Tuesday, 12 February 2013


My closest cinema multiplex has eight screens of various sizes. It's not a good sign when a newly-released film is, within a few days, demoted to the smallest screen - euphemistically called "our mini-cinema" -  though there's no reduction in admission charge. So had to catch this quickly before it disappeared entirely; unless it gets a much-needed second wind from its BAFTA-nominated turn from Helen Mirren doing Mrs H., though I doubt if it will.

Anthony Hopkins looks totally unrecognisable under all that bulk. More's the pity then, that despite all the effort, he doesn't look much like Hitch either - a face that was so familiar to those of my generation watching his weekly TV appearance in the late 1950s, when he introduced 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', half-hourly playlets, usually with slightly bizarre scenarios or twists.  There was actually nothing too outrageously shocking - they were, after all, screened on Tuesday evenings at 7 o'clock at a moment in history when there was a choice of just two channels, BBC and ITV. 

But, accepting that Hopkins is portraying an approximation rather than an imitation, back to the success or otherwise of the actual film.
It deals with his trials and struggles, both with the film companies and censors, to make the famed 'Psycho', a film I was too young to see on its initial release in 1960, though I do clearly recall all the associated hullabaloo, such as how that no one would be admitted into the cinema after the film had started (which turned out to be an added, though unnecessary, gimmick to draw in even greater numbers). I caught it on its re-release in 1966 (in a double-bill with the 1953 'War of the Worlds') and by then it had acquired the enticing allure of 'forbidden fruit'. Since that viewing I have never heard such screams for another film from a cinema audience, or anything even approaching it. Of course 'Psycho' is pretty old hat now, and I know complete stretches of the script off by heart. All subsequent viewings have long since become exercises in filmic analysis rather than the impossible task of recapturing any of the initial thrills and shocks. (I think it was only first shown on our TVs here in the late 1990s).

In this film Helen Mirren was at her usual high standard but I didn't feel it was so outstanding as to have merited her BAFTA nomination, but I'm not complaining about that.
Could have done without the occasional 'ghost' appearances of the character who carried out the murders on which the Robert Bloch book was based. It just muddied the waters and felt as though it was put in to give the film added meaning when none was actually needed.
Scarlett Johannson as Janet Leigh and James D'arcy as Anthony Perkins were both very good.

During the course of the film I was wondering if it would appeal to those who know little or nothing of 'Psycho' or have even heard of Hitchcock - and might therefore miss a lot of the allusions. I dare say that perhaps the majority of today's audience might plead ignorance on both accounts, but I may be mistaken.
The film ends pleasingly enough, allowing one to exit with a little bounce in one's step.

A bit more entertaining than I was expecting, I award it a...................6.5/10

I hope the next Pope is another die-hard bigot.....

.......because it'll continue the R.C. Church's alienation of increasing numbers of its members and give further cause to outsiders to shrug their shoulders and just give up on its absurdities, not to mention the damage done by its pronouncements.
I do find it strange how there seem to be so many still-practising members who only seem to use the Church to go to weekly or occasional mass, and even receiving communion, and then return home and do their own thing, ignoring the Church's strictures on the most personal aspects of their lives. But that's only a feeling I get. Maybe I'm wrong, and they all do, in fact, practice what is preached to them.

    I see that among the contenders to fill the papal red slippers, the most 'liberal' is considered to be Ghanaian Peter Turkson - at 64 a mere chit of a child. However, I think it's safe to conclude that 'liberal' is a relative term in an organisation where anyone with even slightly progressive thoughts about the status of women and gays would never have been allowed to advance to the position of cardinal in the first place. And half of those voting for the next Pontiff were appointed by His Holiness the present ailing one himself - and he would never have allowed any back-stabbers to sidle in unsuspectingly. I shouldn't imagine that there is a single one of those 'qualified' to vote who will support the election of anyone (if such a one exists) who is going to rock the boat and tell them, at their advanced ages, that all their lives they have been wrong!  No, whoever gets this 'crown of gold - sorry, thorns' I'm sure we can look forward to more stern finger-wagging and 'naughty boy' tellings-off at our 'sinfulness', and how we are such a force for corruption and a dire threat to humanity's very existence. And that our only possible salvation lies in our return to grace through repentance - whether we believe in a God (let alone one of the Papal-approved variety) or in an after-life at all.
As a former R.C. myself (why is it such a palaver to 'resign' one's 'membership'?) I eagerly look forward to further instalments of Papal Bull - and whoever sits on the still-warm throne, I'm pretty sure he won't be disappointing us. I think my desire for a suitably qualified bigot to succeed will indeed be fulfilled. The odds are very encouraging.
Deo Gratias.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


