Getting to the Oscars

I got two more Academy Award Nominees under my belt this weekend:  “Frankenweenie” and “Les Miserables.”  Two very different films; one On Demand, and one in the theatre.



I fell in love with Tim Burton‘s work when I saw “Edward Scissorhands.”  Burton’s work is always a little quirky and difficult to categorize.  Sometime, his theme or message is a bit difficult to decipher.  “Frankenweenie” is no exception.  I watched it with three grandchildren, ages 6, 10, and 12.  I thought the film really appealed most to the plus 60 crowd with all it’s nods to old, old horror movies, like Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Egor, and many more.  Black and white animation prompted Em to say with a typical 12-year-old scowl, “Is the whole thing in black and white?”  To which Ni (10) said “Yes, that’s the point.” Stelli just wanted to snuggle, which made the hour and a half seem so much shorter.  I’m pretty sure S cared what we watched.

I must say, “Frankenweenie” is far from my favorite Tim Burton film, animated or otherwise.  Nor is it my favorite animated film this year.  I’m not sure what Burton was trying to say, and the science teacher character’s comment about love being an important part of any experiment’s success confused me.


I saw the theatre production of “Les Miserables” at least twice.  I took  Em me to the movie, because Love-One had no interest and I prefer to go with someone so we can talk about it afterwards.  In general, I  get impatient with musicals.  All that singing slows down the story.  Even though I know the story, and my bladder was bursting from a medium Diet Coke that was too big to get my hands around, I found myself sticking in my seat, not wanting to miss a scene.

“It’s HORRIBLE,” is what I heard a reviewer from a reviewer on of “Les Mis” on NPR.  “That’s what you get when you ask great actors to sing.”  (quotes are from my memory, not necessarily word-for-word)  Surely, Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway (both nominees for awards) conveyed the emotion of the story sooo much better on the big screen than on stage.  I think the singing suffered a little because it sounded so a capella.  The orchestra was like background music, rather than an integral part of the performance, like it is on stage.  As for the post-movie conversation, it went sort of like this:

Me:  What did you think?

Em:  Good.

Me:  I don’t usually like musicals, because the music gets in the way of the story.

Em:  That’s how I felt about “High School Musical”

Me:  Did you tear-up a little?

Em:  No.

Me:  Did you hear sniffling?

Em:  Yes.

Me:  Thanks for going with me.

M:  OK.

My bottom line with “Les Mis” is that now I want to read the book; the same bottom line I remember after each of my theatre experiences.  This seems like such a BIG story and all that singing took up a lot of time.




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