Set in 19th-century France, this amazing musical adapts the classic musical seen worldwide. The sustaining camera shots and personal close-ups from director Tom Hooper (currently in pre-production on Cats) strengthen this tale of redemption, love, and grace.
Hugh Jackman stars as classic character Jean Valjean pitted against policeman Javert played by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe. Jackman got an Oscar nomination for his role, but Crowe actually has a slightly better singing voice.
The tragic circumstances of a factory work named Fantine, well played by Oscar winner Anne Hathaway, provide even more powerful drama. Fantine’s young daughter, Cosette, also plays a large role as a small girl and as a young woman, played by Amanda Seyfried, while new stars Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks impress with the formidable singing abilities. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter provide comic relief and formidable singing as the Thenardier couple.
Performers sang directly on set during filming while listening to the orchestral music in special earpieces (no, they are not seen). It’s so refreshing to see performers sing for the sake of delivering a powerful message full of raw emotion and not just showing off their voice. Highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and rated suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler