If you follow my blog or have come across it before you will know that I really do love musicals and have quite an obsession with them. This blog post is inspired by the latest release of Les Mis. I saw it at the cinema on Friday night and since Saturday morning I have listened to the soundtrack over and over again, think I’m up to my 10th listen now and I am going to see the film again at the cinema tomorrow night. This then got me thinking to how much I obsess over movie musicals! I mean I loved The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins growing up but my big musical obsession really started with Chicago, yes 10 years ago now. I actually watched it over and over again, you know the times when it finishes and then you just watch it from the start again. I loved everything about it (and still love it) I know every single word of it and have now since it 3 times on the stage as well.
When Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street hit the cinema’s I went to see that twice and immediately bought the soundtrack and then the DVD on release. I loved the songs, how dark it was and pretty much couldn’t get enough of that one either. Oh yeah I bought two other versions of the show and went to see a production in Houston in 2008 (although the least about that the better!) This one is such a dark musical, which is a little bit different to most you see especially the older movie musicals everything seems over happy!
So Les Mis is the latest to be in that category and has become my newest obsession, I mean I knew a few of the songs but haven’t yet seen the stage production.
Moulin Rouge! is another which I totally fell in love with, slightly different take on a musical film as used already very well-known songs. Put them all together to create an incredible love story which I love more and more every time I see it. I don’t think it gets enough credit for how clever it is with the songs, and also hilarious if you think about the Like A Virgin sequence and pretty much any other time the brilliant Jim Broadbent is on the screen! Will you see a greater love story with such a tragic ending?
Then Rock of Ages hits the cinema and again I went to see that twice, having already bought the soundtrack and really loved the type of songs in that musical. It doesn’t really have the best or much of a story to it really, but it is all about the music. I love that type of music and the bands who’s song’s they use and you have to admit that some of them are very clever in the way they were placed.
Across the Universe which I can’t really remember how I managed to come across now. But a musical and story using loads of The Beatles songs. Its fun and well put together with you guessing if and when which songs are going to be used next. Jim Sturgess puts in just a brilliant performance in the lead role as yes you guessed it Jude. I think its such an underrated film from the musical genre mainly because it is vastly under seen. Don’t get me wrong though at times it’s pretty off the wall!
Above the current obsession and the part of the film which totally broke me, Anne Hathaway’s rendition of I Dreamed a Dream is truly incredible. As she sang and cried, I had tears streaming down my face, I mean that song could do that to you had the best of times. But the intimacy that is in that scene and performance is amazing, I don’t remember seeing much like that at all. I don’t know if it’s going to be slightly worse the second time around as I know exactly what to expect this time round.
I don’t really know why I become more obsessed with a musical film than other films (well maybe a few I do) but the obsession seems to be bigger. Maybe it’s the singing and the dancing all combined. It looks good and maybe deep down I wish I could performance like that? Or at the very least be able to sing, I am totally tone-deaf . . . Still doesn’t stop me singing along to all of these musicals, word for word but not in tune at all. Chicago started off my love for Catherine Zeta Jones as well, she is incredible as Velma Kelly and totally deserved her Oscar. Also had a small role in Rock of Ages, but if only she could get a lead in a movie musical.
Most of the time musicals don’t seem to age with them already being set in a different time and place for that matter. But how cool would it be if life was like a musical and everyone could join in your song and dance along with you. I think that would be rather amazing, an even bigger form of escapism due to the songs you can lose yourself so much within a musical. I know it seems to be one of the least popular genre’s within film and has a very select audience. If people don’t like musicals they seem to find it difficult to give any new ones a chance. They seem to convince themselves that they aren’t going to like them before they even start.
Les Mis will have such a huge following due to its world wide success as a stage show, then with the Oscar buzz it will pull in massive audiences. But how many people are going to come away from seeing the film and loving it if they aren’t already into musicals? I think that’s going to be a difficult one as let’s not forget that it’s in opera form and has hardly any spoken parts. Something I totally love about it!
The Sound of Music is one of my big feel good films, it cannot help but to make me smile when I am a little down. It is just brilliant to sing along to and feel like your part of the family. I always find myself being extremely shocked if someone says they have never seen this musical, as it really was a film I watched so much when I was a child. Over and over again I really do know all the words to this one as well, and yes I have seen it on the stage as well!
I am going to keep my theatre going musical experiences for another blog post as it really does deserve a place of its own. This musicals obsession post was to highlight my love for musical movies, as already mentioned a genre that doesn’t seem to be very well-loved in general.
What musical is your favorite?