Les Misérables, Victor Hugo’s epic tale, is the world’s longest-running musical and arrives on the big screen as interpreted by Academy Award®-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech). Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables is adapted by screenwriters William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Herbert Kretzmer, with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. The musical epic is related in such a manner that a viewer who has not seen the musical before is able to understand it and at the same time; feel as if they just viewed a theatrical performance instead of only a film adaptation. I am very impressed with the feeling I had while leaving the theater, as it is similar to the times I have left other great musical performances at Bass Concert Hall in Austin.
I loved watching well known actors who are generally well known for their film work, but in Les Misérables, their vocal abilities are highlighted as they sing each one of their lines in the script. Among the cast that displays both vocal and acting abilities are Hugh Jackman, Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. I did not imagine some of these actors have such vocal ability and they certainly have gained more respect from me, despite some of their choice in film characters and stories in the past, specifically Cohen. I really did enjoy Carter and Cohen’s performance that lends a bit of humor to the tale that is very sad in some scenes.
Jackman, Crowe and Hathaway all do an excellent job of interpreting their characters, but a couple of times Jackman and Hathaway sing some of the songs with indescribable passion that even at this moment can lead to watery eyes while recalling the scenes. Among some of the songs that more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe have heard in the musical’s 27th year are I Dreamed a Dream, Bring Him Home, One Day More and On My Own. It is still breaking box-office records everywhere and now I certainly understand why after viewing the film adaptation.
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
In December 2012, the world’s longest-running musical Les Misérables, has international superstars and is reborn as the cinematic musical to be experienced when it opens in theaters on December 25th. After viewing the film, I now want to be among the millions of people worldwide who have seen the theatrical version and will soon look among the theaters in Texas for the next available tour. In the meantime, view it in theaters. It is not to be missed.