2 hrs 37 min
Staff Writer: Nathaniel Brayton
This film adaptation of Les Misérables is as grand and of epic proportions as the stage musical and novel from which it was based. Coming in a few minuets shorter than The Hobbit, Les Misérables is less tedious and more engrossing. Seeing Les Misérables on the silver screen is a great deal because the audience gets Broadway performances for a fifth of the cost.
Jean Valjean is released from imprisonment after serving 19 years. Upon his release, Valjean chooses to break parole and start a new life. Thus, begins a life of keeping one eye open at night and looking over his shoulder for the dreaded Inspector Jarvet. As Valjean becomes successful, he promises to look after the daughter of Fantine, one of his former factory employees. The girl, Cosette, will change his life forever.
From the beginning, you will notice that all of the dialogue is sung. This was my only quibble with the film. The singing of normal conversations made some of the dialogue seem silly and detracted from the normal musical numbers. However, I will say by the end of the film it was less of a distraction and felt natural.
Every single performance was exceptional, especially from the lead, Hugh Jackman. His character, Jean Valjean, struggles with difficult morality choices and Jackman conveys his distress perfectly. But honestly, the two best actors of the film were the children. The young girl who plays Cosette is an exceptional singer and the boy who plays a young revolutionist is genuinely charismatic.
The best part of Les Misérables are the enormous, stunning, and very intricate set designs. The magnitude and scale works to enhance how invested the audience is in the film. It felt like every design choice was there for a reason and nothing was just tacked on.
To my delight, Les Misérables takes a giant undertaking with one of the best musicals of all time and turns it into one of the most memorable movies of the year.
out of 10
“And I’m Javert! Do not forget my name. Do not forget me, 24601.”