PG) Les Miserables
Running Time: 160 Minutes.
2 and a half stars out of 4.
Les Miserables has been described as, "The Best Musical Of All Time," and the beloved musical and Victor Hugo novel has come to the big screen in director Tom Hooper's follow-up to his Oscar winning The Kings Speech. Les Miserables is highly anticipated, and I think the film meets the expectations to an extent. The film takes place in 1815 France, where we meet Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who used to be a prisoner but is now town mayor. He meets Fantine (Anne Hathaway) who has become a prostitute because she needs money to support her child, who is living with the Thernardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonahm Carter) Jean Valjean promised Fantine he will raise her child Cosette, and support her. Javert (Russel Crowe) is the prison guard trying to capture Valjean and send him back to prison. All of this is sung, and there are few spoken words.
Going into this film I had low expectations because I dislike musicals, and I knew that the plot would be sung instead of spoken. The film exceeded my expectations because the screenplay is very interesting, and after a while I was onboard with all the singing. Now, the first half of the film is incredible with the story being interesting, and the musical productions being memorable and entertaining, and by the time we get to the second half, the film starts to drag and becomes a bore. I wanted the second half to be as extraordinary as the first but frankly I was let down.
The performances are solid throughout, with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway giving nomination worthy performances, and considering that they sang live on set, they did very well. Russel Crowe gives a good performance but his singing is not up to the standard to that of Hathaway and Jackman. Sacha Baran Cohen and Helena Bonahm Carter bring much needed comic relief and lead a stellar supporting cast.
Anne Hathaway has been getting alot of attention for her performance with many labelling her the Oscar frontrunner. I agree that she is very good, but she is in the film for about 25 minutes and then goes away. She is getting accolade, after accolade for singing one song(I Dreamed A Dream). I like Anne Hathaway, and she gives a solid performances but this performance is not Oscar worthy, and had she been given alot more screen time, my opinion might be different.
The direction by Tom Hooper, is also solid and like in The King's Speech, his style is evident because he films every production number in a tight closeup, so we can see the actors facial expression, so that the audience can emotionally feel what the audience is feeling.