Ryan O'Connor's need to overcomminicate strikes again
In the coming week, there will be a million different reviews and opinions of the Les Miserables film, but I feel pretty strongly that mine are more like facts. These are the top 10 things I know for sure about the Les Miserables movie.
10. Helena Bonham Carter must spend so much time being weird off screen that when she shows up at work, she is just too exhausted to do it on screen…when it’s supposed to happen. Thanks for being boring….again.
9. Tom Hooper clearly had four different concepts for this film. He just forgot to pick one & put them all in this film. The one where they sometimes talk straight to the camera. The one where in one scene they use a fish eye camera. The one where the street where the barricade looks like a cartoon, but nothing else does. And, lastly, the one where Frances Ruffelle has a cameo as a whore. (Hint: That’s my favorite one)
8. I feel like right here I should tell you that I really did like this movie. A lot. I cried at least 6 times.
7. Sacha Baron Cohen does not need to be in any more movies that I have to see. Thank you for asking.
6. The live singing works. It really, really works & I don’t particularly need to see another movie musical that doesn’t utilize this revolutionary technique again. It struck me, while watching, that the Les Miserables film will probably revolutionize how movie musicals are made forever, just like the live show did for stage musicals. Do You Hear The People Sing? Yes, yes I do and they seem to be feeling things too. It’s a miserable miracle!
5. The movie stars are better than the stage stars that are in this film. (Hugh Jackman excluded, he is not a movie or stage star, he is probably a real star, like from the sky)
4. Russell Crowe has a decent singing voice, but he obviously spent about as much time on his diction as he did making interesting acting choices in this film. Translation: None.
3. Everyone who thinks Eddie Redmayne A) is not perfect as Marius & B) shouldn’t be nominated for an Oscar is, in fact, an idiot. He should be nominated for one major award for every perfect freckle on his body.
2. I don’t like Anne Hathaway. I don’t know why, but I don’t. I do, however, almost love her rendition of I DREAMED A DREAM. It is wonderful & I have chosen to be the bigger person & applaud her for it (but not literally, it’s weird when people clap in movie musicals).
1. Hugh Jackman’s performance will change the way movie musicals are made. Forever. We owe him a lot more than an Oscar, but we definitely owe him an Oscar. I mean, VALJEAN’S SOLILOQUOY alone should win the Oscar for best short film….although it may technically be an animated short. Ask Tom.
Congratulations, I told you these things.
Last week, my 8-year-old niece was visiting my Mom in Birmingham, Alabama. My Mom called me and told me she was going to take her to see LEGALLY BLONDE at Red Mountain Theatre where my friend, Bailey Hanks, was reprising her role as Elle Woods in the high-spirited musical about a young whippersnapper of a girl whose ambition and good intentions often far exceed her basic capabilities.
I met Bailey back in 2008 when she was competing for, and ultimately won, the top prize on LEGALLY BLONDE; THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT ELLE WOODS on MTV. I was the host, at the time, of a niche popular YouTube series called THE RYAN O’CONNOR SHOW, and I devoted every Tuesday to recapping the reality series with my roommate and best girl friend, Nina Millin. We absolutely fell in love with Bailey, and our recaps got enough attention that she ended up finding them and we became fast friends.
So, last week, it was natural that I text Bailey and told her that my Mom and niece were going to be at the Sunday matinee and would she mind meeting them after and taking a picture with my niece. She was genuinely thrilled to hear from me, agreed to the photo and met my niece and made her day. My Mom and niece also said Bailey was fantastic in the show, and my Mom noted that she has gotten even better since she was on the reality series.
Now, less than a week later, there is a Broadway firestorm that only Morgan James could be relieved about, because this weeks Broadway twitter villain is Bailey Hanks. Bailey Facebooked a photo of her meal and subsequent support of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, the now well documented anti-gay marriage rally inspired by the restaurant’s CEO Dan Cathy’s choice to publicly oppose gay marriage through his life’s work….. chicken sandwich’s.
Bailey supports this stance based on her own religious beliefs. Anyone who knows Bailey, or follows her on Twitter or Facebook knows that Bailey is a devout Southern Christian girl. Even on the reality show I wondered how her conservative views would meld with the liberal Broadway community, but she seemed to do well and make friends and eventually left New York for Nashville.
Bailey and I have never discussed politics. We’ve never even discussed gay marriage or her stance on it. I married my husband last year and Bailey and I are not so close that she was invited, but had she been, I think she would have either attended, politely declined and possibly sent a gift, or maybe she would have opened up to me about her beliefs, but I do not think she would be opposed to me and the man I love expressing our devotion to each other. What I think Bailey does have is a passionate spirit. She is passionate about her family, her career, her fiancé and her religion. She does not believe in gay marriage. She believes it is against God’s will and as much as I wish I could shake it out of her, tell her to see the ridiculousness of that, realize it just doesn’t work like that. It’s not my place. I can’t tell her what to think, do, feel or believe.
Here’s where we hit one tiny little snag. We are not our beliefs. We are our actions. When we act from love, devotion and right thinking, we are always going to serve our message better by taking right action and keeping our side of the street clean the best way we know how. What doesn’t work is hate. Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and it’s subsequent similar events, are hate based actions. There is no such thing as an action taken out of love resulting in the hate of another human. When Sarah & Todd Palin bought food and tweeted photos of it at Chick-fil-A last week, they were not acting from love, they were acting from hate and opposition. This type of hateful action only inspires targeted, violent hate groups to rally and act out violently. That cannot be God’will, no matter what your religion. Supporting Chick-fil-A is not supporting a company that believes IN something, it is a company that actively believes AGAINST something. Dr Wayne Dyer says, “ Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.” I don’t think Bailey Hanks is truly AGAINST gay people, but I think the people she is looking to for guidance and inspiration aren’t showing her what to be FOR.
I understand the impulse to scold and attack Bailey for her actions, regardless of her intentions. I understand how angry we feel and how shocking it is that in 2012 we have to face down this kind of discrimination. Nothing about Bailey’s photo is right or ok, and I certainly hope that no one who saw it felt either hated by it, or inspired to act on hate because of it, but people like Bailey are not the enemy. Actions like Bailey’s Facebook photo are just symptoms of a disease of hate mongering from a population of people who have such fear-based ethics they can’t function any other way. If every day you are told to fear eternal damnation, you are going to scramble to do whatever you are told is right, even if the product of that scramble is hateful actions disguised as defending what’s right.
When Bailey text me last week about meeting my Mom and niece, she ended her text with “I Miss You. Xoxo” And I believe her. I miss her too.