Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations

Les MisÚrables - Film Review

Home > Everywhere > Movie Reviews | Film Reviews
by Retired Writer 235 (subscribe)
The Untitled Reviewer. Movies are my speciality, but I'll give anything a go.A like and share is much appreciated www.facebook.com/UntitledMovieReviewPage
Published February 19th 2013


Full disclosure. I hate musicals. I hate Grease. I hate the Sound of Music. I hate Grease. And genuinely believed that I would hate Les MisÚrables. So I was in a quandary. I started a review website. Something that would not constructively criticise any movie that came to cinemas. Any movie. Except Parental Guidance. While I am not a convert to the genre, Les Miserables was a film with a decent story, but some obvious flaws.

Former convict Jean Valjean is mayor of a small French town in the 1800's. After the death of one of his factory workers Fantine (Anne Hathaway), Valjean adopts her daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen). Valjeans life becomes perilous when his former prison guard turned inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) discovers his presence in the town. Valjean and Cosette escape to Paris with Javert at their heels. They hide for nine years (Amanda Seyfried, playing older Cosette) and the pair becomes embroiled in a revolutionary plot, each character coming to terms with Javert, hope, love and duty.

Stand outs for me were the presence of Sasha Cohen Baron and Helen Bonham Carter as the devious Thenardiers, adding much need light-heartedness to the broody environment. Russell Crowe is somewhat okay as the dutiful Javert. However, his singing quickly becomes a labour to listen to. His emotional range is narrow and, considering the character, his range should be more torrented and zealous.

Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried were terrible choices for the film. Valjean's catharsis should a lot more moving than it is on screen. However, Jackman was boring to watch and hear. His face has only ne setting; serious. No emotion, just serious. Seyfried failed to draw me in. Hathaway as Fantine was at least a shining light in the movie. A great singer and actress at the same time. Unfortunately not on screen for long.

My biggest concern with this film is debatable. Les Mis started as a novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1862 and was eventually made into a musical in the 80's. The original story is sound. It is deep and thoughtful. It is the genre I have a problem with. Why does the adaptation have to be a musical? The source material is good enough to merit an adaptation without it being musical. I understand what I have said is blasphemy. I understand the blow back.

Two and a half hours was too much. I was right to be suspicious about a musical. However, this is what reviewing is all about; watching a movie you may have reservations about and challenging those reservations. While I can point a couple of musical numbers I liked and then look to Cohen and Carter for a chuckle, my views remain firm. Les Miserables will engage with those that love the deep story and music. It will bore those who want to see Jack Reacher instead.

5/10
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  7
Where: Blu-ray/DVD
Your Comment
Related
by Matt Elliot Taylor on 23/12/2012
by Richard Leathem on 26/12/2012
by Steff Humm on 16/01/2013
by Adam Ray Palmer on 17/01/2013
by Erin on 02/02/2013
by Lulu Sellick on 29/05/2014
by Dee Mbugua on 14/01/2013
by Tinderlocks on 06/02/2013
by Karen the Wordier on 29/12/2012
by PerthKel on 16/02/2013
by Mark Elms on 19/03/2013
by John Andrew on 05/01/2013
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions