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God's avatar


I felt like I was celebrating my 80th birthday by the end of this movie.
11 years 5 months ago
neocowboy's avatar


Awful lot of bitching in these comments. There's a plethora of adaptations to choose from, they churn them out like twice a decade. I'm sure this will be at least in the top 3 nonetheless.

I'm not learned in the ways of music but it's not exactly like the cast are like drunken karaoke night at your local.

As for direction and cinematography, it may not be as good as we have come to know Hooper for but at least you're still getting an experience you can't get from the theatre.

I hate to admit it but Hathaway steals the show.
11 years 1 month ago


I've been a massive Les Mis fan since 1995. I've seen the musical on Broadway 3 times, with three different and amazing casts and once in London with an equally mesmerizing cast. I can recite the song book nearly word for word (and you don't want me to, as my voice is far from acceptable). I've also read the book twice and consider it the finest piece of literature ever written. To please me with a film adaptation is nigh impossible.

Thankfully, Tom Hooper nailed it. His changes are often motivated by adjusting stage principles for the cinema, and then are taken from the source material making this even more accurate to Hugo's text than the show is. Its a hyper intelligent adaptation of both the libretto and novel.

My biggest qualms come from the lensing of the film. While the intensely up close and personal approach to filming the song book is often a huge success (i.e. Anne Hathaway's 'I Dreamed a Dream) other times its disorienting or diminishes the epic quality of group numbers. These problems are minor as the best parts of the film outweigh the faults. Les Mis is a triumph and one of 2012's greatest films.
11 years 5 months ago
jmars's avatar


Adaptations or stage/screen debate aside, the thing that has always bugged me about this story is that the drama is constantly cranked to 11. Prison! Revenge! Rape! Murder! Romance! Revolution! Suicide! There is no time to spare for characters and motivations while the drama moves from pinnacle to pinnacle. spoiler And the actors belt this all to the balconies. Except in Hooper's film we are all sitting 10 inches from their faces while they do. Like Jim Emerson said, "It's like "Full Metal Jacket: The Musical!" with all the parts played by R. Lee Ermey."
3 years 2 months ago
dombrewer's avatar


As a twenty year admirer of the stage show I looking forward to this long awaited screen adaptation but was sorely disappointed. The cinematography, dependent on close ups and stedicam wobbling, is distracting, and almost without exception the singing voices of the cast weren't strong enough for the material. Anne Hathaway was one of those exceptions, performing with absolute conviction and was genuinely heartbreaking - an award worthy performance in my eyes (and ears) without question. At the other end of the scale everyone should be embarrassed for Russell Crowe who struggles with every note. I don't think there can ever have been a more underwhelming performance of Javert's show stopping solo "Stars", and no amount of dodgy CGI wandering on parapets helps that. Hugh Jackman acts the central role of Jean Valjean extremely well, and has a good voice, but he fumbles his best number too -"Bring Him Home", straining horribly to hit the high notes. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are just terrible as the Thenardiers, sapping all the humour out of all their scenes with their respective tired schticks.
Otherwise the hefty cuts to the score (and unnecessary alterations to the lyrics) are mostly detrimental to the pacing: we're mostly let with a long sequence of tear stained soliloquys with little time for each to make their mark. Oddly it's also the first time I've struggled to accept the convention of sung conversation because, eager to make the whole enterprise seem present and immediate with the live singing, little added improvised spoken lines break the flow- if you can converse in normal speech why would you bother to sing the recitative?
There are strong moments, and some interesting innovations, but all in all it's a missed opportunity, particularly for fans of the musical.
11 years 5 months ago
moviewizguy's avatar


Let me start off by saying I was really looking forward to the film, and I love musicals. I haven't seen the stage version or read the book or watched any other film adaptations, so I knew absolutely nothing about it. When the film started, I thought it was the lamest thing ever. The singing was a bit off and everything felt awkward to watch. And then Anne Hathaway showed up, and I cried like a baby 5 minutes later. Seeing a close-up of her singing "I Dreamed a Dream" in one take is easily the best part in the film. And when spoiler

After that, I was counting the minutes to the end credits. I didn't care for any of the other characters. In fact, the poor story leaves a lot to be desired: spoiler Why do Cosette and Éponine like Marius? No reason. There is absolutely no build-up or development to make these choices feel motivated. Why should I feel sorry for Éponine? Why should I want Cosette and Marius to be together? spoiler

After asking all these questions, the answer is obvious: The filmmakers are trying to make the audience cry. You throw logic out the window and aim for their hearts. Why do these incomprehensible and completely unmotivated scenes happen? So we would cry and feel sorry for these characters. Some people fell for it. I didn't. I saw how emotionally manipulative it all was, and I was honestly bored by it all. Imagine sitting in the theater for over 150 minutes being told to "CRY. WEEP FOR THESE MISERABLE PEOPLE." It gets funny after awhile.

