Written July 25, 2014
Seen the stage show 11 times...this was fantastic! BRAVISSIMO TO HUGH JACKMAN AND AARON TVEIT AND EDDIE REDMAYNE!
BRAVISSIMA TO ANNE HATHAWAY AND SAMANTHA BARKS!
IMHO, the close up camera shots were great, brought home the emotion for me more so than what a stage production can give. It will be a challenge to keep your tears at bay, so be forewarned that it is heartbreaking to watch at times! Heard sniffles all through the theatre and then was not expecting the outbreak of thunderous applause after the final chord.
Is it perfect?...no, but as a classically trained singer and educator who has seen the show 11 times, I absolutely loved it. I can appreciate the technically and vocally demanding score and the talent that is required to bring it to fruition. This was a monumental task and I am happy to say WELL DONE!
Written December 25, 2012
First of all, I have to agree with the previous reviewer that this is more of a film version of the famous 1980s musical instead of the original novel by Victor Hugo.
With that in mind, I'd say this film is a great supplement to the musical. My wife is a huge fan of musicals, so she actually brought me to see the musical at Kennedy Center last year when it was the last stop of its 2012 US tour. I loved it, but it was a pitty that we could not afford to sit at better seats. Sound was great, the singing was great, but I could not see the acting and the settings in details because it was too darn far away (we paid ~100 for one ticket still).
This movie actually filled that unfortunate pity of my musical experience. With less than 10% of the musical ticket price, the movie gave me full details of the 1830s France, when and where all the characters were and the story took place. It offered me the additional visionary effects to complete my own imagination and vision.
Written December 26, 2012
I am such a fan of this musical. I have probably seen it about 40 times. I have seen it in London, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, etc.... I was totally shocked by the singing (or lack of singing) of the 2 main leads characters. I was not totally surprised by Russell Crowe since he is not a broadway singer but Hugh Jackman was a real disappointment. There were bound to have been better singers in Hollywood than these two men. This musical deserved strong singers which neither of them proved to be. I would rather they have used unknowns that could sing instead of name actors that couldn't.
Written December 26, 2012
After seeing the Broadway play twice, I was hoping that the film would capture my heart as well. And it did. Remembering that it is a time piece, it showed the wretchedness of France in the 1800's, the suffering of the people under a horrible government, and the hopefulness in the hearts of the people for a better life one day. Each character is totally unique, the singing is beautiful, and I found this movie to be emotionally unforgettable. Ann Hathaway is deserving of any award for which she is nominated. The difference between the play and the movie??? The movie brings the characters face to face -- you see the pain, the anquish, the heartbreak, and the hope. I loved it. It will truly stay my favorite. Thank you Victor Hugo for putting this story to paper. And thanks to Claude-Michel Schönberg for the music, Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel for the French lyrics, and Herbert Kretzmer for the English adaptation. It is truly a work of art.
Written September 20, 2014
I had seen this play in the theater and I wasn't sure how is would transfer onto film. I was pleasantly surprised. It evoked many emotions. The theater was completely packed, even though it was Christmas morning at 11:00. It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drip. Tears flowed throughout the movie. If I had to pick one word to describe the movie, it would be POWERFUL!