Les Misrables, Tom Hooper's ambitious film version of the successful stage play, will totally bore some audience members while enthralling others and maybe even drawing a few tears. Thanks to the 100s of film artists that participated in the filmmaking of Les Misrables, there's so much going on in this dramatic concept that alone is worth a ticket price.
It's 19th-century France and things are not good in the improvised country. The film opens with an amazing scene of prisoners pulling ropes to steer a sailing ship in water up to their waist as their commander Javert (Russell Crowe) watches without empathy. One of the those beaten down shipmen is Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). He was arrested for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister and her daughter. Having served his term he is a free man, but too quickly he breaks parole and is again a wanted man. Javert will stop at nothing to find him.
Valjean manages a few close calls but when he's finally picked up he makes a bargain to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Ann Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), it's a bargain that brings good and evil into his life.
In addition to having the actors needing to portray characters with heavy back stories, Hooper wanted the actors to sing live for the film. For the most part there are stage quality performances. Jackman has mesmerized film and stage fans and his theatrical work is huge and includes a Tony Award for his role in The Boy from Oz. He has no problem becoming the misguided Valjean and his “What Have I Done?” is one of Les Mis’ best moments.
Hathaway doesn't get enough credits for her singing attempts but that all changes here in Les Misrables. Although her part is minimal most who see this film will not forget her amazing and soulful rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” Samantha Bark as Eponine also does a fine job in her songs as well. Crowe is not as strong as his vocally talented colleagues, but he brings his normal strength of playing a strong and driven antagonist. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thnardiers are very fitting.