It hasn’t even been a week since this movie came out and I’m already sick of people moaning about Russell Crowe’s performance based, from what I can tell, solely on the fact that, no, we probably won’t see him on a Broadway stage anytime soon.
But here’s the thing; this wasn’t a Broadway stage. This was afilm adaptation.
Am I saying a seasoned Broadway actor couldn’t have done the job? Hell no. But honestly…I feel like Crowe gave a performance that no one else would have been able to. Let me tell you, I’ve been a fan of this musical for eight years, and Crowe’s performance may have been the first time I fully felt that Javert was, indeed, human. There was a subtlety, strength and humanity to his Javert, and you know what else? Considering the fact he’s not a professional singer, he kicked major ass, but that’s just my opinion, and I’ll concede that there will be many that disagree.
However, there’s more to movie musicals than singing. Hell, there’s more to stage musicals than singing, but in some ways some of your acting gets lost because the audience is paying attention to something else or it’s simply hard to see subtlety like Crowe’s Javert on stage.
People need to realize that the movie of a Broadway musical is always, always, ALWAYS going to be different, because it’s a different medium and therefore, Crowe’s method of acting may, in fact, fit the medium slightly better than the big, theatrical method of the stage.
Don’t like that? You want a filmed version of the play? I point you to the two anniversary concerts and NUMEROUS bootlegs.