Movie Review: Les Misérables

Les Misérables is a 2012 film based on the famous Broadway musical and also the beloved 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, both having the same name. This film tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France and agrees to care for Cosette, the daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway). But, as Valjean tries to care for the girl, he must also avoid capture by a police inspector, Javert (Russell Crowe). Later on in the story, students Marius and Enjolras (Eddie Redmayne and Aaron Tveit) join together to plan a revolution against the Parisians.

Les Misérables was an amazing film. I usually don't like musicals that much, but this was one of the best I've seen in a while. The songs in the film were mesmerizing, exciting, and even quite emotional, making this film live up to its name. Now, if you've seen this on Broadway, you probably already know how good it is, but if you love seeing things on the big screen or you just want to relive the memory of it, this is an amazing film to see in the theaters. The cast, the set, the songs, everything was perfect in this movie. One thing I loved in this film adaptation, was the emotion in the singing that every actor did beautifully with. One song in particular was "I Dreamed a Dream" performed by Anne Hathaway. Even though she didn't perform as many songs as the other actors, this song blew me away with its emotion and depth. Anne Hathaway exceeded my expectations with this song and proved that she could really sing well. Another one of my favorite songs in this movie was "One Day More" performed by much of the cast, like Jackman, Crowe, and the students who became revolutionaries in the end. I think this song had a lot of power behind it, making it sound amazingly exciting and loud. I also liked this song because it acted as a sort-of countdown to the next day, where a major battle was going to take place that would ultimately affect everyone in the story.

The actors in this film were also quite interesting. The main character, Jean Valjean, played by Hugh Jackman, portrayed a prisoner on the run who attempts to redeem himself by caring for the young girl, Cosette. I knew Jackman was on Broadway, but I never knew he would play a character with this much emotion, with this much determination to get the character just right. And he did end up nailing the role, just good enough to earn an award for it. Another duo I enjoyed in this film were the fun-loving innkeepers, Thénardier and Madame Thénardier, played by the talented Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, who kept the laughs going through this fulfilling drama.

As the film came to an end on Christmas Day in the theater, after sitting there for nearly 160 minutes, I soon realized that, even though it was a long, long, movie, it was one of the best of the year. Right up there with Batman, Bond, and all those other amazing films of 2012, this beloved musical topped the charts in my mind as a great, and memorable, film experience.

I gave this film a 9 out of 10 for a great and dedicated cast, a dazzling French environment that will surely win Best Picture, and an amazing collection of songs that showed true emotion in every scene.      

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