I went to this fearing that it might be a waste of time. But it's actually not at all bad.
Nineteen years after the release of 'Four Weddings', that film still casts a long shadow, and comparisons are inevitable.
When this new British comedy starts with a wedding ceremony with an officiating priest being the cause of a single over-extended joke, followed by a deliberately cringe-worthy best man's speech (albeit a funny one), well my resistance was already solidifying. But, must admit, that as the film progressed I did find myself warming to the characters - and there are certainly quite a few funny moments, several of them LOL ones.

Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall (centre, above) play newly-weds seeking counselling help for a marriage which has very quickly foundered. (Spall is the real life son of the now-veteran actor, Timothy Spall. Spall Snr tended to make his name playing bulbous-bodied grotesques and even now he retains his portly figure - so it's a bit surprising that I'm starting to find this sprog of his rather hot.) His character provides behaviour which his 'wife' deems tiresome or obnoxious but which we, seeing it from a distance, is quite amusing.
Among the cast is also the welcome presence of Minnie Driver, whom I don't think I've seen since the film of 'Phantom' nine years ago.
There's also Stephen Merchant (Ricky Gervais' ineffectual, lanky agent in the excellent 'Extras' TV series) whose one-note contribution to this film's humour is to come out with outrageously 'rude' remarks without realising how 'offensive' they are to others present - rather in the manner of Steve Coogan's 'Alan Partridge' character (of which I was a huge fan), though now all with a full-on sexual element. But he delivers his lines well and, I have to say, many of them are very funny.

The film does dip into sentiment towards the end in order to wrap things up neatly, but by then I was interested enough to know how it would turn out.
Still not a patch on 'Four Wedding' though, which was always going to be a tough act to follow, it's not as cohesive as that film was, and there isn't the range of characters here. Nevertheless, I had a pleasant afternoon - and I think when it comes on the telly and I sit down to watch it again, I'll possibly laugh even more....................................6.5/10

(Post-script added following day)
I went to this film yesterday having been aware of Mark Kermode's very thumbs-down review in which he said that he couldn't engage with the characters and hence didn't care what happened to them. As you can see from above, I didn't agree. Now this morning I read Philip French's review in the 'Observer' in which he blows an even bigger raspberry at the whole enterprise. (I wouldn't be surprised to read that he'd been humming the 'Dies Irae' at the time of writing!) So what am I supposed to do? Apologise for having laughed?

Thursday, 7 February 2013


Based on the diaries of Daisy, the real life (several-times- removed) cousin of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, I found this film a disappointingly mundane affair.

Taking place in 1939, Daisy becomes, to her consternation, the object of infatuation - and wandering hands - of the married FDR. (Ooh, the randy devil!) The entire dramatic momentum of the film is provided by the conflicted emotions of Daisy, played by the excellent Laura Linney, almost all the time in sullen mood, reflecting her confusion at being given such unexpected and unwanted attentions. Bill Murray as the Pres is okay.

The film starts in pleasant enough and gentle style but I felt it translating into sluggishness quite soon.   I didn't think the script was especially memorable or noteworthy.
Comic relief is presented in the forms of Samuel West and Olivia Colman as the stammering King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the later-to-become 'Queen Mother', of course). Both resemble nothing like the real royal couple they impersonate, the former especially looking even less like 'Bertie' did than Colin Firth, appearing in 'The King's Speech'. The regularly interspersed  'humorous' scenes featuring this couple relate to their gaucheness, discomfort and ignorance in the unfamiliar milieu of American society (on the first ever visit by a reigning British monarch) - as exemplified in the oft-mentioned 'hot dogs'. (Actually, I don't think I myself knew what this 'snack' was until the 1960s.)

Btw: A film cliche is unimaginatively included. When a character says that s/he doesn't smoke, you can guarantee that before long you will see them puffing away with gay abandon. Oh dear!

