6 December 2012 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Tom Hooper takes impressive control of a grand canvas in this remorselessly epic cod-opera adaptation, in which Russell Crowe's low-key bleating almost comes as a relief

It's two years since Oscar bowed down before Tom Hooper to crown The King's Speech best picture. Now Hooper bobs obligingly back, offering the Academy not just what it wants to see but a mirror of sorts; a movie that takes its cues from the greatest Oscar night hits, recalling that glorious night last year when Hooper was honoured four times and host Anne Hathaway belted out On My Own to Hugh Jackman. It also bids to anticipate the highlights of the next one.

For the few uninitiated (the stage show has been seen by 60 million people), Les Misérables is Cameron Mackintosh's adaptation of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's musical based on the Victor Hugo saga set in early 19th century France. »

- Catherine Shoard

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