The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

Film Review: Les Misérables (2012)

Les Misérables (2012). Directed by Tom Hooper, and based on the French musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. The story starts in early 19th century France. A prisoner, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), is paroled after serving 19 years in hard labour for stealing bread for his starving family. He has no food and shelter, but is offered this by the Bishop of Digne. During the night he steals the silver from the cathedral, but when he is caught the Bishop tells the police that he gave them to Jean. Touched by the Bishop's generosity, Jean swears to turn over a new leaf. Les Mis (to use the snobby term) is not nicknamed The Miserables for nothing, as it's a fairly grim 158 minute (in this incarnation) trudge through many decades of gritty story. This incarnation is particularly epic in scale, from the opening through to the end, with stunning sets (and presumably CG). I quite like the story, despite its grimness, and the music, which of course just comes down to personal taste. Along with the stunning sets there's also an A-list cast, which such luminaries as Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and (A-list ish) Amanda Seyfried. Hathaway and Seyfried at least are particularly good, and do a reasonable job of singing. Jackman and Crowe I wasn't so sure about, although Jackman's acting is good, but Crowe's is wooden. The only reason I don't give it top marks is that I'm just not a big enough fan of the overall work. If you can bear grim musicals, or are already a fan, then this particular version is definitely worth a go. 4/5 (Good)
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