The insanely popular musical “Les Miserables” finally hits the screen, after decades of false starts, and fans of the musical will not be disappointed. Director Tom Hooper has a terrific cast of actors/singers who handle the sing- through screenplay with maximum dramatic skill. If you are not a fan of musicals, 2 hours 38 minutes will seem like an eternity, but I was impressed with the way the film keeps our focus as the story of Jean Valjean ( a brilliant future Oscar nominee, Hugh Jackman), a former prisoner who breaks his parole and is then relentlessly pursued by his tormentor Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe, who’s singing voice is perhaps better suited for Rock). Valjean decides to dedicate his life to the pursuit of redemption and becomes a successful businessman and small town mayor before Javert appears on the scene and recognizes his former prisoner. Valjean has decided to help a former employee turned prostitute, Fantine ( Anne Hathaway in a powerful performance) by pledging to care for her young daughter Cosette. Valjean and Cosette escape and eventually we find then years later with Amanda Seyfried ( who has a lovely throwback singing voice) as the grown up Cosette. They are ensnared by the Paris people’s rebellion of 1832. Eddie Redmayne ( the young man from”My Weekend With Marilyn”) as Marius, one of the student rebels, becomes Cosette’s love interest and is one of the film’s standout performers, as is Samantha Barks as Eponine, I wouldn’t be surprised if they both get multiple award nominations . All this being said, this is not a film for fan’s of Jackman’s “Wolverine”, but with a huge fan base for the musical it should have no problem finding a devoted audience.
My GPA: 3.6