Written December 27, 2012
I've heard most of the recordings and have seen the production live. Since I knew that actors, rather than professional musicians (for the most part) were taking the leads, I expected the acting to be superb, the singing to be so-so, and the emotional intensity to be extremely high. All three exceeded expectations.
The most disappointing aspect of the movie to me was its raciness. I was particularly disappointed by how sex and prostitution were treated as funny in Master of the House, although those same things ruined Fantine's life. The producers seemed to be sending a very mixed message, caving to the typical Hollywood expectations rather than focusing on the social evil that Victor Hugo showed prostitution to be. I was uncomfortable with its explicitness, having taken my younger sister and cousin along with me, expecting the raciness level of the stage show rather than this.
However, the redemption message remains powerful. Worth seeing.
Written February 14, 2016
A superb production of the stage musical. Makes it more personal and meaningful. The live singing performances are awesome and bring tears to your eyes. For a major Les Miserables fan it is THE BEST! Oscar worthy for Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and for Best Picture! Will definetly see it again!
Written May 26, 2016
Les Miserables is a most poignant story. The demand for vocal acuity in this film is imperative for the viewer to remain engaged and feel the emotional valeur. The performances were great, unfortunately, I found Crowe's inability to sing to distract me from the story as well as detach myself from feeling any sympathy for this character. Jackman's vocals were only slightly better that of Crowe's, and if these two characters were casted by two men that have the ability to sing, I would have enjoyed the movie that much more.
As for Hathaway, her performance brought tears to my eyes - she is absolutely lovely.
In fact, all other characters sang wonderfully and with such passion - I was enthralled
Aside from the poor singing by both Crowe and Jackman, the movie is wonderful and entertaining but I will not watch it again because of these two actors - I will instead read the book by Victor Hugo.
Written May 30, 2016
Fabulous, BUT... ~~~Music was surprisingly good -coming from a die hard Les Mis fan. Acting was excellent. Costumes were good. The staging was nice. Story was exceptional -change your life- kind of story, as usual. Characters were for the most part very believable.~~~
The camera work was terrible. Almost ruined the movie! They shot it in a stylized format with very short depth of field - backgrounds blurry and directs your eyes where they want you to see. However, they missed. Short depth of field too short and with moving subjects? the closeups were out of focus about half of the time. Seriously! Why pay $10 for a movie when they don't have any of their face in focus? Not even one eye? VERY DISTRACTING! Also, they used wide angle lenses several times that distorted the faces too much. ~~~The vulgarity, and sex scene were too much. The violence was strong. Too much for a young teen.~~~Truer to the book than the musical - a little. good overall. See, but with caution.
Written September 25, 2016
An amazing performance by all - the raw emotion that was displayed in this film brought such a credibility to the delivery of the story, it's characters and the inner values of the story. Most striking is the message of Val Jean's steadfastness to remember the grace he received and to pay that grace forward, replacing the bitterness and hate. It isn't easy to watch - times during that period were desperate and they don't sugar coat that - but sometimes we need a dose of reality to make us understand how much we take for granted. We left the theater humbled.