Review Roundup (12/6): LES MISERABLES Movie
Christmas can't get here fast enough, because that's when LES MISERABLES hits the big screen. Les Misérables 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.
Official reviews of the movie are still embargoed, but full reviews are slowing started to be released. Check out what the critics are saying thus far below!
Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail: I've seen the film three times and each time the film seemed to grow in stature. I go to bed with the songs from Les Miserables ringing in my ears. I think of One More Day, Red and Black, Do you Hear the People Sing, Bring Him Home and Little People (by the way Daniel Huttlestone's Gavroche is very striking).
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: One of the chief interests of the film is discovering the singing abilities of the notable actors assembled here, other than Jackman, whose musical prowess is well known. Crowe, who early in his career starred in The Rocky Horror Show and other musicals onstage in Australia, has a fine, husky baritone, while Eddie Redmayne surprises with a singing voice of lovely clarity. Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean onstage in London and New York, turns up here as the benevolent Bishop of Digne.
Robbie Collin, Telegraph: Les Misérables is only Hooper’s fourth feature, and his directorial style is still bedding in: some big, comic-book camera angles feel a touch over-egged, as does the extraordinarily shallow focus he uses in close-up. But he marshals the spectacle so spectacularly that it hardly matters. Hooper’s screenwriter William Nicholson (Shadowlands) has judiciously tinkered with the song order, which makes Les Misérables feel not only definitive, but utterly cinematic. You leave with not one song in your heart, but ten.
Justin Chang, Variety: As a faithful rendering of a justly beloved musical, "Les Miserables" will more than satisfy the show's legions of fans. Even so, director Tom Hooper and the producers have taken a number of artistic liberties with this lavish bigscreen interpretation: The squalor and upheaval of early 19th-century France are conveyed with a vividness that would have made Victor Hugo proud, heightened by the raw, hungry intensity of the actors' live oncamera vocals. Yet for all its expected highs, the adaptation has been managed with more gusto than grace; at the end of the day, this impassioned epic too often topples beneath the weight of its own grandiosity.
Jon Weisman, Variety: Best picture nominee? Fer sure. Best picture winner? Not necessarily, because while it is a film that soars in many places and is rock solid in others, "Les Miserables" also displays enough bumps and bruises to hurt it (and director Tom Hooper) in a close race. Some of the flaws I identified come from comparing it to the musical that I've held near and dear to my heart ever since I saw it Thanksgiving week 1987 in London – no doubt, a huge swath of Academy members have their own personal relationship with the film, and I find it a little hard to believe that they won't nitpick it.
Marlow Stern, Daily Beast: Nearly every number in Hooper’s film is brilliantly performed, with other highlights including Jackman’s rendition of “What Have I Done” following his silver theft, the camera skying upward to reveal a beautiful “eye of God” shot (a nifty trick repeated to equally thrilling effect several times throughout the film); the quodlibet “One Day More,” with Hooper cutting to different members of the cast; and the heartbreaking ballad “On My Own,” magnificently sung by Barks (who played the role on the West End). And of course, the revolutionary anthem “Do You Hear the People Sing” soars to the heavens.