A film of passing interest perhaps, but nothing more substantial than that.........................5/10

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Film: Second time round for 'LES MISERABLES'

For the fifth occasion in the last ten years I've now paid to see a film in the cinema for a second time. (Others were - 'Hugo', 'Inception', 'Mamma Mia!' and 'Chicago')
In my posting of three weeks ago, although I said that I'd quite liked the film I was markedly less enthusiastic about it than just about all the other reviews I've read and blogs seen since, as well being cooler than the opinions of my sister and her hubby who both, on their annual visit to a cinema, were completely bowled over by it. 
So I felt it my 'duty' to give it another go while it was still showing in the medium for which it was intended.

This time there was the advantage of seeing it not just in another cinema which, though much smaller, was recently constructed (with superior sound) and with a screen/auditorium-size ratio much larger than my first viewing. There was, consequently, more opportunity for it to overwhelm me. It also helped in watching it in warmth whereas in my first visit during snowy weather the heating had been under-effective making me aware of my freezing feet the entire time.
So, with the latter distraction out of the way I went, fearing that I might be the sole member of the audience there as it's now coming to the end of its cinema run. But the 90-seater was a quarter full for this 10.30 a.m. showing, which itself was reassuring. (Were some of them also seeing it a second time, I wondered.)

Of course re-seeing a film with which one is already familiar alters one's perceptions. There is none of the prior expectation or possibility of disappointment. One hopes that things are observed which one hadn't noticed before - and that did happen, principally in the film's direction. I hadn't realised what a fine job Tom Hopper had done as director. Subtle reactions of the actors' developing situations (including those in the minor roles) are extremely well observed and caught on camera in close-up - all of which cannot, of course, take place in a live theatre where the audience is several or even many yards distant from the stage, requiring those players to be unrealistically demonstrative in their actions and gestures. Hooper transfers it very well to make the most of the different, more intimate potential of the cinema screen. I was very impressed.
Having now examined and played my recordings I see that the excisions from the film are not as extensive as I thought they'd been. (2 hrs 38 mins for the film as against 2.48 on CD, though the former does have an additional short song.)

I've not changed my opinion re the cast, all of whom are good or very good - apart from the two Thenardiers who, I still think, are badly miscast, though it hardly seems fair to complain too much about lack of realism, in a musical of all things!

I'm being willingly drowned in 'Les Mis' at the moment. Not only am I following a radio dramatisation of the Victor Hugo 1,000-pager on the BBC in 25 X 15 min episodes, I'm also re-reading that mighty tome for the second time - as at now, one third through. Hadn't realised before how similar in form it is to 'War and Peace', actually pre-dating it by some 7 years. Like Tolstoy, Hugo muses for pages on end on military campaigns and strategy, both books involving the same man, Napoleon - though whereas in W & P it's mainly about the Emperor's Russian campaign and his disastrous retreat from Moscow, in the Hugo it's Waterloo and its aftermath, the political consequences of the treaty of Vienna and ensuing student unrests. All fascinating stuff.

Anyway, back to the film. In summary I confess that my opinion has now changed. I am now a fair bit more enthusiastic, and would therefore like to award it a promotion by one entire point on what I scored it previously. It now gets a ...........7.5/10!

Monday, 4 February 2013


Just about everyone will know by now that this film concerns the hunt for, and 'elimination' of, Osama Bin Laden. Since it was released (only just now in the U.K. but weeks ago in a number of other countries) it has been garlanded with superlatives. Some have commented that certain scenes (nearly all towards the film's beginning) show that torture is effective in producing desired information, while some say that the film indicates the precise opposite. Then there have been criticisms from both left and right that it takes up a position sympathetic to the other side. I went with an open mind to both its purported political stance(s) and the validity or otherwise of applying torture (uneasy watching, predictably), but I really have no worthwhile comment to offer on these points, and it didn't hold back my appreciation.
I have no hesitation in saying that it is indeed a very good film - and yet, I didn't find it had quite the visceral impact which I felt when watching the recent 'Argo', which had gripped me throughout. I do wonder if I'd seen this one before the latter I'd be feeling that it was 'Argo' that was the slightly inferior film. Maybe, but I didn't, and can only recount my own reaction.
Difficult to pinpoint why I don't rate it a bit higher. No complaints about the acting, which was uniformly of a high standard, the construction of the film was taut enough, direction good, script was as fine as was demanded - but yet....... Maybe it was my mood this afternoon whereas I might have been more favourably disposed at another time.

