Just to be clear about this, I like a good musical as much as the next guy… Okay, so most guys would never admit to being a fan of any sort of musical, but I do love films in general and just because something is a musical doesn’t mean it should be cut short. I even own a wide variety of them, ranging from Chicago to Moulin Rouge, Singing in the Rain to High Society, along with Rock of Ages, Little Shop of Horrors, and even Hairspray.
We all know some are way better than others, and some weren’t worth the accolades heaped upon them (I’m looking at you Dreamgirls). So when it came time to adapt a worldwide phenomenon such as Les Misérables, director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, another undeserving Best Picture winner if there ever was one) has himself quite a feat to overcome.
The story remains the same of course, with Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) being released from prison in 1815. It’s hate at first sight for Javert (Russell Crowe) who makes a personal vendetta to see that Valjean never stops fighting for his freedom. Valjean continues to fight his own instincts to keep from becoming a thief in the night, a dog on the run.
Fantine (Anne Hathaway) on the other hand is just trying to make a living to send to her daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen) who’s under the lock and key of Madame Thénardier (Helena Bonham Carter) and Thénardier (Sacha Baron Cohen). Valjean first tries to rescue Fantine from her future as a prostitute and fails so he moves on to give Cosette the future her mother had, eventually leading to her growing up to be played by Amanda Seyfried. Meanwhile, the French Revolution is in full swing with Marius (Eddie Redmayne) leading the way, Éponine (Samantha Barks) sealing the requisite love triangle, and the Thénardiers are hot on Cosette’s and Valjean’s heals.