Les Miserables

Based on Victor Hugo’s novel and the Broadway production, Les Miserables details the life of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a man imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread who breaks parole but goes on to become a successful businessman. All the while hounded by lawman Javert (Russell Crowe), Valjean seeks to do what is right and good and ultimately ends up becoming an adoptive father of Cosette (Amanda Syfried), the daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a former employee of Valjean with a doomed fate. Meanwhile, as Cossette is coming into her own the unsuccessful June Rebellion is firing up, bad news for Cossette, her beloved Marius (Eddie Remayne) is leading the charge. Save the boy, save the girl, survive the rebellion, dodge the thieves and swindlers, and avoid the law, Valjean has his work cut out for himself, where will his fate be cut? Les-Mis-Poster Straightforward directing from Tom Hooper brings the Broadway favorite to the silver screen with little variation from the expected; but, this is not to say the film is one and the same as the musical production, specifically, singing technique comes to mind. Where fans of the musical are familiar with a more operatic approach, the cinematic approach brings a closer miced sound, which can sound less impressive power wise but more intricate with diction. Both styles are accepted, but could take some getting used to. After that, the voices of each of the leads will probably prove to be the biggest sticking point for many, at times both Jackman and Crowe have tight and restricted voices which robs tone potential, meanwhile, Hathaway absolutely kills it with great tone and technique. Also of note, Samantha Barks as Eponine is a polished and perfect fit. Performances from Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonhan Carter as Thenardier and Madame Thenardier are perfectly hammed up and sit just right. Overall art direction stays in keeping and visually interesting. Bottom line, while the sound of your favorite Mis tunes may take some getting used to, you could do a lot worse, worthy of a matinee and maybe even more. Les Miserables is rated PG-13.