Jeffrey's Review of Les MisÚrables
Though not generally a fan of musicals, but a fan of the story itself, especially the 1998 fully dramatized version with Liam Neeson, I found Les Miserables to be worth checking out. It's certainly put together with strong sophistication. The world building is done beautiful, the costumes, styles, scenery, everything makes it stand out as a well staged period piece.
The musical acts are generally done well, with great style, and with good to impressive performances by the majority of the cast. Though their singing talents are sometimes dubious, lead actors Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe did an admirable job. Who really stood out was Anne Hathaway with her excellent screen presence, and strong vocals, at least theatrically. The one performance I wasn't impressed with, however, was that of Eddie Redmayne, who has an almost unbearably dull screen presence, and posses no measurable charisma. I also had a problem with the timing, with some of the acts starting quite jarringly between each other, making for some awkward transitions.
My biggest issue with the film is the pacing. It's simply far too long for it's own good. Certain acts move briskly and are engaging, but others are sluggish and even boring. These are especially prevalent in the last act, which lacks the proper momentum, and drags out the film with needless melodrama.
It's a mixed bag, with a grand spectacle that works on a visual, stylistic level, but with an overly slow pace, and vocals that, though never bad, were sometimes inconsistent. Worth checking out for fans of the musicals, but fans of the traditionally dramatized version might be disappointed.