Film Review- “Les Miserables” 2012
Directed by- Tom Hooper
Running Time- 158 mins
Now I know why the musical version of this story is so highly acclaimed. For as good as this movie looks from the previews, I have to admit that I was very surprised with how good this movie version of the popular musical is. The best way to describe this movie is to call it an epic masterpiece.
Hugh Jackman brings all his talents as an actor and singer to the role of Jean Valjean, a man who finished serving his prison sentence of 20 years for stealing bread and becomes a fugitive when he decides to violate his parole. He is constantly hiding from the prison guard turned police inspector Javert played by Russel Crowe.
At first Crowe appears out of place in this wall-to-wall musical (meaning virtually all the dialogue is sung). But he carries his own as a singer and in fact looks great (as do all the characters) set against the massive backdrops of France right before the French Revolution.
Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, a poor woman working to support her illegitimate child, who gets protection from Jean. He discovers she was fired from the factory he owns and turned to prostitution and almost gets arrested by Javert after attacking an abusive man before Jean steps in and promises to take care of her and her daughter Cosette. Hathaway is not in the movie as much as I thought she would be but her scenes all pack a powerful punch and songs are incredible. She is definitely deserving of her best supporting actress Oscar nomination despite her only 10 minutes of screen time.
The movie is filled with triumphant songs of hope and courage in the face of depression and despair. It has brought many of its viewers to tears, some confess to openly sobbing at its saddest parts. I thought it was the most emotional and emotionally satisfying movie I have seen all year.
I don't think it will win best picture without its director Tom Hooper being nominated but so far it is my favorite of the nominated films.
Film Grade- A