Movie Review: Les Misérables (2012)

Wow, I just saw a masterpiece. No, really, one of the greatest musicals. Les Misérables is definitely one of the this year's top movie. Tom Hooper's fresh adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel and acclaimed stage musical with the same name is the best movie watching experience this year.

The film is about love, redemption and revolution. It evolves through the lives of different generations, however the major story is about Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who was detained for robbery of the bread. However, he has been chased by Inspector Javert (Russel Crow) the rest of his life.

Les Misérables has a dream cast (photo above). The whole acting panel is almost perfect from very new actors (Eddie Redmayne) to the old ones (the familiar faces on the photo). Hugh is great. He can sing, he can act and it seems he has done everything to get to the top of his career. I believe this is best performance ever given by him. He singing the song "What Have I Done" is brilliant - emotional, pure and powerful. But Anne Hathaway just steals the hearts. She is outstanding. Probably the first actress who is going to win Oscar for one song performance. Her "I Dream a Dream" is totally different from all the versions I've heard before. At the same time, Samantha Barks delivers perfect singing experience and Eddie just rocks by singing "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables".

However, everybody talks about Russel Crow, how weak his voice is and how not Javertly he acts. I did not notice that much. Well, maybe his vocal is not very strong, but I guess Crow fitted in the Inspector's shoes pretty well. So did Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen, who really had some charming chemistry.

Bravo! Tom Hooper for superb work as a director. I loved the decision of live-singing. Probably that is the reason why the movie is so emotionally attaching. It helped the actors to make you get the feelings of their characters. As for close shots, not sure if I could consider it as the best part of the movie, however in some cases it made film more spectacular.
The technical part of the movie is not less attractive than creative. Production Design is outstanding and one of the strongest nominee in the category, so is Costume Design, that is probably not most charming, however it coincides with characters perfectly. Makeup and Hair Styling is brilliant. It is totally different from this and past years' nominees. The ugly design of Madame Thénardier's (Helena on the left) hair is masterpiece and the makeup of hookers is so naturally done. I think, Sound Mixing is almost a shoo-in win for Les Mis, as for most of musicals.

All in all, this is great. I will definitely rewatch it as soon as it comes out in Georgian cinemas. Les Miserables  tops the list of my favorite musicals of all time.


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