Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 27, 2012

Movie Review: Les Miserables

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville —  

Going in, I didn't think I'd like Les Miserables. 

It's filled with singing. It's about France. However, much to my surprise, this is a fantastic film that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

I have never seen the stage production of this, so I have no frame of reference to know what was changed in the film. Every line of dialogue in the film is set to music, and tells the tale of Jean Valjean, played wonderfully by Hugh Jackman, who begins the movie as a prisoner slave only to turn his life around and save the lives of others. 

Valjean is pursued through the film by Javert, a military man who watched over Valjean while in prison. Javert is portrayed by Russell Crowe, and yes, he sings. 

If a singing Russell Crowe turns you off from this movie...it is understandable. Nevertheless, his acting is good and though his singing is not ideal it does not ruin to movie. There is much more to enjoy. 

The best performance of the film, singing included, is delivered by Anne Hathaway. The comic relief performances of Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen also stand out. 

The movie came out Christmas Day, and if you intend to go to the movies this week, this should be your pick. Director Tom Hooper's visual and melodies, along with the performances, are so compelling and engrossing that you literally forget that this film is two-and-a-half hours long. It goes by quickly and keeps you intrigued. 

Again, a musical about France did this. If I can find it delightful, I think almost anyone can. 

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.