As it is, I give it a significantly above-average.................7/10

Thursday, 31 January 2013


Drawn to this 2011 film by the name in the title (for more about that major British singing star of the 1950s, see below), I went along hoping that it might be one of those ignored little gems which is only appreciated for its worth when word gets around. Unrealised hopes, alas.
Maybe I should have 'read the runes' in that it had only got a very selected theatrical release and I caught it at a one-off 11 a.m. screening for 'Senior Citizens', many of whom, being of my generation and older, could well have been attracted by the title as I had been.

Modestly budgeted, quintessentially British production, with no really big names to be recognised outside the world of British TV (though John Hurt has a cameo five minute appearance near the start), it's directed and written by Tony Britten, another veteran TV (and one-time classical theatre) actor who also wrote the music soundtrack (Very 'in-your-face'!).
It concerns the aged owner of an end-of-the-pier theatre in one of our English resorts (Cromer, Norfolk), struggling to come up with ideas to keep it alive and viable during the Winter months, while financial bodies are breathing down his neck. After a number of duff ideas someone comes up with an imitation-tribute act to Alma Cogan (died 1966), on whom he'd not only had a teenage crush but actually, for a few brief moments, took it further - and has been obsessing over her for all his life since. (The girl in the film who attempts this tribute-imitation bears no more than a passing resemblance to the star, which I can forgive, but she's even further away in trying to capture the distinctive voice.) There's also a tangential involvement with a criminal gang.

It could have been an interesting and captivating film but I found it rather clunky - and surprisingly, (considering that so many of the cast were veteran actors), much of the acting seemed self-consciously forced, though Keith Barron was okay.

Barely time-passing entertainment, certainly nothing to write home about...................4/10

Alma Cogan (for non-British readers and Brits too young to have known) was one of the really big British female singing stars of the mid-late 1950s, having a string of hits at the same time as Ruby Murray, Shirley Bassey and Petula Clark (the last two being still with us and still performing),  She died of cancer at the tragically young age of 34, by which time she'd been sidelined by changing fashions and the onset of rock and group-pop music. Though she did attempt to extend her regular repertoire of upbeat, chirpily optimistic songs into something more mature and sophisticated, her altered style never really caught on with the public. She'd been known as the 'Girl with a Giggle in her Voice', referring to the inserted, vocal 'catch' when she sang, which became her distinguishing gimmick. I liked her. She had a bouncy, sunny personality which always made me feel good - though what lurked underneath we were never quite sure (at that time such questions were never asked!) If she'd lived in a more enlightened era I'm pretty sure she would have had a large gay following - and she may well actually have done so in the then hidden gay underworld. Listening to her voice even now, it has a pleasantly infectious quality.

Monday, 28 January 2013


Despite its unimaginative title this is a decent enough film - sporadically engaging, even sometimes charming, but not one that'll lodge in my memory for a long time.

Set in 1988, and based on the true story of a 38 year old man, a quadraplegic after contracting polio in childhood, who has to spend several hours a day in an 'iron lung'. (I didn't know that they still had these things. I always associate them with the 1950s and prior times, and had assumed that, by now, they might have been succeeded by another, more effective, method of treatment.)

The paralysed Mark wishes finally to lose his virginity - and, more specifically, to have penetrative sex for the first time - and he hires, for this purpose, a sort of sex-therapist surrogate. (Another thing I've learnt - I didn't know such people existed). Without even a blink, she takes on the 'task' of giving him his first experience. For me, Helen Hunt, in this role, carries the film. (We also see a couple of full-frontals of her - for those who like that sort of thing).
Then there's also the always reliable William H.Macy as a sympathetic R.C. priest - sporting some alarming, shoulder-length hair.

The film's principal point of interest is Mark's yearning for emotional involvement while his hired surrogate tries to maintain a professional distance, (she has a husband and son), causing her predictable feelings of guilt and pain. 

A fair enough film, then, but it was no great shakes for me, even though some members of the audience laughed uproariously on cue at some of the lines. I rate it a .......................6/10

Sunday, 27 January 2013


Impressive.     As a very dialogue-driven film it risked being rambling, stodgy, monotonous or over-polemic. It turns out to be none of these. In my view this is possibly Spielberg's best film from his more recent offerings, only on a couple of occasions teetering on the edge of sentimental wallowing (for me the bane of too many of his films) but in this case never quite going over.

