Sometimes rousing musical

Les Miserables Universal Rating: PG 157 minutes

It’s taken 32 years, but the popular musical version of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables finally reaches the screen with mixed success. Much of it works, but the reviews are mainly negative, terming the film bloated and disappointing.

It certainly is too long. Maybe the producers and director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) should have cut a number or two, but then the multitudes of fans of this well-known musical might complain about the absence of a favourite tune.

Hugh Jackson plays the heroic Valjean. A convict released on parole after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread, he runs away and becomes a successful businessman and the mayor of a French town. He carries most of the film on his broad and talented shoulders. Russell Crowe is the stiff bulldog policeman chasing him over the years to their final showdown during the 1832 Paris uprising. Anne Hathaway is excellent as the doomed Fantine and Amanda Seyfried plays her grownup daughter Cosette. There’s an excellent supporting cast including Eddie Redmayne and Helena Bonham Carter.

I’m not sure if having non-professional singers like Crowe do their own singing live to camera was a good idea, although Hathaway’s efforts are heartfelt and impressive. However, it does give the movie an immediacy often lacking in musicals.

There are some stirring visuals (however, too many close-ups of the singers), excellent production values and a cast of thousands. It ends with a rousing and stirring finale, but this reviewer was glad when it was over.

Rating: four deer out of five

New on Video

Dredd bombed at the box office, but has its admirers.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer will officially be the home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo

CFR has potential to bring in an economic impact of $20-30 million

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

City council supports $25,000 for Downtown Community Development Committee

Funding supports stakeholders in developing programs enhancing downtown safety

Red Deer’s Gord Bontje gives $500,000 to A Better World

Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Bank of Canada to make interest rate decision today

Economists widely believe that based on the economic environment, it’s likely interest rates will rise today

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Most Read