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 March 28, 2017
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 January 20, 2017
I had see the play once at Keller in Portland OR. I have heard the songs and been told the story but just did not quite understand the musical. While watching the movie I was deeply moved. What a powerful portrayal of the themes of sin, redemption, and the power of choice.
I heard people say they thought the music was better in the live plays but I was so wrapped up in the actors singing...I thought it was better than the play...
Written February 20, 2017
I have to preface this review by saying I am a huge fan of this musical. It is my absolute favorite, and I have seen it countless times on tour, on Broadway and regionally-big theaters and small. The film reminded me of one of my favorite staged productions which was in a small theater in the round. Hard to imagine if you have not seen it, but being so close to the actors and in such an intimate setting provided a much more intense experience emotionally. The film succeeds on this level, with the right amount of agnst and emotion, particularly in Hathaway's big number, "I Dreamed A Dream", and Redmayne's "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". Not a dry eye in the house. Where the film was less successful was in the rest of its casting. Big names sell movies, but did Les Miserables need this when millions upon millions world-wide have seen and love this show? Crowe was awful, Jackman strained, Seyfried-why? Also, where was the gorgeous score? It never seemed to get off the ground.
Written January 18, 2017
Les Miserables is one of my favorite musicals. Unfortunately, the film version did fulfill my expectations. It is a sad moment when a 10 year old sings better and more naturally than the lead character. Both Jackman and Crowe simply did not have the voice or skill to carry parts that require passionate, intense singing. They seemed as fixed as statutes when they needed to be animated.
Anne Hathaway performed and sang well -- relief from the other performances and Eddie Redmayne was terrific.