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Les Miserables Shines

By Kassondra Granata

The moment rumors spread about Les Miserables coming to the big screen erupted on social media, theater aficionados everywhere, including myself, exploded with excitement. After seeing the production as well as being in the cast years back, it was thrilling to have the opportunity to see it in a different context along with high esteemed actors and actresses.

Winning three top awards at the Golden Globes, it is safe to say that all were merited. The film, directed by Tom Hooper, won Best Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical, Hugh Jackman won Best Performance By An Actor in A Motion Picture, and Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Role as “Fantine.” The film was absolutely breathtaking and excellent.

Beginning with a novel by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables became a trademark as one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. The story follows several characters who go through their troubles and interactions with each other during the French Revolution in Paris.

When the cast list was released, critics as well as others expressed their curiosity-some concern- about who will be portraying these famous roles. Hugh Jackman, who was casted as Jan Valjean, the protagonist, an ex convict on the run, was accepted in high regards. With Broadway under his belt, as well as being a successful actor, watching his performance was highly anticipated by viewers. Jackman was phenomenal throughout the play. His singing voice is beautiful, and this can be one of his best, most high-acclaimed roles yet.

Russell Crowe, who is famous for films such as The Gladiator and Robin Hood, was casted as Javert, a police inspector and Valjean’s enemy throughout the play. When small clips were leaked on Youtube and other websites, critics all around were extremely distressed with the sound of Crowe’s singing voice-not as great as the others-in the film. After viewing a few clips prior to seeing the movie, it was difficult not to be nervous. With a cast with musical reputations, it was feared that one not-so-vocally talented actor could throw off the whole film. Crowe, although not the best singer, did a fine job as Javert, and I actually enjoyed his character.

Anne Hathaway, playing Fantine, was absolutely flawless. After knowing her as the “Princess of Genovia” throughout my childhood, seeing her play such a powerful role, and nailing it, there was not one dry eye in the audience as she performed, “I Dreamed A Dream.” She grew as an actress and will be forever remembered for this particular role.

Other supporting roles, such as Cosette, played by Amanda Seyfried, Marius portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, Eponine played by Samantha Barks, and even the Thenardiers played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter molded the movie beautifully into an absolute winner. All characters complemented each other nicely, and worked together well. The amount of talent in this one film is mind-boggling. Aaron Tveit, who played my favorite character, Enjolras, was phenomenal. Hooper did an amazing job casting and directing this film.

With the film being two hours and fifty minutes, about the same length as the play, there was not one moment where time was wasted or dragged on. This all, of course, depends on if you can sit through almost three hours of singing. If you are a lover of musicals, talent, romance and classics, then Les Miserables is the film to see. The moment the film ends, you will return home to find yourself playing the soundtrack weeks afterward.