not at the movies. It was like they were all on Broadway watching the best show ever. There is a moment as it ends, where the audience is literally crying en masse during the last number. I’m not exaggerating. And I was crying too.

I was crying MORE the first time I saw it.I never cried so much at a movie in all my life, and I kept crying until the end, but the second time, I started crying, too. When Enjolras(a tremendous Aaron Tveit) is singing “Red, the blood of angry men, Black, the dark of ages past….” .

It was all such a glorious surprise the first time.I left in a state of absolute wonder. Utter cinematic euphoria. A dream was coming true.

And the Dream Lives, as the ad says, this Christmas.

“Catch Me If You Can” A Waste of a Lot of Terrific Talent

“Catch Me If You Can” was a terrific Stephen Spielberg-directed, entertaining, sexy movie. It had speed, style, wry humor, Leonardo DiCaprio at his charming best, Tom Hanks as his frazzled, funny pursuer, Christopher Walken’s best before-0r-since performance as Di Caprio’s complex, concerned dad and French film legend Natalie Baye as Walken’s wayward wife and Di Caprio’s dazzlingly young French mother. RENT IT IMMEDIATELY.

Because if you drop a bundle of cash on Broadway’s over-priced tickets to the new musical version of “Catch Me if You Can”, you are going to feel gypped. Really, really gypped.

First let me say that I LOVED Aaron Tveit. He was memorable, haunting and engaging as the ghost of the manic-depressive Mom of the brilliant Alice Ripley in the far superior “Next to Normal.” He egregiously didn’t get a Tony Nomination, when everything else in the musical, including the rug, got nominated a few years back.

And I really did look forward to seeing him emerge as a musical comedy star, in a musical specifically written for him by the same team that successfully brought us the musical of “Hairspray” but alas ~ no. He has to carry this HUGE, WEIGHTED DOWN, dull, dull show almost entirely on his own.

His pursuer, Hanratty, played with great gusto, but disfiguring horn-rimmed glasses and a fat suit by the great Norbert Leo Butz, is a supporting player here. Whereas Tom Hanks in the movie, was the superbly slick Leonardo DiCaprio’s co-star. When he got frustrated chasing this ace con man around the world, Hanks was always funny in his frazzeledness. But Butz, in this awful outfit, seems simply sad and middle-aged. Not great qualities to buoy up a sinking Broadway musical. Ditto the defeated-edness of Tom Wopat as our hero’s father.

Chirstopher Walken was so complex and moving as the Dad in the movie, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. That 2002 performance has stayed in my mind and reminds me of just how terrific an actor Walken can be when he is not doing schtick.

But mostly I worried about the handsome, young Tveit. And how he seemed endlessly flat, but bright and spritely, as this lumpen musical wore on and on. Wearing out its’ questionable welcome hours before it was over.

One kept hoping it would pick up and become like “Hairspray” i.e. tuneful and funny. But it doesn’t. It certainly doesn’t. And the music is flat, too. What a shame.

Will the promising Tveit’s career overcome what surely is going to be seen as HIS great failure. But then, “Catch Me If You Can” may not be able to outrun its’ critics pans. Like this one. The sooner this show closes, the better for Aaron Tveit’s  budding career.

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