REVIEW: LES MISERABLES
SYNOPSIS: Les Misérables is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Helmed by The King’s Speech’s Academy Award®-winning director, Tom Hooper, the Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh production stars Hugh Jackman, Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
It is a love story. It is a story of station. It is a story
of life defining choices. It is a story of survival. It is a story of redemption, full of faith. Faith is the underlying current and theme of this glorious film. It is entrancing, grandiose, and, oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, it is 99.9% sung. Yes, this is a full musical masterpiece. For that reason, this movie is geared more for mature audiences and I don’t mean in age. The title of this ageless story really says it all and very well describes the majority of the characters in it. In this big screen version we find a cast that successfully interpreted the true spirit of this tale and transmits that spirit to the audience. From the commencement, Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean mesmerizes with a look we have never seen him have before. As the main character in our journey, he gives a performance to top pretty much all his prior performances. He really demonstrates that casting him in this role was no mistake. The next major character is performed by Russell Crowe as
Javert. No doubt he is one of the finer actors of our time, but in a musical? I’ll tell you that he did quite well and was able to draw out the kind of emotions one would have toward any correctly portrayed antagonist. And he can sing too. Arguably the most eye-popping performance is given by Anne Hathaway in the role of
Fantine. Wow! She gave depth, conviction, and emotion all with an impressive singing voice. I was actually a little disappointed that her role was not larger. I wanted more of her. Luckily we get Cosette to relieve most of the pain. Ah the entrancing
Cosette, of whom a large part of the story revolves around. Starting with the younger version played by Isabelle Allen and ending with the grown up version played by Amanda
Seyfried, Cosette is a sight for sore eyes, and a beautiful sound for sore ears. But don’t fret, we also get a sprinkle of comic relief with this story in the form of Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. What a duo, and good performances too! I could go on but you can see without a doubt that the cast assembled for this motion picture has all the talent needed to make this an incredible movie experience. Oh and by the way, every song sung in this film was recorded live and in one take on set which is a first for a movie like this. Speaking of which and considering that practically the entire movie is sung, the dialogue is pretty darn good. And putting that dialogue to music for the duration of an entire movie of over two and a half hours is no easy task either and needless to say the music component is outstanding. And as long as we are continuing to praise the film, the cinematography is impeccable. The costumes, the sets, the props, and all the details down to the character’s teeth and fingernails added to the overall effect of this magical movie. Oscar winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) has done it again . . . another work of art. I doubt there was a dry eye in the theater by the time it was over. Bravo!
By Cine Marcos
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