The Broadway hit jumps loudly to the big screen.
Directed by Tom Hooper
“If you are in the mood for a good cry (or three!), rejoice,” said Karen D’Souza in the San Jose Mercury News. “Your eyes may well be red for days after this relentless tear-jerker,” adapted from the hit Broadway musical based on a Victor Hugo novel about social injustice in 19th-century France. Even so, “this is a bad movie,” said Richard Corliss in Time. The actors, who were filmed with no cuts and in close-up as they sang every line, are “nothing if not game.” But the strategy works only once—when Anne Hathaway, as a thoroughly broken single mother, offers a “bravura” performance of “I Dreamed a Dream.” Everywhere else it’s a distraction, causing us to worry more about whether star Hugh Jackman can hit all his notes than if his Jean Valjean will achieve the redemption he seeks after a long imprisonment. Still, Les Mis will be “a monster hit,” said David Edelstein in New York magazine. Once you “build up a tolerance” to the assaultive close-ups—and to the “foghorn” voice of Russell Crowe’s Javert—you may even find it enjoyable to be “worked over by such a big, shameless Broadway musical.”