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I actually liked Russell Crowe just fine in the role of Javert though I may be the only person on earth who does. Javert is my favorite character in Les Mis and I find him the most intriguing. Crowe's somewhat awkward performance works for me in what I see as a very complex and tormented character. It is absolutely true that he is not the most competent singer out there and I'm fine with that. I imagine a man with Javert's personality profile and background would be immensely uncomfortable singing in a musical and that visible struggle with the role actually seemed more natural in a way than a polished, perfectly-pitched stage veteran Javert. I enjoyed the contrast personally. Crowe played the role much differently than I am used to seeing it but that didn't distract me or make me see the performance as bad.

The one and a half casting bones I have to pick would be with Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers. The choice of Cohen in particular left me scratching my head.

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@ TJ

I know what you're saying, and the same thing occured to me. However with something like this, the singing itself is an integral part of telling the story and needs to be good for both the entertainment value and the quality of the production. The effect you're talking about would have been best accomplished by someone good enough at singing to give the impression they aren't great because of the complexities of their character -- not by someone who's truly not very good and whose acting ends up suffering because of it. Just my opinion.

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Crowe was good as an actor but awful as a singer. Spent most of the movie trying to recast Javert in my mind. When he is standing there looking down ready to jump the end all I could think was''do it!" Who should have gotten the role?????

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@ musical fan

there was a cheer in the theatre tonight when he jumped... 150 people can't be wrong!

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I'm sat there through the movie just praying that Wolverine would whip out his blades and put Russel out of his singing misery. Really, I don't know why they would give this part to someone who clearly didn't care for the role AND could not sing. You need someone with intensity, drive, and a strong voice to carry that role.

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I didn't like Russell Crowe in this production. Don't get me wrong, he had a very strong physical presence on the screen, and had he not been focusing so much on his singing, he would have acted the hell out of his role.

While Crowe CAN sing, and yes, he does have a lovely baritone...he didn't have the power and "oomph" that the other cast members did. His voice is weak by comparison. It didn't ruin the movie, but it was very distracting. How can anybody deny the strain in his voice? If he strained any harder, his voice would have cracked.

Hypatia-leigh

I agree. It is a unique talent/skill to BOTH sing well and act well. E.g., 'eponine' singing a beautiful ballad/aria with a bullet hole in her gut, completely believable. Before 'javert' killed himself he looked like he was out for an enjoyable stroll singing a nifty tune. I was shocked. Russell is a great actor - but he was too concentrated/insecure about his voice (which was weak). Russell had many highly emotional scenes (e.g., struggling with issues causing suicide), and he looked like a school boy singing in a school choir. He said the lines. He sang the notes. NOTHING made this character believable.

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I agree whole-heartedly. His voice was nasally and monotoned throughout. He was painfully noticeable as the cast's "weak link" and really had no business whatsoever in this production. Literally every other cast member was incredible in nearly every aspect, and he was frustratingly average at best. With every scene he appeared in, I kept hoping his singing would improve. It didn't.

He seems to have a range of about five notes and in attempting the complexity of Javert, really just displayed himself as a guy who isn't good at singing this type of music. It doesn't matter if he was in a band or sang something else that sounded good at one time: he sounded terrible in this difficult role and completely botched it (although his sustained notes were mostly good and thankfully in tune). As others have indicated, it seems that because he was working so hard at the singing, his acting suffered and he just didn't pull it off. While he didn't quite ruin the movie, he definitely ruined his character.

While I was watching the movie and as a huge fan of the Broadway production, I knew it was one of, if not THE, best movies I've ever seen. I was floored. But from the opening scene on, I wondered how in the world Crowe landed that part. He is utterly terrible -- a fine film actor elsewhere I suppose -- but a completely uninspiring and untalented singer who has left a black eye on an otherwise amazing and historic movie.

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Your review is apalling! To say Russel Crowe cannot carry a tune is ludicrous and I am guessing you are not educated in music. You may have not liked his portrayal, but the man can sing (did you hear him flat or off key? Please learn what a tune is before speaking about anything to do with music.). Also, the movie chose to represent Javier more along the lines of the character in the book versus the broadway. I was thrilled when I heard they casted Crowe and thought he carried the performance just as well as any of the non-broadway actors.

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@ Sydney

Amen, and THANK YOU Sydney for saying what I was not able to do. I thought his voice was beautiful, and smooth. I heard a lot of straining and screaching in that movie and it did NOT come from Russell!

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@ Angela

He was not off key or out of "tune" as you have so nastily clarified for us. But that is ALL he was. Singing notes in tune. No acting. No emotion, not even any stylistic/artistic inflection. And his voice sounded edited in post production, whereas no one else's did.
He looked like he was reading off a sheet of music the whole time. A miserable performance that, to me, only confirms the arrogance of the actor, and likely a director that didn't know how to handle the A-List movie "Super Star".

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I FEEL BAD FOR YOU THAT YOU DON'T SEE THE BEAUTY IN RUSSELL'S VOICE.
HE DOES NOT HAVE THE TYPICAL VOICE, HE HAS AN AMAZING TOUCH TO IT, THAT'S WHAT DISTINGUISHES HIM FROM ALL THE OTHER ACTORS IN THE FILM.
YOU HAVE TO TRULY UNDERSTAND HIS VOICE. ITS REMARKABLE.
EXTRAORDINARY ACTOR. BRILLIANT VOICE.

HIS ACTING, HIS VOICE AND HE , HIMSELF ARE MASTERPIECES.

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I totally disagree. Almost immediately, as soon as the movie started, it was Russell Crowe that absolutely caught my attention. I thought he made a perfect Javert - deep, strong, tormented. And I was surprised at the beauty of his voice. I was disappointed in Hugh Jackman's performance - he just never seemed to quite hit the mark. He strained to make every note - and not in a good way. Ann Hathaway was beautiful as Fontine and should be considered for an Oscar. All other performances were great.

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@ Pattie

I absolutely agree with you. When hearing his voice, you will automatically know THAT is RUSSELL's voice. His voice sets him apart from all the actors in the film .

SIMPLY BRILLIANT.

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I felt exactly the same way when watching Crowe struggle with "Stars" and "Javert's Suicide". These are two of the most moving and powerful songs in the whole production, and I was very disappointed with Crowe's renditions. All other performances were spectacular, particularly Anne Hathaway. The raw emotion of her "I Dreamed a Dream" is impossible to deny.




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