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Adam Lambert’s ‘Les Mis’ Review: ‘Hollywood Treats Singing As The Last Priority’

Adam Lambert and Anne Hathaway

Most people seem to like Tom Hooper’s ambitious big-screen adaptation of Les Miserables, but singer and one-time American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert hated it. Simply hated it.

Though Les Mis is tearing it up at the box office (and with critics), Adam Lambert slammed the film’s A-list cast on Twitter, accusing Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and others of “pretending to be singers.”

“Les Mis: Visually impressive w great Emotional performances,” Lambert started on Sunday night, “But the score suffered massively with great actors PRETENDING to be singers.”

Lambert also bemoaned Hollywood’s practice of casting actors on the basis of their fame instead of hiring trained and professional singers. “Hollywoods movie musicals treat the singing as the last priority.”

He did make some caveats. “Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Enjolras [Aaron Tveit] were the exceptions for me,” Lambert admitted. He also said that Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen “were great too,” but said that overall, making stars sing live instead of dubbing in post-production was not a wise choice.

“With that cast, they should have studio recorded and sweetened the vocals,” he said. “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?”

“Sorry for being so harsh but it’s so True!” Lambert concluded.

Did you see Les Miserables? Do you agree with Adam Lambert, or did you think it was a successful adaptation?

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18 Responses to “Adam Lambert’s ‘Les Mis’ Review: ‘Hollywood Treats Singing As The Last Priority’”

  1. Bruce Bing

    I agree. None of them were singers. Don't know why they couldn't have recorded and tweeked it first.

  2. Ali Smith

    What part of "Visually impressive w great Emotional performances" says simply hated it? Quit trying to stir up trouble. Why is it that anytime Adam gives his opinion if it isn't a glowing review the media jumps all over him? And he's right. The actors aren't singers.

  3. Christine Smith

    Lambert didn't "slam" anyone. He stated the truth: some of the actors are not good singers, do not have the technique, the training, the control or the tone to sing these difficult songs from musical theater. If they had tried to dance ballet on pointe and been unsucessful would it be slamming them to say so? If they tried to play quarterback in the NFL and couldn't throw the ball accurately, would it be slamming them to say so?
    Lambert has sixteen years performing in musicals on stage and twelve years of voice training. He is an expert on this topic. For a musical as gorgeous, musically, as Les Miz, I want first class singing to do the music justice, not just first class acting. There are many talented people out there who can do both extremely well. Too bad they weren't cast.

  4. Boulder Jasmine

    Sounds to me you are the slammer. He didn't slam the show but you are trying to make him sound bad. I ask myself why? Being paid by someone else to print negative things about Adam? Jealous? Amzaing to me when writers can take any comment and turn it around to seomthing totally different than what was meant. No respect.

  5. Janet Marie Bilicki

    He is right for the most part, but he didn't "slam" Hugh Jackman or Russell Crowe. You're putting words in his mouth. Hollywood does tend to put in big names who sing ok instead of great singers who made the parts great on broadway. That's unfortunate but true. I remember how disappointed I was with the 25th Anniversary Edition performance at Royal Albert Hall of Les Mis which included a bland Nick Jonas, pop singer, as Marius. He was awful and I didn't buy the CD. Crowe was awful in this production, but Jackman and Hathaway were stand outs. Adam is just voicing his opinion, at least he is honest and says what he thinks. I wasn't crazy about Sasha Cohen and Carter.

  6. Anonymous

    “With that cast, they should have studio recorded and sweetened the vocals”.
    Wait a minute, you don't think they were auto-tuned and sweetened? And you're a professional? Have you no ears?

    You got it right the first time: Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe were the weakest leads ever in any professional rendition of this great Musical and they should have turned to professional singers for these roles.

    But is anyone criticizing the single-cam stedi-cam shallow-focus, completely un-cinematic directing and shot selection? Or the insanely off edits mid-performance that have to been Pro-Tool doctors to attempt to bridge?

    It wasn't just some of the performances, but the direction and editing that need to be assessed here.

    Great Musical. Legendary Book.Film was a dress rehearsal or demo reel at best. And where was the intermission?

  7. Ohbabs Roberts

    Ok he is entitled to an opinion. I just don't understand why he would want to broadcast it to strangers, without even being asked. It struck me as odd.

  8. Anonymous

    Ha Ha! Gotta love how these journalists sensationalize his opinion. Keep in mind they have people monitoring his twitter account. His opinion was really only meant for his fans and we may not always agree but we love his honesty.

  9. Nancy Linton

    It's an OPINION! Doesn't he have a right to share his opinion with his loyal followers? With his background in musical theater, his opinion is more relevant than most. And, he didn't Hate it! He had many positive comments to make about the presentation and performance. Even encouraged fans to go see it. The only thing he commented on was the quality of singing! He was right on!

  10. Kathy Newberry Quigley

    I just didn't enjoy it. I understand it was a great challenge and undertaking for the actors to sing and I thought they did it fairly well. The movie itself was boring. The scenery was so poorly done. I know this has been in live theatre for 27 years and I think it should stay in theatre. Somethings do not translate well into cinema. I'm still a fan of Russel Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway and admire them for taking on this challenge.

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