I've seen bits and pieces of the 25th, but I have to admit between the two (and admittedly, not seeing all of the former) I tend to prefer the 10th myself. The 25th cast is very good of course, but the few bits I've seen just don't strike me on the same level. Perhaps if I get around to watching it in full I might change my mind.
The 10th Anniversary cast is best. Nick Jonas, IMO, was a drag on the 25th Anniversary cast. His songs seemed weak, and Éponine completely out sang him in a song where she's dieing in his arms. He does pull off a competent Empty Chairs At Empty Tables
, but other than that, no, he was not good. Michael Ball's return at the end showed how the roll needs to be sung.
Anyway, the musical was great. There were problems, as noted before, Russel Crowe while not bad, was also not good. He sang the role competently, but not on par with his costars. Stars
, I thought, was lacking. Not really because of him, but in this case the music. The strings were not there like in the stage musical, that threw the song off for me.
Anne Hathaway, she had a lump in my throat from the first line of I Dreamed A Dreamed
to the last. She is a strong candidate for Best Supporting Actress.
Samantha Barks also had me ready to cry over my own remembered unrequited loves as she sang counter point in A Heart Full Of Love
. And her On My Own
, was her own. I thought I'd never hear it sung better than Lea Salonga, but Samantha gives Lea a run for her money.
Master Of The House
was the comedic show stopper that is needed in such a dramatic and heart wrenching musical as this. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were magnificent. I asked before, but is it possible to make HBC look ugly? Her she was a thieving scoundrel, but still pretty. Hell in the Harry Potter movies, she was a pretty murdering sociopath.
And finally Hugh Jackman. Brilliant. I was amazed at his Bring Him Home
. Usually sung in a falsetto, his was not a true falsetto and it worked. He had me listening to everything he sang.
I did not like how some songs were shortened, like Come To Me
and A Little Fall of Rain
Despite its flaws, and that it is not the stage musical, it is a must see. And a strong contender in all the Lead Actor and Supporting Actress categories come Oscar time. It is also a contender for Best Picture.