Film: Les Misérables

Opened: December 25, 2012

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Isabelle Allen, Daniel Huttlestone, Colm Wilkinson, Frances Ruffelle, Hadley Fraser, Gina Beck, Michael Jibson, Bertie Carvel, George Blagden, Killian Donnelly, Fra Fee, Alistair Brammer, Hugh Skinner, Gabriel Vick, Iwan Lewis, Stuart Neal, Hannah Waddingham, Daniel Evans, Kerry Ellis, Josef Altin, Kate Fleetwood, Linzi Hateley, Gemma Wardle, Katie Hall & Kerry Ingram

An epic movie musical, Les Misérables is powerful and picturesque but doesn’t quite live up to the intensity of the stage musical.

After being released from prison, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is hunted down over multiple decades by the merciless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe). Jean Valjean takes in the daughter – Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) – of ill-fated factory worker Fantine (Anne Hathaway). Cosette falls for revolutionary student Marius (Eddie Redmayne).

Unlike the musical, which pushes the vocal performances of its characters to bring down the house, the singing is kept more reserved for the screen. It benefits some numbers, including Hathaway’s devastating “I Dreamed a Dream,” but hinders some sung by theater actors Samantha Barks and Aaron Tveit.

The film is shot intimately with the characters but on a grand scale with the scenery.

Final say: Definite flaws, but overall it’s affecting. ★★★★☆

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