I could listen to the sound track all day, everyday. And this is my favorite cinematic production.
Tom Hooper did a great job as director of a powerful star studded cast and Danny Cohen as cinematographer.
This production carry's me to Victor Hugo's epic imagination based on the reality of life during his lifetime, imprinted on our extraordinary literary accomplishment-a timeless classic surviving over 150 years... as well all the previous theatrical and cinematic productions since 1984.
The optics are an enthralling cinematic accomplishment capturing the sung live scenes... and the actors all out effort to make this as true to the emotional turmoil of a horrendous life in early 18th century Paris; all the begotten injustices on the very fabric of humanity's birth right for freedom- known later as The Birth of Enlightenment.
Anne Hathaway sings "I DREAMED A DREAM" with a definitive voice of a dying woman elevated to divine presence. Kudos!!!
Jackman and Crowe compliment each other's roles to perfection. Spellbinding.
Eddie Reymane and Amanda Seyfried as well make it all the more real. They brought me to tears.
I could go on, but in light of the negative, rather jaded reviews of this production, it goes without my saying that some people just have to be negative about anything that's actually well performed.
Sad because Hugo's timeless message is lost to them who focus on the actors themselves instead of seeing the Fourth Wall in front them.
As a theatrical producer, playwright, musical performer and director, the efficacy it takes to bring a production of this genre is in and of itself in a category of an epic artistic ideal to be met.
I've seen the theatrical production as well. Both revenues are complimentary at best. Neither can be compared as one being better than the other. That's a mistake to be made when reviewing Hugo's legacy. Here we have poetry, drama and prose that rise to the heavenly heights of cinematic theater.
Reviewed by mikayakatnt10 / 10
A BRILLIANT Adaptation of the Play and Novel
A near three-hour epic that one wishes was longer. The songs and emotions will be stuck with you long after you watch this film. A brilliant adaptation of the play.
The instant I started watching this film, I knew I would love it.
From the beginning, one can tell that the scale of this movie will be massive. From the overarching boats and the rich bass. Les Miserable is rich and vivid in color and song. One can tell that this is a story of redemption in a gritty world.
And does it get gritty. Anna Lynch-Robinson's clever set design makes 19th century France a world of contrasts. We see the extreme wealth and refinement of the bourgeois to the lowest depths of poverty. 19th century France is society ready to boil over.
The performances of everyone in this film is powerful and emotional. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean giving us a sense of life on the run. Russell Crowe is the unforgiving Javert. Though most people hated Crowe's performance, I enjoyed it. Anne Hathaway as Fantine, a loving mother who would do anything to give her daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), a better life. The stunning performance of Samantha Barks as Eponine stole the screen away. Not to mention Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter's performances as the comic relief Thenardier and Madame. The entire cast is star-studded and gives a performance unmatched.
Then the excitement comes once the revolution happens. The unmatched enthusiasm of the young yearning for a better France. The fight between the establishment and the rebellious. Scores of actors, action, and scenery that gives chills. Beautifully well done and artfully crafted.
I normally don't watch musicals, but the screen adaptation of the play/novel is phenomenal. There is no pause and the audience feels the events rolling as the film progresses. Les Miserables is a massive story that's told and retold time and time again. You can't watch this film without crying or tearing up.
5/5. Tom Hooper's masterpiece of a film. One of the best films of the year.
Reviewed by mickman91-18 / 10
You need to know the history and context - Les Mis the novel and Les Mis the musical before attempting this. Then you can appreciate what they were trying to do.
This is a really tricky one to talk about. Its place in the Les Mis repertoire is confusing to newcomers and the reviews are polarised which is also confusing, but I understand why.
This is a film version of a the musical adaptation of a novel. Therefore, I think that attempting to watch this without any prior knowledge of Les Mis is going to leave you confused or feeling incomplete. Les Mis is such a huge epic vast story that features many characters and covers many years and has many important grand themes. All of these cannot be crammed into a 2.5 hour movie, never mind a 2.5 movie version of a musical version of the story. Les Mis is absolutely fantastic, but I recommend to people that they understand the story in its entirety before seeing the musical. The 2018 BBC series a a great 6-hour in-depth version if you don't want to read the 1500 page novel. Then, I think you can appreciate the musical in its totality because it brings the themes and emotions of the story alive through music and musical theatre. Then, once you are familiar with the musical (there are 3 famous recordings of it available) , then you can understand the movie remake of the musical and what it was trying to achieve.
So I totally understand why fans of the musical would be disappointed in this because it features actors rather than singers, so the singing is nowhere near as good as in the musical. I also understand why newcomers to Les Mis might be disappointed in this, because on its own it is an incomplete rendering of Les Mis, there is so much depth and context that I feel you need in order to piece it all together and truly appreciate the tragedy and the themes within it. But for those who have an understanding of what came before, I think this is a really bold and commendable attempt at converting the musical to a movie format. However, ultimately, it is not as emotionally affecting as the musical because (despite some great acting) you can't get a way from the fact that it is largely through the music that the emotional heart is portrayed. And the music here is nowhere near as good as the stage versions.
I think its very important to know what the intentions for this movie were. The actors all sang live, with the intention of being able to sing as if they acting, i.e. They could slow down and speed up where they need for a more realistic portrayal of the words than a song which runs to a consistent tempo. And also not be held back by needing to hit all of the notes perfectly, a lot of lines Hugh Jackman almost speaks rather than truly sings, because he is trying to do the songs in a more realistic acting fashion. This should have been made really clear in all the promo for the film because when you know this you can appreciate more what they were attempting to do, and not just simply compare them to Colm Wilkinson or Ruthie Henshall or any of the vocal greats from Les Mis on stage. Where this works the best as it was intended is in Anne Hathaway's I Dreamed a Dream. Her raw emotional ropey speak-singing works absolutely perfectly for one of the most devastatingly human portrayals of Fantine we have. She won an Oscar for this alone, and though I'm not a huge fan of the Academy's choices I have to agree with this.
The production is beautiful and great to look at. And the casting outside of Hathaway is mostly good. Jackman I think is an excellent Valjean, as vulnerable as he is strong. And in a non-musical version of Les Mis i think he would be one of the greats. But despite his acting abilities, next to Colm Wilkinson or Alfie Boe, he is just not going to compete in fans memories.
It is a must-see, but not as your introduction to Les Mis.