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Adam Lambert slams “Les Miserables”

Adam Lambert has taken to Twitter to express his feelings about Les Miserables. For the most part, he’s not impressed.

“Les Mis: Visually impressive w great Emotional performances. But the score suffered massively with great actors PRETENDING to be singers. …it’s an opera. Hollywoods movie musicals treat the singing as the last priority. (Dreamgirls was good). Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Enjolras were the exceptions for me. Helena B Carter and Sasha B Cohen were great too. And I do think it was cool they were singing live- but with that cast, they should have studio recorded and sweetened the vocals. Eponine’s voice was cool too… I felt like I should ignore the vocals and focus on the emotional subtext- but the singing was so distracting at times it pulled me out. The industry will say “these actors were so brave to attempt singing this score live”but why not cast actors who could actually sound good? Sorry for being so harsh but it’s so True!”

Of course Adam started to get some flack for his strong comments. He responds:

I’m so glad we are all discussing this now! Look-I grew up w this musical and so my expectations are quite high. Didn’t mean to b negative. … One more clarification: DO go see it for Anne Hathaways performance. It’s was breathtaking. … OPINIONS!!! We all got em! Keep Calm and Discuss! :)

I can understand how Adam was appalled at Russell Crowe’s singing (although he didn’t single him out by name) but he also doesn’t seem to be impressed with Hugh Jackman who I thought was sensational and who has won a Tony Award for best actor in a musical.

Anyway, Adam makes some valid points and I’m glad to see him expressing them!

FILE UNDER: Musicals


(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

6 Remarks

  1. He says the singing is bad then says everyone sang well except for Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Eddie Redmayne. Does anyone really think that Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter sang better than those three? (I liked everyone and loved the movie.)—Matt

  2. Sorry Adam you are way off base criticizing the vocals. The imperfections of some of the voices only added to the emotional impact of the film. Spend more time on improving your own career.

  3. Lambert is a singer, no more, no less. He’s a good singer but it takes maturity to be a great singer, which he may be in time. His comments reflect that immaturity.

  4. (Much of my post below also appears in the comments on AfterElton.)

    Adam Lambert has a background in stage musicals (you can YouTube his performances from Wicked, Brigadoon and the Ten Commandments musical) and he has one of the best pop/rock voices of his generation. But even without those credentials, he’s entitled to his opinion, just like the rest of us.

    Having said that, I hope he is prepared for a deluge of responses, both agreeing and disagreeing with him. And some of the ones disagreeing with him will rather nasty. Not to pick on you, Jerry P., but what does having a strong opinion on Les Miz have to do with spending more time improving one’s career? They’re not mutually exclusive positions/activities. It takes like, what, 30 seconds to post a Twitter message?

    As for the film itself, I always find it amazing that so many people can watch the same thing and come away with such different impressions – and I’m only referring to those who actually liked the movie.

    Not that it really matters but here are MY credentials that perhaps inform my opinion. I saw the Canadian cast production (with Michael Burgess as Jean Valjean) twice in Toronto, have listened to the Broadway cast recording too many times to count, have seen the 10th Anniversary concert several times and watched many other prominent performances on YouTube. I like to think I have a pretty good amateur ear for quality singing even if my own singing ability has been quite limited since puberty.

    When evaluating purely the vocals, I’d have to say the best of the stage performances from the past 25 years are superior to any of the film’s cast. However, I was moved emotionally by the movie in ways no previous production of the musical has ever moved me. Overall, I thought these cast members acquitted themselves very well, especially Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Samantha Barks (Eponine) and Eddie Redmayne (Marius). Hugh Jackman was very good throughout, though I preferred Colm Wilkinson’s iconic rendition of “Bring Him Home”. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter played the Thenardiers darker and less comically than I was expecting, based on the stage production. Like many others, I also thought Russell Crowe gave the weakest performance. While he may not have the vocal power of those who’ve played Javert in the past, I felt his voice would have been adequate for the role – if only he had decided to sing his solo numbers with more passion and emotion. So equal blame to Crowe and the director Tom Hooper for the acting choices made. His performances came off better when he was singing opposite Hugh Jackman in their confrontations. Ironically, the single most heart-wrenching moment in the movie for me involved Russell Crowe’s character (SPOILER ALERT!!!) when Javert gazed down on the dead body of Gavroche.

    I guess in the end, the raw emotion on screen was unable to compensate for the less-than-perfect vocals in Adam Lambert’s mind. In a way, I feel sorry for him that he wasn’t able to experience the thrill of the emotional roller coaster like I did.

  5. June 21st, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    i love adam lambert says:


  6. June 21st, 2013 at 11:21 pm
    i love adam lambert says:

    i mean hottest the computer put auto correct

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