The scene is set during the French Restoration at the beginning of the 19th century. Jean Valjean, a galley slave who was sent to prison for stealing food, is now released after serving ...
See full summary »
The students face heavy casualties at their barricade. Valjean manages to carry away an unconscious Marius through the sewers. At the end of them, he finds Javert waiting for him. Unexpectedly, the ...
The year is 1816, and Napoleon, held prisoner by the British on the island of St. Helena, is telling the young English girl Betsy his life story. His meteoric rise to military prominence ... See full summary »
The scene is set during the French Restoration at the beginning of the 19th century. Jean Valjean, a galley slave who was sent to prison for stealing food, is now released after serving nineteen years. At first he only encounter mistrust and closed doors; only the saintly Bishop Bienvenu treats him kindly and takes him in. The bishop's truly Christian compassion and humanity not only restores Jean Valjean's faith in the good, but also smoothes his way back to an orderly life. As Monsieur Madeleine, Valjean is soon a wealthy industrialist and popular citizen, even becoming the mayor of a small provincial town. His good fortune departs, however, when he meets Fantine, one of his workers, an unmarried mother who tragically dies of consumption. The well-intentioned Valjean frees Fantine's illegitimate daughter Cosette from the clutches of her insidious foster parents, and looks after her like a father. When Valjean reveals his true identity in order to prevent an innocent man who closely ...Written by
John Malkovich and Gerard Depardieu had already previously played together as the main characters of the adaptation of a french novel: in 1998, they both played respectively as Athos and Porthos in the Man in the Iron Mask. See more »
Two versions were shot: one in French for Europe which runs 360 Minutes. The other was shot in English and runs 180 Minutes. See more »
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.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this