Les Miserables

Worth it for Hathaway alone

The labyrinthian novel turned Broadway spectacle remade into Hollywood award-bait lives up to the greatest of expectations in Les Miserables. Hugh Jackman gives it his all as upwardly mobile French convict Jean Valjean, who avoids the law and tries to make peace with god while raising an orphan child in dangerous French times. Director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) delightfully records his actors singing on set, creating a unique finished film that's spiritually closer to live play than orchestrated movie. Save a warbling Russell Crowe (who admirably gives it the old college try as Inspector Javert), the remarkable cast work well with their powerful material. None more so than Anne Hathaway, whose stripped down, one take, close-up performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” is a remarkably brutal piece of cinema. Her voice falters, lips tremble in anguish, all while belting her guts out. Hathaway alone is worth the price of admission.

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