If some people liked the film, fine, but I didn't care for it. I didn't care for the miserable characters in it. They aren't characters. They are plot devices to make people cry. 5/10
11 years 5 months ago
Theatrechick321's avatar


This film exceeded my expectations. It was intimate, well directed, cinematically stunning and I was impressed by performances.

I was very happy about the choice to sing 'live' while directing, instead of the usual use of in studio recordings. Personally, I really appreciated the close up song performances.
This is one of my all time favorite musicals, and being a musical buff, I was not in the least disappointed by the film adaptation.
The cast was very impressive, however I was slightly disappointed by Russel Crowe's performance. He didn't seem too passionate about the part, or that he was participating in a musical.
However I do believe Jackman's and Hathaway's performances were oscar worthy.
I was also surprisingly impressed by Eddie Redmayne's performance of Marius, "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables," was a note worthy performance by the actor.
I was also very happy that Tom Hopper chose Samantha Barks, who was in the 2010-2011 london production of Les Miserables and also in the 25th anniversary concert, to portray Eponine in the film. She was one of the best in that in that group of performances, and I'm glad Hopper didn't chose another star for the role.

The film was heart wrenching, and was very similar to seeing a live performance.
I highly recommend this film.
11 years 5 months ago
TheInfanta's avatar


My take on Les Miserables (or "Close-Ups of Actors Singing") in a nutshell: frenetic camera work, claustrophobia inducing close-ups, uninspired directing, lackluster cinematography, and pointless dutch tilts, only stayed for the amazing music (the cast did a bang-up job). Sorry for being harsh but I was hoping for so much more. Why Hooper? WHY?!?!?!
11 years 5 months ago
Jashezilla's avatar


I had no clue what this was when I went to watch it, but boy, am I glad I did. Every single actor sung so well and acted the heck out of the film. What's with all this hate towards Russell Crowe? He was probably my favorite singer in the whole movie. Sure does make me want to see the stage-show now.
7 years 8 months ago
Siskoid's avatar


Not, I admit, my kind of musical (sung-through is a bit TOO artificial for me), AND I'm no Victor Hugo fan (the opposite might be said), but I was up for it because I AM a fan of director Tom Hooper's thoughtful approach to film-making. I did like it, even though Hugo's melodrama weighs heavy and the music has too few themes for my tastes, and certainly respect the achievement recording the singing on set represents. Basically, it puts emotion and performance first, as actors can vary their their tempo and delivery in performance. Once your ear is tuned to heightened style, it makes the film far more naturalistic than the usual lipsynch process. The actors bring a lot to their characters, adding motivation, humor and other touches to the stage musical and even novel, and they mostly have good voices, Russell Crowe excepted (he has both good and bad moments). Well constructed and worth your time if you're in the mood for something long and heavy.
8 years 12 months ago
Punisher's avatar


A very fine production, but a poor excuse for a musical.
Shame really, but it was wrongly casted!

It felt terribly rushed, so much that you find it hard to empathize with any of the characters. Making it tough to appreciate, or even follow the story in detail comfortably, i imagine, for those who have yet to read the book.

I liked the set, costumes and camerawork, and i was not bored. Neither was i pleased much.
The extras were more talented (singing wise) than the lead actors/esses.

P.S. At least i was glad to see/listen to Colm Wilkinson's there, even at a minor role.
9 years 9 months ago
IreneAdler's avatar


I found this movie really astonishing. Good story, the music is lovely of course, the actors were amazing. Pretty much every role was very well cast, the actors were able to show their talent... and I liked their singing voices as well. Great movie!
10 years 7 months ago
ChrisReynolds's avatar


Some great performances and good songs which was enough for me not to outright dislike it, but the story and direction let it down. It was pitched so melodramatically that it often tipped into laughability, and the story was filled with cliched scenes, endless coincidences, and a constant stream of new characters being introduced.
10 years 11 months ago
Cimeries's avatar


Hugh Jackman and Anne Hatheway both gave excellent performances and most of the rest of the cast kept up well. Crowe suited his role but his voice struggled to do the part justice. This was the first time I've seen any version of Les Miserables and I thought it was great. I don't know how much of that is because of the quality of the musical and how much is due to the quality of the adaptation though. Would very much like to see this on stage.
11 years 4 months ago
kayjay027's avatar


Anne Hathaway's best performance ever. It may have been overdone, yet what musical isn't? I found myself at some points wondering when it would be over yet as I look back on it, it was a beautiful film, unique to anything I have ever seen and an amazing story to tell. I just really hope it doesn't sweep in the Oscars, I don't think it's that worthy.
11 years 5 months ago

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