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Les Miserables Movie Review: Is it Worth Seeing?

Updated on December 28, 2012

Musical on the Silver Screen?

Twenty years ago I bought tickets for Les Miserables, the Broadway version, where I enjoyed watching this award winning musical for the first time. I will admit that following the story line was a bit difficult through voice only. Most of those in attendance that night already knew the story line or had read the book.

When I learned that the musical was coming out on the silver screen I was skeptical that it wouldn't be able to deliver the same impact that the Broadway version had done for decades. On Christmas day, I was one of the millions who attended the opening day release. If you haven't seen it yet, be prepared for almost two and a half hours of singing and very little dialogue. But if you're already a fan, you won't be disappointed with the performances.

4 stars for Les Miserables Movie

Anne Hathaway sings "I Dreamed a Dream".

Anne Hathaway brings new life to " I Dreamed a Dream."

One of the most popular and iconic tunes from the musical was sung by Anne Hathaway. I saw a completely different side of this talented film star. Anne plays Fantine, the single, downtrodden, mother of Cossette. While her role is small, she gives the performance of a lifetime as poetically, sings "I Dreamed a Dream." It's raw, sometimes ugly, and gut wrenching, and shockingly, live! With close up camera shots that make you uncomfortable at times, you get to see a very gaunt and emaciated actress deliver a memorable and hopefully award winning performance.The sniffles could be heard all over the theatre as the song crescendos. Much different than the broadway version, new life and meaning were given to this well-known song. Response to the song was so overwhelming that some in the theatre clapped afterwards as if the stars could hear.

the Others in the Cast

I would be remiss if I did not mention the delightful performances from others in this cast such as Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Amanda Seyfreid as Cosette. Am I the only one who gets amazed when I see Hollywood actors who can sing as well as act? Not everyone was quite as blessed in this area though. While Russell Crowe is a fabulous actor, his singing as the character Javert leaves a lot to be desired. Most thought he did an adequate job but definitely won't see any awards for his performance.

the Venue Matters & So Does Size

My daughter went to see the movie a second time. She was sorely disappointed in this second viewing because she said the screen was small and sound was weak. With that said, make sure you go to a larger theater with sound to match.


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    • my_girl_sara profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Lyerly 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Good point. Guess it's hard to get such a long novel into a movie that has such limited time. No wonder the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings did trilogies.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I look forward to seeing this film. i really enjoyed the musical. Liam Neeson portrayed Jean Valjean several years ago in a film adaption of the book, but, the film ended at about the halfway point of the book, so, that's a little disappointing.


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