Written August 25, 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 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.