Written September 29, 2016
This just did not work. If you are a fan of this musical then you will not like this movie. The actors barely sing the songs. The best cinematography is in the trailer. The rest is not interesting. The natural camera movements and music video fast editing made me angry. This is an embarrassing mess.
Written July 28, 2016
If you're a fan of Les Miserables and/or musicals... this is a must go.
If not, this may be a long movie for you.
This rendition of Les Miserables does not follow the Broadway show or the novel verbatim. The general story is there, but several character relationships are disconnected from their as written roles. Despite being streamlined, the story is cohesive.
The acting in this movie is beyond top shelf. That being said, Hugh Jackman has a tough time pulling off the vocals and Russell Crowe's characterization of Javert doesn't have the curt and clipped vocals expected of his character. Anne Hathaway absolutely steals the show with her performance. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter provided a nice touch of comedy.
I found the visuals just ok, but I'm recently spoiled from the amazingly beautiful sets of Anna Karenina. That's less important as Les Miserables focuses heavily on the characters faces.
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Written August 31, 2016
It's amazing how differently the same story comes across when presented in a different format. I've read the book, seen the play and now the movie. Each has something unique to offer. The story is compelling in any genre, and while I personally enjoyed the roadshow the best, I did enjoy the movie. I think the movie actors who are cinema professionals did an outstanding job with the character portrayals. I thought Anne Hathaway especially brought a depth of character to Fontine that you wouldn't find in the roadshow. With Russell Crowe as Jabert, he came across as much more human than the strict "legal automaton" that one usually imagines. That said, the road show are cast not only for their acting abilities, but for their voices. If you are expecting the same quality of musicianship, you might be a little disappointed. It's a trade, but again, one worthy of making. I think the best thing about the movie is that it brings the timeless story of "Les Mis" to the masses.
Written August 26, 2016
Very moving, very intense, and very long. If you can't sit though 3 hours of music - a total of 49 songs, don't go. If you like musicals, history, period costumes, and beautiful sets, you should indulge yourself.
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.