Concentrating almost entirely on a few weeks at the start of 1865 as Lincoln and his close circle attempt to pass the Constitution's slavery-abolishing amendment, and his fight to acquire the necessary effective votes in the Senate (by cajolery, promises and bribes), it does not shy away from depicting his motivations and anguish in prolonging the Civil War and its painful statistics of casualties, by refusing to compromise. Despite the film's title it is neither a hagiography and even less of a biography, but by capturing a short slot of time in his career (admittedly the most significant one) it does manage a totally convincing multi-dimensional portrayal of the man.

Acting throughout is of a very high order indeed. I shan't feel any of her rivals has been cheated if Sally Field picks up the Bafta and Oscar awards for her role as the self-willed but dutiful Mrs L. Similar recognition ought to be due to Tommy Lee Jones. One should not overlook Tony Kushner's superior screenplay too.  However, if Daniel D-L does not win his it will be a travesty, but he surely will. (Is there anything this man cannot do?)

If this film doesn't end up in my Top 10 of the year, I'll eat my (artifical) fur shako!...............7.5/10

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Forewarned that this is a 'weepie', I wasn't all that keen on seeing this film. I do have a tendency to put up a mental barrier to scenes when an insistent orchestra is willing you to open the tear-ducts. And there are a number of those occasions here, though it must be said that the actual event itself is mercifully, and very effectively, free of such aural 'underlining'.

Most people will know by now that, despite this film's Spanish pedigree, the family caught up in and wrenched apart by the Christmas-time tsunami in Thailand of a few years ago, and on which this British family in the film is based, was actually Spanish too.

Acting by the two principal adult characters could hardly be faulted - particularly that of Naomi Watts. Also, the effects are all one could wish for in a 'disaster' film.
Because I'd prepared myself to maintain an emotional distance from the happenings on screen, maybe for that reason I did find the swooping orchestral strings especially jarring. Some watchers may not mind letting themselves be taken up by the high emotion. Not so me. That's always been the case where I find a film using conspicuous (and often unnecessary) effort to involve one in the on-screen drama. It draws attention to itself and thereby, for me, weakens the impact, whereas allowing only the sounds which naturally surround a given scene provides the veracity that a musically sentimental soundtrack takes away.

Of course it's a very simple story which everyone can follow, without it travelling down irrelevant by-ways - and that is one of its merits.
Always fine to look at, never boring or seeming to drag, I was quite impressed notwithstanding my reservations, which are very personal, and which many others may well not share.
When it comes to giving it a rating, this is hardly a film to be marked on 'enjoyment', my most oft-used criterion. It's certainly quite a gruelling watch at times, but a reasonably profound one too.

I think my overall verdict would be fairy reflected in a score of ........6/10.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Sprawling, epic length, ultra-violent, mid-19th century tale with 'western' backdrop, concerning black slavery and bounty-hunting. Tarantino is in his element here and succeeds in providing pretty high entertainment value. I was never bored during its 2 hrs 45 mins, though it might have benefited from some judicious cutting - even if that meant having to sacrifice one or two of the graphically bloody shoot-outs.

The four lead characters are all very charismatic in their parts so that one wonders whom to look at when two or more are on-screen simultaneously - and all of them act to perfection. I particularly liked Christoph Walz's foppish German (former dentist) bounty hunter with his flamboyantly circuitous manner of speaking. Jamie Foxx was perfectly cast as the film's focus -  while Samuel L. Jackson (almost unrecognisable to me) convincingly waddles about, emerging from the background every now and then, giving his entire 'slavish' allegiance to Di Caprio's heartless and scary plantation owner. 
  As with all many of this director's films there is a significant thread of humour running through much of the film which belies the extreme violence - of which there's quite a lot - and lending the horrific scenes a comic-book depiction. (There are also a few brief scenes, mainly towards the start, concerning the treatment of horses which made me wince a bit, but they were quick).

If you're a Tarantino fan I'm sure you'll like this film. He's never been one to short-change his audience - and in this film he delivers what he's renowned for. I enjoyed it enough to give it a.......7/10

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Wintertime pussy concerns spoil film-viewing.

