Review Roundup (12/14): LES MISERABLES Movie
Christmas can't get here fast enough, because that's when LES MISERABLES hits the big screen. LES MISERABLES 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.
The movie premiered earlier this week in New York City, and you can check out what the critics are saying below!
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY: In Tom Hooper's powerhouse film version, Anne Hathaway, as the ruined Fantine, demolishes this number, live-singing a single, Falconetti-worthy take choked with pain and fierce regret. (You can only imagine the rioting on 45th Street had she been less than perfect.) Just for this small piece of movie magic, instantly iconic, the big-screen Les Miz is a triumph.
Luke Y. Thompson, Nerdist: From what I've gleaned of Les Miz peripherally, it seems like the Lord of the Rings of musicals - an epic play everybody's been waiting to see turned into a massive-budget cinematic magnum opus. And it has been, indeed. From the opening shots of a gigantic ship being towed into dock by slaves on ropes to its finale in the French revolution, this is not a movie that does things by half. Even in the smaller, intimate moments, the camera stays put on actors who sing their hearts out as they attempt (mostly with success) to make their voices and emotions the equal of all the special effects exploding all around. Yes, it's bombastic, unironic, and quite clearly expensive. If you can't accept that, it's not the movie for you. But if you can take in the film's operatic world as presented, you'll be taken on a ride well worth the assaults on your senses.
Karen D'Souza, Mercury News: And if you are in the mood for a good cry (or three!), rejoice. Your eyes may well be red for days after this relentless tear-jerker. Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") stays very true to the muckraking spirit of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, its harrowing denunciation of a society that oppresses the many to benefit the few.
Stephanie Zacharik, Film.com: Only Hathaway's defeated and demoralized tragic heroine Fantine, in the killer show-stopper tearjerker "I Dreamed a Dream,™" manages to claw her way toward anything resembling true emotion. Her features - the Paul Klee eyes, those pillowy cracked lips - are large enough to stand up to the hyperbombast that surrounds her.
Simon Reynolds, Digital Spy: For all Hooper's showy direction the film's standout sequence comes in one unbroken take, a close-up of the shaven-headed Fantine belting out 'I Dreamed a Dream' as her voice falters and tears stream. It's utterly heartbreaking, and you instantly feel like this is a moment that people will cite for the rest of her career. An Oscar nomination surely awaits.
Richard Corliss, Time: The problem is that Hooper extends the ploy far beyond its usefulness to virtually every aria. In Valjean's "Soliloquy" and "Who Am I?" the camera strenuously backpedals as Jackman strides toward it. His voice goes fortissimo with the songs' emotion, as if he needs to be heard by someone in the third balcony, yet he's nose to nose with the viewer. So many of the numbers in Les Miz have the impact of a stranger shouting in your face. That might be forgivable if the screen were of YouTube size, but this is for movie theaters