Benjamin's Review of Les MisÚrables
I definitely enjoyed myself. Anne Hathaway as "Fantine" demonstrates her remarkable range as an actress and Hugh Jackman as "Jean Valjean" is a solid leading man. The music is perfectly executed and feels like it's coming from an orchestra pit. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen as the mischievous "Thernardiers" provide some hilarious comic relief. Amanda Seyfried and the relatively unknown Eddie Redmayne are perfectly cast as the lovestruck "Cosette" and "Marius".
My only major qualm is the extraordinary miscast of Russell Crowe as "Javert", the primary antagonist. He's completely unconvincing as a 19th century Frechman (A goatee? Seriously?). He spotlights his own mediocrity with his lackluster performance of "Stars", a song which demands a much bolder, stronger voice.
It feels the pressure on Director Tom Hooper not to take any artistic liberty from the Broadway script may have worked against him in this case. There are scenes that could have been cut or shortened because they didn't translate as well on screen as they did on a live stage and it I think would have made for a faster, more dynamic pace.
But all in all, it's a remarkably worthwhile and enjoyable affair and is bound to generate some "Ocsar buzz."