Les Miserables is a musical from the Academy Award-winning director, Tom Hooper, well known for his work on the 2010 film, “The King’s Speech”. Hooper is back again and is stepping out of his comfort zone a bit with a musical, not just any musical, but the very popular, Les Miserables. Not only did he chose a musical with very little straight talking and most of the movie being sung, but all the singing was filmed along with the scenes in real time which makes for slightly less polished singing performances – but if you know Les Mis, it’s anything but polished.
Hugh Jackman plays the lead character, Jean Valjean, a convict that was arrested for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child and forced to spend 20 years in incarceration. Once he was let free, he was put on parole but he ran away, failed to report to his parole officer and started a new life. The story revolves around him and the people he puts his life on the line for, all while being chased by military officer, Javert, played by Russel Crowe. The cast also includes Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.
First of all, I’m just going to say this movie is not for everyone. This is more like a play happening in front of your eyes in movie form. It’s a long movie, but I think if it were any shorter it wouldn’t really connect with all the points that make it a full story. Being based off a play, it has no real middle; movies usually have three acts and Les Mis only has two so it’s sometimes a little hard to figure out where you are in the movie. The music is very good and you find songs that you’ve heard earlier in the movie coming back in some of the dialogue melodies. The singing really went hand-in-hand with the acting and although some songs were better than others, it really carried this and kept me interested.
Overall, I think Les Miserables was very good. It will definitely be an Oscar contender and without a doubt take home some awards. Although it’s is not for everybody, if you go in with an open mind and just see the movie for what it is, you’ll probably come out with a smile on your face.
– By Christian