228 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This film is nothing short of outstanding. Having never seen the stage musical, I wasn't sure if I would like the film or not, but I left the cinema feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained at what I had seen. There truly are no words that can praise this film highly enough, and how Tom Hooper never received a Best Director Oscar nomination I will never know! Hugh...
Published 17 months ago by Karen
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables - DVD/Blue Ray Version
I have seen the stage show in London's West End at least four times and I have seen the show provincially as well. It has become my very favourite stage musical of all time. I have the both of the DVD concert recordings as well.
I expected not to like the movie too much - there is something more special about a stage show I think. But when we went to see the...
Published 14 months ago by PhilJo
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228 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
This film is nothing short of outstanding. Having never seen the stage musical, I wasn't sure if I would like the film or not, but I left the cinema feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained at what I had seen. There truly are no words that can praise this film highly enough, and how Tom Hooper never received a Best Director Oscar nomination I will never know! Hugh Jackman is just exceptional as Jean Valjean and truly gave the performance of his life, as did Anne Hathaway. There is not one thing I can fault about this film and it is definitely a 'must see'. The music will leave you entranced, the performances will give you goosebumps, and the story will leave you emotionally wrecked. Have 2 boxes of tissues ready! 5 stars is not enough to rate this film!
195 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables, C'est Fantastique, C'est Magnifique,
Director Tom Hooper has literally rewritten the book with regards to filming critically and popularly acclaimed musicals like "Les Miserables" in his riveting, excellent cinematic adaptation of one of the world's most beloved musicals, while hewing more closely to the original text of Victor Hugo's novel; it is both a fantastic and magnificent cinematic adaptation of the musical. Hooper gambled that he could film "Les Miserables" by having the actors singing their roles during the actual filming without having them dubbed later in post-production, and not only has it succeeded beyond the expectations of many, it truly feels as though you are hearing a live outdoor performance of "Les Miserables". The cast is superlative starting with Hugh Jackman's compelling portrayal of Jean Valjean, as a conflicted soul trying to escape from his penal past; his singing is exceptional, most notably in his soliloquy "Bring Him Home", hoping the young revolutionary Marais (Eddie Redmayne) escapes from the Paris 1832 student-led uprising, so he can be united with his adopted daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried); so too are Anne Hathaway (Fantine) and Russell Crowe (Javert), with Hathaway giving an especially poignant rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream", widely regarded by many as the unofficial "anthem" of "Les Miserables". (Crowe has been condemned by some critics for his singing, but he shows his ability to sing nearly as well as his co-stars, especially towards the end, and offers viewers an emotionally complex portrayal of Javert that remains true to Hugo's depiction of him as a loyal civil servant intent on upholding French law.) Both Sacha Baron Cohen (Thenardier) and Helena Bonham Carter (Madame Thenardier) are especially memorable as the hustlers who are the guardians of the young Cosette (Isabelle Allen) until Valjean steps in, appearing later towards the end of the film, and so too, Colm Wilkinson - the original Jean Valjean in the London and Broadway stage productions - as the Bishop. Along with the excellent cast of actors, the movie features excellent musicianship from the likes of harpist Skaila Kanga and composer/arranger/pianist Anne Dudley, who has contributed additional music to the film score. "Les Miserables" is one of the best cinematic adaptations of a musical I have seen and will be remembered as such for years to come; without question, it is among the best films of 2012.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bold and epic spectacle,
Venturing into the cinema to see one of the most highly regarded films of the last year, I was clearly something of a minority. Many others there had seen the West End play. Most others knew something of the story. But not me! So, as a Les Mis virgin what did I think of my first time...
Very good actually. Les Miserables the film is a bold and epic spectacle based around a main story lasting over most of an adult lifetime and many clever sub-plots. It has some fine performances by the main cast- Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and the award-winning Anne Hathaway - as well as fine support throughout, most notably by young Daniel Huttlestone and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the perfectly cast comedy couple. Light relief from an intricate, complicated set of stories putting the film at over two-and-a-half hours which is perhaps a little too long. Nevertheless all loose ends are tied up for a strong finale to this impressive, musical adaptation which is well worth seeing.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
Saw this movie on the big screen wonder why it was so successful at the theatre can see why a amazing musical cant wait till see it agian deserves 6 stars yes it's that good if you like musicals you'll love this ....
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars film,
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Fantastic film every one should watch this the dvd is not bad either plays well and good quality enjoy the sound track is great
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!,
The most Beautiful, moving film I've ever seen! Hugh Jackman was magnificent and was robbed from getting best actor oscar in my opinion!! I could go on and on and be a complete bore, all I will add is I cried, and found it wonderful!!
161 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film I've ever seen,
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... and probably ever will see.**SPOILERS**.
I still can't get over how brilliant this film was; it's certainly the best adaptation of Victor Hugo's epic novel that will ever be made in our life time. There's all the depth of the musical with the added bonus of material from the book, making it the most loyal adaptation there has ever been.
