A new review from The Movie Snob.
Les Miserables (B). I get the impression that everybody and his grandmother thinks this is the greatest musical of all time, bar none. The hype may have affected me when I finally saw a big traveling production of the show a few years ago, and I thought it was only average. Aside from “Master of the House,” and a few bars of that “Red and Black” song, none of the tunes stayed with me, and from my nosebleed seats I wasn’t always sure who was who. So I went to this new movie version with some ambivalence, and I left feeling pretty much the same way. The plot is appealing enough–in the early 1800’s a French convict breaks his parole and tries to start a new life after a kindly clergyman “buys” his soul for Christ and saves him from going back to prison. A merciless policeman is always on his heels. By a twist of fate, he becomes the father figure to an orphaned girl, and he devotes his life to her happiness. Meanwhile, revolution is again brewing in post-revolutionary and post-restoration Paris. But somehow the movie just never really catches fire. Neither Hugh Jackman (Australia) in the lead role nor Russell Crowe (Cinderella Man) as Inspector Javert impressed me with his singing ability. Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises) was pretty good, but her screen time is very limited. The music still didn’t amaze me, and they buried “Master of the House” under so much commotion that I couldn’t understand most of the words. But I did generally like the music better than I did before, especially the nice lament by Eponine. And the conclusion really was pretty moving. So I reckon it’s about a B, maybe a B-.