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Russell Crowe Responds to Adam Lambert's 'Les Miserables' Criticisms

Posted by Sean Oconnell on January 02, 2013


Everyone’s a critic. Yet, when someone with the vocal prowess of pop sensation Adam Lambert weighs in on a musical like Les Miserables, people tend to listen. 
 
In a series of critical Tweets, Lambert recently claimed that Tom Hooper’s screen adaptation of the stage hit was “visually impressive with great Emotional performances,” but lashed out at the “great actors PRETENDING to be singers.” 
 
“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,” Lambert continued. “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?”
 
One of the people listening to Lambert’s tweets was Russell Crowe, who plays Inspector Javert in Hooper’s movie. And his response, shared through The Hollywood Reporter, was a bit of a surprise. 
 
“I don’t disagree with Adam," Crowe said. "Sure [the vocals] could have been sweetened, [but director] Tom Hooper wanted it raw and real, that’s how it is."
 
Many of you saw Les Miserables over the holidays. Heading into the new year, the movie had earned nearly $70 million in the States, and was expected to perform well overseas. So tell us, which side of the argument do you fall on? Did the realism of the cast singing inspire you? Or would you, like Lambert, have preferred polished studio versions of the hit Broadway songs? 
 

 
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango

17 Comments     Leave Comment

Comments :

Comment from: Sonni
I saw the play 12 years ago. It is my opinion that the movie was far more emotional and real then the play. I personally preferred the rawness of the because it felt more real. I am going to see it again. I feel that Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, and Ann Hathaway should without a doubt be nominated for an Academy Award for their roles.
01 - 02 - 2013
Comment from: Judy Casey
Let's see how long you last, Adam..... I believe you're another flash in the pan.
01 - 03 - 2013
Comment from: Phyllis Barber
I loved the "raw" singing in "Les Miserables." I'm an opera buff and have accompanied many professional singers on the piano, so I know a well-trained voice. But the ability of the actors/actresses to act made the singing feel natural as well as powerful. More people should just sing! Thumbs up and up to the cast.
01 - 04 - 2013
Comment from: Bev R
I think the movie is perfect as it is. I would much rather have a great actor with a pretty good voice than a good singer who can't act! Russell Crowe was totally believable.
01 - 05 - 2013
Comment from: La'Tia
I disagree with Adam Lambert 100%. I felt that the actors in the movie were able to give raw and emotional perfomances that you simply CANNOT get from studio performances. Even if they did cast "real" singers, sometimes those people over-sing to show their talent and totally miss the point of the song. I think the actors did a phenomenal job in this movie.
01 - 07 - 2013
Comment from: Kyle
It's great that a guy I've never heard of is upset about actors whom I like make fools out of themselves in yet another remake of a musical. I wonder if he's seen Silver Linings Playbook, Seven Psychopaths, Django Unchained, The Master of the best film of the year "Amour." Haneke usually has subtitles so that just kills his chances for best picture and gets another best foreign film. Lambert, I now realize, was on American Idol. And is a purist about music? He could easily pass for a magician. Seems like Jackman has won a tony and been in many musicals. Lambert should go cry about people hating him for being an attention whore... or care about what matters. Magic!
01 - 07 - 2013
Comment from: DarkxNight
I believe that the raw, imperfect style of singing that the actors performed in this Les Miserables was perfect for the tone of this movie. There are already wonderful recordings of Broadway voices doing Les Miz; this -- being live and all -- was something unprecedented, and I would take the emotion over perfect voices most days. Their expressions and broken singing at some parts were truly emotional for me. The movie is beautiful, and I believe that they are all good singers. Perhaps not the best, but they potrayed their characters believably.
01 - 07 - 2013
Comment from: Patricia Schlader
It was beyond well done...it was the most authentic and honest production ever. They truly told the story and it was clear and understood. The text came alive! THANK YOU!!!
01 - 08 - 2013
Comment from: JC
I disagree with Adam Lambert's critique of Russell Crowe. My husband and I both enjoyed the movie. It would have seemed fake to have everyone breakout singing perfectly. It appeared more realistic. In addition, Javert was a cop, he should have sounded gruff.
01 - 09 - 2013
Comment from: Carol
Absolutely breath-taking. Everyone was superb in acting and all the singing was great.! The music was exceptional and the orchestration was fabulous. Will go see it again and again. So very emotional and real Left me speechless and exhausted with all the music, singing, and drama of the movie.
01 - 10 - 2013
Comment from: Amy
I totally agree with Adam. Russell Crowe has a more modern-style of voice which sounded odd and stood out among the more period-style voices of the other singers. Every time he sang, it pulled me out of the story, just like Adam said. I vote for the raw emotion, but not the modern, coffee-house styled voice of Russell. Adam is a musical theatre singer, so he does know his stuff.
01 - 10 - 2013
Comment from: Beth
Like many who have posted, I have also seen the play. Not only did the story make more sense in the movie, the acting (accompanied by singing) was amazing. Were there some weaker moments? Yes, I did think Russell Crowe's voice was not as strong as the rest of the cast. It was a little distracting. And sometimes Amanda Seyfried's vibrato made her sound a little like Minnie Mouse. But the overall honesty and emotion of the performances outweighed any musical flaws. These were actors who sang not singers who acted. I have never been wracked with such emotion in a movie. It was hard to hold back the sobs during this powerful story of loss, love, and redemption.
01 - 10 - 2013
Comment from: Allyson Spielman
Although I respect Adam's comments as a Broadway veteran himself, I think he is being short sighted about the singing. Most musicals we have seen on film have been recorded in the studio. If that had been done with this film, Adam may not have been complaining. Except for Russell Crowe, all of the actors have been previously received well for their singing and Hugh Jackman won a tony. Adam is respected as a singer, but most of these actors have a much longer resume of work and I feel that Adam, once again, is putting his foot in it. He needs to learn to be more diplomatic. He might actually get cast in musical himself if he could learn to keep his mouth shut.
01 - 10 - 2013
Comment from: Patricia Brady-Danzig
For those of us who are trained singers, it would have sounded like nails on a blackboard. With such wonderful actors ( who cannot sing ), it absolutely should have been dubbed. pbdmusic.com
01 - 10 - 2013
Comment from: Laurie
The greatness of this movie was the directors choice not to chose great singers! This made me feel more deeply as these great actors sang from their broken hearts. If their voices were better it would have brought me out of this fiercely moving story! I was consumed from the moment Hugh began singing! Mr Lambert you are dead wrong! I could have never felt what I still am feeling after seeing Les Miserables if the actors had pristine voices! I would have been transported to an opera house not the streets of an impoverished city in France as I most definitely was! Excellent choice Mr Hooper!!
01 - 11 - 2013
Comment from: Laurie
The greatness of this movie was the directors choice not to chose great singers! This made me feel more deeply as these great actors sang from their broken hearts. If their voices were better it would have brought me out of this fiercely moving story! I was consumed from the moment Hugh began singing! Mr Lambert you are dead wrong! I could have never felt what I still am feeling after seeing Les Miserables if the actors had pristine voices! I would have been transported to an opera house not the streets of an impoverished city in France as I most definitely was! Excellent choice Mr Hooper!!
01 - 11 - 2013
Comment from: Deb
The only person that really needed replacing was Rusell Crowe. He for one didn't even look like a Jabert. Adam Lambert would have been a good choice actually. Dark hair, strong cheekbones...not a round face , brown hair or blue eyes. He was the only distraction for me. Hugh Jackman was awesome as a actor and singer.
01 - 11 - 2013

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