Scott Mendelson: Review: Les Misérables (2012)

The harshest thing I can say about Tom Hooper's Les Misérables (teaser/trailer) is that I can only imagine those who have not seen the original show wondering what the fuss has been all about.  The film is painfully faithful, but film is a wholly different medium than live theater and the translation doesn't quite work.  The picture is full of fine performances, almost too good in fact. The film's much-discussed live on-set singing pretty much works, but it only yields inherently different results in a few occasions.  But still, the overall production feels akin to seeing the show for the first time, and that's not a good thing.  What perhaps felt epic on stage comes off onscreen like a rushed and overstuffed story with occasionally inexplicable narrative choices and occasionally misplaced character emphasis.  It comes off feeling less like one of the great epics of Broadway and more like a simplified and audience-pleasing version of the original Victor Hugo novel. Read More...


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