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Les Misérables (2012)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 196,141 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 791 user | 480 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.

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Title: Les Misérables (2012)

Les Misérables (2012) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 72 wins & 143 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Éponine
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Convict 1
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Convict 2
Dave Hawley ...
Convict 3
Adam Jones ...
Convict 4
John Barr ...
Convict 5
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Storyline

Jean Valjean, known as Prisoner 24601, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. Set in post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Dream Lives This Christmas See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Miz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$61,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,281,735 (USA) (28 December 2012)

Gross:

$148,775,460 (USA) (29 March 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Recording the actors' singing live as they're acting may not be a first for this film, but the scope, and especially the manner in which it's being done, is: The actors wore ear pieces which fed the sound of a live piano being played off-stage, to keep their singing in key. The main novelty here is, there's no count-in or predetermined tempo and the piano is following the pacing of the actor, not the other way around - a first for a filmed musical. Orchestral music was added post-production. See more »

Goofs

Very near the end of the song "Stars," a shot from behind Javert shows he is facing Notre Dame and the moon is in the sky to his right. Although the moon is to his right and illuminates buildings in the background from that perspective, the light reflected off of Javert's forehead is coming from his left. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jean Valjean: Look down, look down, don't look them in the eye.
Chain Gang: Look down, look down, you're here until you die.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens without any opening credits. The title of the film is stated just before the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Version of The Bishop's Candlesticks (1913) See more »

Soundtracks

Stars
Written by Herbert Kretzmer, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Alain Boublil
Performed by Russell Crowe.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful Musical Turned into a Boring TV Special
26 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As I was a kid growing up in Italy, I remember when the national TV channels broadcast classical operas. Even as a kid, I could understand the efforts of the directors who had to work with what they had---editing in real time live stage actors. Obviously, movie directors do not have the limitation--- they can edit, dub, sync, use CGI, and move their cameras at will, in harmony or in counterpoint to the music. So, I was utterly disappointed when I saw that Tom Hooper did not achieve anything better than the old-timey Italian TV directors could do with staged opera.

That is even more surprising because Hooper is working on Les Miserables---the longest-running, most beloved musical of all time. Les Mis contains some of the most beautiful, moving, and powerful pieces of music ever written. And its music is layered on one of the best and richest novel plots.

With such a rich material available, Tom Hopper makes the odd decision in concentrating all of his efforts in beautifully rich scenarios and CGI reconstructions of Paris (one of which is bizarrely out of perspective), and filming every single solo as a more-or-less single shot of the close-up of the singer. With Anne Hathaway's performance, it kind of works, but it fails with everybody else. In fact, I found that this choice creates two kinds of problems. First, it creates an uncanny contrast between the intensity of the performance (strengthened by the close-ups) and the fact that, well, the characters are SINGING, even when dying. Somehow, forcing the intensity of the acting breaks the spell instead of strengthening it.

Second, and most importantly, there is an unresolved tension between the music and the immobility of the camera. the music drives the feelings, and invites motion and changes. You want the camera to roll and open spaces, and, instead, you find yourself still staring at Hugh Jackman's wrinkles. One might say that this is some kind of ascetic directorial decision, but no---when the characters are not singing Tom Hooper abuses impossible camera work that zooms in and out at impossible distances, from the detail of a face to bird's eye views of Paris. So the reason for the poor filming of singing actors must lay somewhere else. Maybe the root of these problems is Hooper's much celebrated choice of having the actors sing in real-time. But, again, why was decision made in the first place? Since it causes problems in the final result, I see no point in recording the actors while singing live--- if not for bragging about it later on.

So, in summary, the movie was disappointing. And good performances (or even great performances) cannot save a weak directorial work that fails to shape the richness of the story and the music. If the director was someone like the energetic Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge! and Ballroom), we could have had a real movie, if not a masterpiece. Instead, we got an expensive TV Christmas special.


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Javert missing from heaven sequence ju422
Eponine or Cosette whittneylee12
Were the notes too high for Jackman? matttaylorr21
Horrible! mariamc528
This is not a musical carameldevoursyou
Did they really have to sing the WHOLE thing? hookembears
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