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Les Misérables (2012)

Her Review:

Les Misérables is based on the novel by Victor Hugo and is based in 19th-century France and the story of prisoner 24601, formerly known as Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman).  He served his time for stealing bread to feed his sister’s son who was starving.  After 19 years he is finally being paroled but he is forever marked as a thief so no one will give him work or take him in except a kind priest who shows Valjean the error of his ways and that god will offer his hand in aid if Valjean will do good with what he is given.  So he disappears, breaking parole but building a life of good and kindness as the mayor of small french town outside Paris.  However there is one man, Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) who will not rest till he finds prisoner 24601.  He lives by the law and the law alone.  Javert and Valjean’s paths cross more than once forcing Valjean to flee and create a new life, eventually taking with him Cossette (Amanda Seyfried) the daughter of poor girl who was once a worker in one of Valjean’s factories.  Through her Valjean finds love and redemption.  This whole story is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution.  Also starring Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, Daniel Huttlestone.

A tale of redemption, love and faith, Les Misérables is a sweeping dramatic epic that will bring even a grown man to tears – or well maybe a single tear.  Everything about the movie is moving and will sweep you off your feet.  The romantic views of France and the dirty streets filled with poor beggars, coupled with the costumes make you truly believe you are in 19th-century France in a time of transition and a bit of darkness.  Now the performances of Jackman and Hathaway are phenomenal.  Jackman is in his element, there is no doubt of that.  He throws everything he has into this role and you can feel it and revel in it.  Hathaway is on the screen for less than 30 minutes but that is a hell of a 30 minutes.  I have always enjoyed her acting but this is a step above it’s a powerful performance that should win her an Oscar in my opinion.  However Les Misérables isn’t perfect.  While I appreciate the music and the lyrics of Les Misérables I personally prefer a musical with songs and spoken word.  Les Misérables is over 2 and a half hours of all song and even though the performances are commendable it gets tedious after a while and drags it down at points when if the dialogue was spoken it could have moved a bit faster.  Overall Les Misérables is beautiful and powerful, fans of it will adore it and the average movie goer can appreciate it.

8/10 Stars – I wept like a little baby for 60% of this film and was overwhelmed by the dramatic story and landscape!


His Review:

So I finally went to the theatre to see this movie and kinda wish I didn’t.  This again (from my recent posts) is one of those films NOT FOR MEN!  Don’t get me wrong, I like a good quality musical most of the time, but most of “Les Mis” isn’t “music!”  It’s people talking and making their voices sound like they are singing.  To me, you “sing” a “song,” not spoken words, and 98% of this movie is sung – even the dialogue!  If that wasn’t annoying enough, the story is muddled with way too many characters and plot tangents.  It very well might be due to the fact that the base story is sung and difficult to grasp, but when the story starts to venture out and add in tons of new characters that really have nothing to do with Jean Valjean or Javert, I just stopped caring.  When Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway were on the screen, I paid attention and cared, but they were too few and far between come the 2nd half.  Parts I did like included the song by Sacha Baron Cohen/Helena Bonham Carter as it was pretty funny but didn’t I see them in those role (and costumes) in Sweeney Todd???  It’s hard to look at Les Mis as a whole and say it was a good movie when it did have quality parts, but one thing I will say, if Anne Hathaway doesn’t win best supporting actress, I’ll pee my pants!

6/10 Stars – Muddled and boring because of the music and story, but Anne and Hugh saved me from totally writing it off.


les miserables movie poster












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7 Comments on “Les Misérables (2012)

  1. Pingback: 85th Academy Award Nominations (2012) | Reel and Unscripted Movie Review

  2. Pingback: Broken City (2013) | Reel and Unscripted Movie Review

  3. Can I just say this movie was amazing! It pulled at every emotional heart string that is inside me. The stories of each character and their struggle to live, survive, love, impact others, and rise above is told and acted in such a dramatic and moving way. The deep struggle and battle that each individual character has, as it relates to this story, has so many levels that allowed me to adore each character and respect their journey. Even the smaller characters are large and effective, like the selfless impacting love of the priest and really his decision to love and forgive with much grace. So much grace that his choices changed lives. And the larger characters like Javert (Russell Crowe) and his struggle to uphold law above mercy and grace, then when mercy is freely given his heart cannot live. Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman’s character) was amazing and believable and passionate as he strives to redeem a life of years wasted. His emotion kneeling in the church was moving. I could taste his feelings of redemption and helplessness and hope! I was moved with tears as Ann Hathaway sang the popular song “I dreamed a dream” because her emotion and voice pulled me in as a mother who would do anything for her little girls. I could go on because every character had a story that moved me, even the characters that the story wanted us to hate. So here I am the morning after and NOT a movie reviewer of any kind… I just work with one… aka Trae Lenox. But, after reading his review I must have my say. 🙂 My opinion is that it better take every award possible as I will be cheering its success! These are characters that could NOT be played by just anyone! In every category possible this movie rose above the top! I am no movie critic, just a girl with emotions, so that is why I would give this movie a 10/10! What does that even mean? I have no clue really. I just know that i was blown away by the talent, the emotion, the singing with passion, the costumes, the french streets, and even the nasty teeth! You have to see movie and even more if you’re a woman! …and who knows, maybe there is a perfect man out there who would love it too!

    • Sundy, I couldn’t agree more! I LOVED this movie. The cinematography was awesome the fact that all the singing was done live is INCREDIBLE. Anne got her song in the FIRST TAKE. LIVE. I cry every time I hear that song. I would go on more eloquently but I you said it all perfecly. I hope they win big 🙂

    • Sundy you rock! Love your comment/review! Definitely need more like it. You have to cut the “him” of this site a little slack, he has never been a musical fan and Les Mis is hardcore broadway. I don’t think there are many men out there who truly loved this one unless they are Gay 😉
      I definitely think Les Mis deserves some Oscar love, especially for Anne Hathaway. Her performance was gut wrenching and I wish she was on screen way more!
      Thanks for sharing, definitely want to hear more from you and all our other readers.

  4. I do believe I have a spot in my Top 100 for Wicked whenever they get around to making, so I like some broadway

  5. Pingback: Reel and Unscripted’s 85th Annual Academy Awards Picks | Reel and Unscripted Movie Review

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