Key elements of the film that went well were: Hugh Jackman's Valjean - although not vocally better than Alfie Boe, Jackman showed the journey of Valjean from convict to loving father with an indescribable ease that was just wonderful. Additionally, the barricade scenes were fantastic and provoked many tears throughout the cinema - look out for the West End's Fra Fee (Courfeyrac),Killian Donneley (Comberferre) and Alastair Brammer (Jean Prouvaire) in particular. Fee and Donneley's reaction to Gavroche's death was absolutely heartbreaking and I was on the brink of tears until Hadley Fraser (the Army Guard leader), also from the West End, appeared on screen - he really made it seem like the National Guard were regretful for what they were having to do, which I've never seen before. Another stage actor who was fantastic was Samantha Barks as Eponine, having had a lot of experience with the character she really brought something new to the role and made the audience feel her pain, but with a hint at the insanity described by Hugo. I was particularly pleased that Hooper made her get shot saving Marius as Hugo intended it, as opposed to just being hit whilst climbing the barricade. Anne Hathaway was absolutely fantastic; I've never seen 'I dreamed a dream' acted so well and effectively before and I truly believe Hathaway actually became Fantine for those 5 minutes. Her death, in which she hallucinates about Cosette, was also absolutely heartbreaking and the best interpretation I've ever witnessed. Eddie Redmayne's 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' was beyond description, the pain in his face looked so real, and the audience could feel such a connection with the Barricade boys through the film which I think made this scene work even better. The epilogue also absolutely floored me, and I have to admit I couldn't see through tears for half of it, but it was so beautiful and the 'Do you hear the people sing' reprise so uplifting. Ironically, there was a lot of laughter in the final scenes as literally the whole cinema was in floods and so began to laugh at it.
Something I've never experienced in a cinema before is applause after a film - at least I hadn't until tonight. The film was just so brilliant we couldn't really help it.
I adored that Francis Rufelle (the original Eponine) came back as a prostitute in this adaptation, but what stood out for me more was Colm Wilkinson's coming full circle from being the original Valjean to playing the Bishop here. Unlike the stage show, the Bishop's ghost appears with Fantine at Valjean's death and it was just so perfect I couldn't stop the tears from flowing - it also emphasised Valjean's rising from a resentful convict to a loving, honorable man.
Unlike many of the critics, I was also a fan of Russel Crowe's Javert. From reviews I went into the film expecting to hate him, but he fully captured the character of Javert in a completely different way to any actor before him - and the emotion in his eyes was just ridiculous!! I was particularly glad Hooper thought to include the Notre Dame and Palaice de Justice on either side of the screen for Javert's suicide, just as is described in the book, as it emphasises the characters struggle with morality and the law.
I cannot recommend this film enough and I think I ran out of superlatives to describe it a long time ago. However, if you are expecting to see a carbon copy of the stage musical on screen, then this is something it's not. But this film takes the good bits from the musical and adds elements that wouldn't make sense on stage to film to allow more scope and involvement of the audience. It's just fantastic and I doubt if I will ever see a better film. Now all we have to hope for is the extended cut on DVD.
**UPDATE** having received this DVD after pre-ordering it from Amazon I was incredibly disappointed to see that there were no special features on this version. While it is still being sold at Sainsbury's for I believe about ú7 WITH another disk of special features I would strongly recommend going there to buy this DVD rather than paying ú2 more to buy just the film.
60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-See!,
This filmed version went places that the stage show could not physically take you visually.
So many highlights, too many to mention here...go & see it for yourself. Watch out for "Empty Chairs, Empty Tables", Eddie Redmayne absolutely floored me! That's not to take it away from all the cast. Stunning all round!
Look out for Colm Wilkinson...a very nice touch!
Well done to ALL involved.
The Bluray version of this film will be in my collection as soon as it is released!
88 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece,
The one perk of being a cinema manager is you get to watch everything. I have just come back from watching this. Les Miserables is a classic that will live on long after you have seen it. I was not convinced by the casting when I heard about this but I am so happy to be wrong. Hugh, Russel and Anne are just amazing, there singing talent was a complete shock to me. Helena and Sacha give that touch of comedy and everything they do make you laugh. While the well known stars are incredible the newcomers in this movie are the true winners and I will be looking forward to seeing a lot more of them in the future. I will be buying this the moment I can on blu-ray and The soundtrack has just been ordered. So go and watch this as soon as possible do not miss out on a truly memorable experience
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!,
I first become addicted to Les Miserables many years ago and have seen the stage show many times. A couple of years ago I introduced my new husband to it and he became addicted as well. When we heard that they were going to make of film of the show we were both excited and couldn't wait for it to be out in the cinema. We went to see it on the day it came out and were both blown away by it as were the rest of the audience who almost gave a standing ovation at the end. We were both a little worried about the singing and I'll admit that it took me some time to get used to the actors and actresses singing but it didn't take anything away from the film. Hugh Jackman was a great Valjean and it was fantastic to see Colm Wilkinson, one of the original Valjeans as the Bishop. Anne Hathaway gave a stunning performance as Fantine and Sacha Baron Cowen and Helena Bonhham Carter were amazing as the Thernadiers. Samantha Barks was fantastic as Eponine and the two youngsters who played Gavroche and the young Cossette were superbly cast. I thought Russell Crowe was brilliant as Javert although looking at other reviews others didn't. The staging was brilliantly portrayed and you could almost smell the dirt and degradation depicted. I have been to see it three times and would go again but am looking forward to the DVD coming out in May. For those of you who are not sure about seeing it GO you will be pleasantly surprised but don't forget to take a box of tissues you will need it.
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