Monday, 7 January 2013

Les Misérables (2012) - ★★★★★

Director: Tom Hooper
Writers: William Nicholson (screenplay), Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil (book), Victor Hugo (novel), Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit

Les Misérables is one of the greatest musicals of all time, and Tom Hooper's screen adaptation has just made it one of the greatest musicals in cinematic history. The acting is among the best I've ever seen. The music is uplifting, depressing, and beautiful. The story is both grand and interesting and the cinematography is fantastic. I've been acquainted with this story and its music for a long time, but I never really visualised the feelings behind the songs until I saw this movie. The actors breathe life and soul into the music, making it one of the best films of 2012.

'Les Miserables' travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile, the life of a working class girl (Anne Hathaway) with a child is at turning point as she turns to prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) who look after her child, Cosette. Valjean promises to take care of the child, which eventually leads to a love triangle between Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), Marius (Eddie Redmayne) who is a student of the rebellion, and Eponine (Samantha Barks), a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) leads the students to fight upon the barricades.

This is Hugh Jackman's greatest performance. The role of a lifetime!
Anne Hathaway never fails to make me cry in Les Miserables.
Anne Hathaway delivered one of the greatest performances of all time as a woman who has lost all hope in life and love. She moved me to tears not once, but twice. When she sung 'I Dreamed a Dream,' it gave me chills. I never really understood the emotions behind the song until I heard her sing it. There will never be another Fantine as good as her, and in my opinion there never has been. She may not have the most powerful of voices, but her master class of acting and singing brought the song alive for me. She stood out in this film as the best.

Hugh Jackman also gave an absolutely terrific performance as a man who has hit rock bottom and learns to love again. This is by far his greatest role, and he definitely deserves an Oscar nomination for playing Jean Valjean. The scene where he sings 'Valjean's Soliloquy' is breathtaking. I don't know how he put so much raw emotion into his singing and acting, all I know is that it elevated this film into real greatness.

Crowe played a strong, but surprisingly sensitive Javert.
Russell Crowe gave a real class performance, showing that he is a versatile actor. I'm a huge fan of the Original London Cast's version of Les Misérables, so I had many reservations about Crowe in this film. From the very first scene, he stole the show. I loved his singing, especially his rendition of 'Stars.' He was so good, he outperformed the whole cast during the medley of the song 'One Day More.' When he started singing in that part, I was nearly out of my seat.

Samantha Barks broke my heart with her song 'On My Own.'
The rest of the supporting cast were incredible, in particular Samantha Barks as the third wheel in a love triangle. She was my favorite character, and could break my heart with every cry of pain in her music. Barks played Eponine perfectly, and I just know she has a bright career ahead of her.

I could talk for hours about how amazing the music and cinematography is. To me, there is no musical better than 'Les Misérables' in these aspects. This film is a masterpiece. It's acting is as good as any legendary film. It affected me more than any rendition of the musical, for it had me in tears many times. On this basis, I'd call it one of the greatest films of all time.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, do you happen to have a high quality picture of the last Les Mis one on the barricade?