Director Tom Hooper’s vision of Victor Hugo’s classic ‘Les Miserables’ is a delight to watch. Wonderfully cast, the film is sweeping in scope and beautifully rendered, befitting the grandeur of Hugo’s words. The depth of performance from the cast was really a stand out in the film, with heart wrenching scenes from both Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. Adapting an adaptation from page to stage to screen is absolutely fraught with creative peril. Here, the writing team and under Hooper’s steady direction, the film soars, just teetering on the edge of being too ‘Broadway’. Anne Hathaway’s rendition of ‘I Dream A Dream’ was about as perfect as one could capture on film I would wager and I felt it all the way to my toes.
Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Jean Valjean was nuanced, powerful and I thought he brought a real sense of humanity to the role. Russell Crowe turned in a surprising performance as well, though I found it a little flatter and more monotone than some of the others, but that may have been due to the eminence of the surrounding cast. He nonetheless delivers the goods and any criticism is a small one. Danny Cohen’s film work complements the story and every detail, from production design to costumes and makeup adds to the immersion and really tacks down the edges. While a stage born musical adaptation might not be everyone’s cup of tea, for me, in this genre, this is about as good as it gets.