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"Les misérables"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Les Misérables" More at IMDbPro »"Les misérables" (original title)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good on the most part

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
23 November 2013

Not a bad series-adaptation of a classic piece of literature at all, not as good as the 1934 and 1935 films(I remember Anthony Perkins' version being better as well) but better than those with Michael Rennie and Liam Neeson. On the most part, while far from perfect, it is actually good. There are parts where the direction is choppy and things look too clean and perfect, the relationship between Cosette and Marius could have been less bland and while Valjean and Cosette are very convincing father-daughter figures the love for each other did seem a little too strong and loving at times. There's also one miscast and one mixed bag. The miscast was Enrico Lo Verso as Marius, people have said he's too old and it is true but that he is very stiff and almost too creepy is more of a problem. John Malkovich's Javert was a mixed bag, he has the authority, upholding-the-law-attitude, determination and the cold-bloodedness but he can come across as too subdued, too stoic(some of his line delivery is rather monotonous) and with not enough of the tortured soul that Javert becomes later. On the other hand, it is beautifully shot and has lavish and mostly authentic costumes and sets. Jean-Claude Petit's scoring underlines the tension and poignancy of the drama with ease without over-emphasising them, while the scripting is literate and with the spirit of Victor Hugo's writing coming through and the story has the emotional power, pathos, hope and tension that it should. There are alterations and reduced screen-time for characters(Eponine), but you feel Fantine's tragic plight as well as Gavroche's death and the ending is both powerful and affecting, that there's the inclusion of Gillenormand- a character that has been neglected before- is an extra plus. The series is a good length, the book is mammoth so a long length is a good idea, and the pacing takes its time to develop like the storytelling in the book without being too stillborn. The rest of the cast are fine, especially Gerard Depardieu(despite having perhaps a too imposing a physique) as a Valjean where the nobility, magnetism, charisma and tragic grandeur is completely realised and in a way that we feel it too. And also Charlotte Gainsburg as one of the most moving Fantines you'll ever find. Virgine Ledoyen is a beautiful and loyal Cosette without being like a waif, spoiled brat or window-dressing. Asia Argento while underused is indeed an Eponine you feel pity and contempt for, and Christian Clavier is menacing and funny as Thernadier(Veronica Ferres matches him very well as his wife if too on the pretty side). Overall, has problems but on the most part it is good. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Interesting & Provoking

Author: KatharineFanatic from United States
24 July 2001

I'll probably get hung for saying this, but this version, while good, is second to the 1998 version with Liam Neeson in my opinion. It moves along slowly (I too am American and didn't get to see the film in its entirety) and is somewhat confusing if you haven't read the novel from front to back. I was forever catching my family up on characters. It sticks VERY closely to the book, and in that is excellent.

I thought that the cast shone well except for Malcovich. He lacked the passionate determination I felt that Javert needed to make a convincing bad guy. Cosette's good looks and incredible costuming took her a long way... that young woman is very talented. The film is very pretty to look at, and handles Fantine's decent into prostitution admirably. (And in that event, is family-friendly.) It was great to see both familiar and unfamiliar faces and be introduced to a new film with such lovely splendor.

I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn't see it more than once. It is a good... great?... watch for the staunch book lovers. But for people looking for a film that carries you along, the 1998 version is better recommended.

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The Best Version Ever

Author: harmanora
3 May 2014

After seeing this many times over the years, without it ever losing it's potency, I can say this 'Millennium' or year 2000 adaptation, would have to be the best version of Les Misérables.

Depardieu and Malkovich bring an intensity and humanity to their roles which has never before been captured in any previous productions (or since for that matter - don't waste your time with the 2012 version). This is the definitive Les Misérables. The music, set design, supporting performances, and all the other elements come together, to create what will probably stand to be the best filmed version of this much loved novel ever made.

See it if you can in it's native French language with English subtitles for the best viewing experience...and if you like it spread the word about this fantastic adaptation, not many people know about it.

Vive La Revolution!

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Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
7 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having finally seen the musical last week, I got around to watching the 3 hour edit tonight with my wife (she's seen the musical three or four times now, and neither of us have read the book).

This was good. It was reassuring to note that both this and the musical are similar enough that they must both be reasonable adaptations of the very long novel. Depardieu conveyed Valjean's power very well, and Malkovich gave us Javert's single mindedness, although it wasn't obvious how fundamentally Valjean's action in freeing him had undermined everything he held at his core. Christian Clavier's Thenardier was vile, and Virginie Ledoyen's Cosette had much more to her than in the musical, where she is such a cipher that she must be a fairly thankless role to play.

The period feel is good, but I must confess to encountering some difficulty in negotiating the French accents of some of the principals.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The movie

Author: Elena Erro from Kiviõli, Estonia
28 October 2002

This is probably the closest version of the book, because: 4 parts, all written apart, every single line of the characters are shown. Probably Departieu and Malkovich were the magnets to get to see the movie. Other wise COOL! Cant say anything bad.

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

OK... What the hell was that?!

Author: nogazohar from Israel
10 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I have seen only some parts of the last episode and also some small parts of other episodes (more then it deserves). I also read the novel. Where shall I start? The writing is just horribly ridiculous and unrealistic (for example: Valjean tells Cosette that Marius was wounded in the barricade, and all she seems to care about is that Valjean finally accepted him), the acting of ALL the actors, except for the guy who portrays Gillenormand, is terrible (especially John Malkovich as Javert and Depardieu (spl?) as Valjean, with his one face expression), the characters have turned into something very weird (Valjean is in love with Cosette?! 'Ponine sleeps with Marius?! Cosette turns into a spoiled brat who wants to dance?! I'm sure that Hugo is turning in his grave...), the whole thing is full of plot holes (Gavroche never ages, the Thenardiers wearing nice cloths, Javert hears the "Vive la republic" and does nothing) and why the hell is Gavroche Marius' best friend?! and 'Ponine tells the gang to rob Cosette's house? and why do everyone call her "'Ponine" for God sakes?! This is probably because their source materials were the musical and some sick fanfiction. This is probably the worst adaptation I've ever seen. The only good thing I can think of is the setting and the costumes (and Gillenormand, who usually is kept out of adaptations).

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not enough 'Ponine

Author: fake_plastic_wings from Purchase, NY
26 September 2004

This was an amazing adaptation, with a few things that were missing. I agree with the first review that Marius looked way too old, and the other is that in every adaptation of the book, they never give Eponine enough screen time. She wasn't even a character in the version with Claire Danes. Yes, she is a character in this version, but they don't show her death and proclamation of love for Marius. It's one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the book, and I was disappointed that it's never shown in any of the movies. The musical got it right though.

I liked this version a lot though and wish they would air it again. Les Miserables is one favorite books and timeless story of love, forgiveness and revolution.

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