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Review: Les Misérables

Updated: Wednesday, December 26 2012, 03:00 PM CST

Grade: B-

By Ken The Critic @kenthecritic

Les Misérables has been a Broadway hit since 1983.  Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Les Mis was translated to English so the British could enjoy this incredible story of redemption.  Based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, this film is almost verbatim of the Broadway play and if you have never seen it, I have to warn you, the whole story is singing.  There is no dialogue for 2 hours and 40 minutes.  It wore on me some.  However, it may just be everything you are looking forward to. 

In Les Misérables, it's the early 1800's in France.  Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is prisoner 24601, jailed for stealing bread to feed his sister's child.  He escapes and flees while a police officer named Javert (Russell Crowe) is trying to find him.  After many years, Valjean becomes mayor and after a factory worker, Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is thrown out for some misdeeds, she can no longer care for her daughter, Cosette.  Valjean promises to take care of her and raise her.    

If you don't think you can handle the singing of this adaptation, you could always rent the 1998 Les Misérables film that stars Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman.  It's all dialogue, but puts less emphasis on the romance of Cosette and Marius than this one.  But in this version, I have never been so impressed with Anne Hathaway as an actress and her singing is right on.  Her performance is short in this film, but it's one of the most heart-wrenching ones that I have ever seen.  It's really Oscar worthy as well as Hugh Jackman's acting.  Jackman almost gets more into character than he does as Wolverine.  Les Misérables is worth seeing just from these two performances, but the story of forgiveness and salvation is one of the best ones to ever hit the silver screen.      

Ken’s Movie Review Grading Scale

A – Superb and solid; a movie that will be etched in your mind 10 years from now

B – Good movie, so good in fact that you would want to see it again before it’s out of the theaters; the story may drag in places

C – Average, entertaining at parts; you might want to wait and rent it

D – Lacks a lot from entertainment, plot, realism, development, etc.

F – Terrible and you will want to walk out of the movie; no redemptive qualities whatsoever   Review: Les Misérables


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