Review Roundup (12/19): 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.
Check out what the critics are saying below!
Scott Foundas, Village Voice: On stage, Les Mis has about as much to do with Hugo as Rent has to do with Puccini, but it has undeniable kitsch appeal, with its own literal pièce de résistance-an enormous rotating barricade-in lieu of Phantom's plummeting chandelier. On screen, there are fewer pleasures, though the opening moments are undeniably impressive in an old-fashioned, epic-monolithic way, as the camera drifts up from underwater to reveal Valjean and a chain gang of prisoners hauling an enormous ship into port under the crash of waves and the glower of the police inspector Javert (Russell Crowe).
Matt Pais, RedEye: The first third of this two-and-a-half-hour film moves swiftly, muting emotions amid a pace that flows from one song to the next to the next. Yet if you think a musical can't make you feel something, or if on-the-nose lyrics can never resonate, "Les Miserables" is the movie to change your mind. Whether it's Hathaway registering Fantine's anger as hope tears into nothingness or Redmayne and Barks collaborating on the gorgeous "A Little Fall of Rain," it's hard to deny several moments that showcase the musical form in top condition.
Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat: Knowing he has a powerhouse cast with which to work, Hooper carries out the musical numbers in ingenious, effective ways. As Valjean sings about his search for religious guidance, the director has Jackman pace back and forth through a church, moving more frantically as his desperation grows. The "Master of the House" sequence is played for comedy, with Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter hamming it up amidst a barrage of visual jokes.
Mark Ellis, Schmoes Know: The novel-turned-broadway play is now a movie musical, and if you're a fan of musicals, you'll love "Les Miserables". That statement also acts as a disclaimer, because anyone not in love with the idea of constant singing won't be swayed by the Tom Hooper-directed incarnation. Luckily, I'm not in that camp and was thrilled to see this epic film come to life. Easily one of my favorite films of the year, this "Les Miserables" features award-worthy performances, breathtaking cinematography and storytelling that will have willing audiences spellbound for almost three hours.
Clay Cane, BET.com: Anne Hathaway has her "And I Am Telling You" moment when singing "I Dreamed a Dream" as Fantine, factory worker turned hooker. Her performance of the torch song will certainly go down as one of the best renditions of a musical number in movies. The future Oscar-winner is the high-point of the film, but when her character disappears there isn't much left.