This photo was taken from my window this morning. Maybe not much in terms of what Winter can be like elsewhere but enough to stall my plans for cinema visits until it gets less bone-chilling. Temps today have remained below freezing and are expected to dip to -4 Celsius tonight. There's a possibility of these teeth-chattering conditions ameliorating just a little on Tuesday but there's no significantly milder weather in the offing just yet.
Meantime I'm letting now four furry friends stay indoors and locking them in at night whilst keeping the heating on - necessitating my having to rise every morning around 2-3 a.m. to let them (or coax them) outside in order to fulfil their toilet requirements - and then wait for them to return, one by one, before I can try to get another couple of hours shut-eye.

The following 'choice' films, which I would otherwise have seen, are already in local cinemas or due to arrive soon, and there is considerable doubt if I can catch them all, or even perhaps any of them, as that would mean leaving the pussies alone here for up to 6 hours, with window open and heating turned off. Blackso, in particular, forgets that he can come inside via the back way and so he'll sit out in front on the low garden wall awaiting my return, where he'd be an inviting target for snowballs chucked by kids returning home from school. If I did go out I'd be worrying about him all the time.

These are the films I am missing as at now:-

The Impossible
Gangster Squad
Django Unchained
The Sapphires
False Trail

The third of these is 15 mins short of a whopping 3 hours in length. It's even longer than 'Les Mis', for crying out loud! (Concision has never been one of Tarantino's attributes).
So, if the weather doesn't quickly lighten up and warm up, even more films are going to come and go unseen. Too bad. Can't do anything about it when the pussies have got to come first!

(Taken 2 months ago)


Tuesday, 15 January 2013


My favourite musical - and it's been a very long time since I felt such anticipation to see a film as I did for this. Already several of the bloggers I follow have written their own reviews and much has been said in the media so I won't re-tread familiar ground.
On my way to the cinema I was musing on the hope that, just perhaps, I might be scoring this film with a rare, exalted  '8' - or even an unheard of '8.5'.

I'll attempt a different approach in reviewing it by listing in order what I consider its positives and negatives:-

The + s

The cast - I thought all the men were good or very good (bar one) - and with Hugh Jackman being quite perfect. Even Russell Crowe I didn't think was anywhere near as poor as some have said. By now we all know that he doesn't have a singing voice and the strain in it was conspicuous for almost all the time, although his final song was very well performed.

All the actresses (bar one) were excellent. Much has rightly been said about Anne Hathaway, but I thought Samantha Barks as Eponine was outstanding.

The contributions from the choruses were uniformly impressive.

The new, specially composed song, 'Suddenly', even on this, my first hearing, struck me as pretty good. It slotted in seamlessly.

The sets were spectacular (but I was surprised that the film wasn't in wide-screen format).

Direction, pretty good.

The Disappointments

Helena Bonham Carter (doing her slutty act yet again) who might as well have been singing in Czech as far as I was concerned. She seems to think that using a mike dispels any necessity to project. Her mixture of cod- cockney with a twist of caricature French lost most of her words to me, something I didn't find with the rest of the cast. Sacha Baron Cohen was better, but not by very much. I think both these were miscast - (both too young perhaps? - though one hardly demands authenticity, and in a musical of all things!) Sacha B.C. has shown that he can be very good, as he was in 'Sweeney Todd' , which was another film in which Helena B.C. once again mumbled and whispered her way through, paying scant attention to Sondheim's gloriously inventive lyrics. (Sacrilege!)

The whole 'Master of the House' sequence seemed a bit of a mess (too much cross-cutting?), providing nowhere near the uplift that it should as an 'oasis' amidst the ultra-seriousness of the rest of the show.

What the film gained in being opened up for the screen it seemed to lose in the taut excitement I experience in the theatre. In the latter it moved along with a keen, self-generated momentum whereas in this film it almost seems to have acquired excessive 'fat'. Not only did I look at my watch several times, I actually found myself yawning - at two separate moments!
There were a few points of high emotion where I thought the tear ducts might kick in, but the emotional intensity was not sustained for as long as it had been when watching the show live. I'd experienced more prolonged 'highs' when watching on film 'Mamma Mia' for the first time, as well as 'Chicago'. (It might be significant to mention that I've never seen these last two on the stage - though when watching these films I was aware of the songs that had been edited out.)


So, on the whole, a bit of a disappointment. Whereas I long to get the chance to see 'Les Mis' on stage for a fourth time, I don't think I'll be paying to see it in the cinema again, though when it comes on the telly I will be watching it then.

In no way a bad film then, but falling significantly below what I'd been hoping for. I give it a .................6.5/10