Summary: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, Cossette, their lives change forever.
LES MISÉRABLES is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year.
In December 2012, the world’s longest-running musical brings its power to the big screen in The King’s Speech’s Academy Award-Winning director, Tom Hooper’s, sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo’s epic tale. the Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh production with international superstars and beloved songs – including “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and “On My Own” – LES MISÉRABLES, the show of shows, is now reborn as the cinematic musical experience of a lifetime.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United Kingdom
Director: Tom Hooper
Screenwriter: Alain Boublil (book), James Fenton, Victor Hugo (novel), Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics), Jean-Marc Natel, William Nicholson, Claude-Michel Schonberg (book)
Cast: Isabelle Allen (Young Cosette), Samantha Barks (Eponine), George Blagden (Grantaire), Julian Bleach (Clacquesous), Helena Bonham Carter (Madame Thenardier), Alastair Brammer (Prouvaire), Bertie Carvel (Bamatabois), Heather Chasen (Madame Magloire), Sacha Baron Cohen (Thenardier), Richard Cordery (Duc De Raguse), Russell Crowe (Javert), Killian Donnelly (Combeferre), Tim Downie (Brevet), Fra Fee (Courfeyrac), Georgie Glen (Madame Baptistine), Patrick Godfrey (Gillenormand), Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Andrew Havill (Cochepaille), Daniel Huttlestone (Gavroche), Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean), Stuart Neal (Lesgles), Adam Pearce (Brujon), Mark Pickering (Montparnasse), Ian Pirie (Babet), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), Michael Sarne (Father Mabeuf), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette), James Simmons (Champmathieu), Hugh Skinner (Joly), Stephen Tate (Fauchelevent), Aaron Tveit (Enjolras), Gabriel Vick (Feulilly), Natalya Angel Wallace (Young Eponine), John Warnaby (Majordomo), Colm Wilkinson (Bishop)
Runtime: 158 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Les Miserables’ Review:
Like so many directors before him Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, The Damned United) finds himself at that point in his career when he has to find a project that will match the brilliance that he obtained with his previous project, in Hooper’s case the Oscar winning ‘The King’s Speech’.
Hooper surprised everybody by taking on the massive task of trying to pull off an all-singing (and I mean all-singing there is no single line of dialogue in this film) version of the much loved theatre show ‘Les Miserables’. Pull it off and Hooper would be considered one of the great filmmakers of this generation, fail and he’s at risk of becoming just another one-hit wonder director.
Luckily for Hooper ‘Les Miserables’ does enough to show that Hooper is a fine filmmaker. It has its faults but does okay them with ease.
For those that have never seen the stage show ‘Les Miserables’ is set in 19th-century France and sees a prisoner by the name of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman – Movie 43, Rise Of The Guardians) break parole and then re-emerge years later as a Mayor who cares about the people of his town. His caring nature is shown even more so when he promises a dying mother named Fantine (Anne Hathaway – The Dark Knight Rises, One Day) that he will look after her daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen – newcomer).
Valjean rescues Cosette from the devious Thenardier (Sacha Baron Cohen – Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, The Dictator) and Madame Thenardier (Helena Bonham Carter – Great Expectations, Dark Shadows) and then once disappears as a bid to escape the clutches of determined Police Officer Javert (Russell Crowe – Broken City, The Man With The Iron Fists).
Years later the pair surface again when Cosette (now played by Amanda Seyfried – Gone, The End Is Love) spots Marius Pontmercy (Eddie Redmayne – My Week with Marilyn, TV’S Birdsong) a young revolutionary that is determined to bring down the monarchy and is unaware of the fact that he is breaking the heart of his close friend, Eponine (Samantha Barks – TV’S Groove High). Marius and Cosette fall instantly in love and soon Valjean finds himself fighting alongside Marius and once again trying to avoid capture.
Early on it does seem like Hooper has failed to make ‘Les Miserables’ a great film. The film seems to chop and change between time periods with just a brief ‘eight or nine years later’ appearing on the screen. The result is that you never really find yourself warming to or caring for Jean Valijean in the way you are supposed to, but cinema lovers will soon see that Hooper had another card up his sleeve.
The card is the fact that the second half of ‘Les Miserables’ is absolutely faultless and the scenes around the barricades are some of the finest pieces of cinema that you will see this year. Early on the fact the film has every line sung sometimes stood out but in the second half of the film the music comes to the fore and ‘Les Miserables’ deserves to be called one of the finest musicals ever made.
When it comes to the acting there are a few surprises. Hugh Jackman is okay and while some of Russell Crowe’s voice, it does match that of his character very well, and at times Crowe portrays Javert so well that you find yourself liking him more than you like Valijean. Both Amanda Seyfried and Anne Hathaway’s roles in ‘Les Miserables’ are largely over-rated and they are both left far behind in the acting stakes by the relatively fresh Samantha Barks as well as Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter who steal every scene they are in.
If you are willing to endure a seriously lackluster first half then ‘Les Miserables’ will reward you with a second half that makes this one of the finest movies of 2012.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Les Miserables′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Les Miserables’. You can also check out our other review on Helium