The story of Les Miserables is long and complicated. In short, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is a criminal who absconds during his parole, taking on a new name and starting a new life, running from Javert (Russell Crowe). Along the way, he adopts the daughter of Fantine(Anne Hathaway) one of his ex-factory workers whose firing leads to her descent into prostitution, illness and eventual death. Then, there is a revolution against the rich ruling classes. There’s death, betrayal, love and the whole lot.
It was a very long stage play, and it is a very long film. The one problem I often have with musicals is the amount of singing. Really keep it to one or two verses and a chorus – get back to the story. That goes doubly for this film – everything is sung, like an opera, only it’s not an opera. It’s fine for the songs, but the dialogue and the single lines just seem odd.
But, ignoring my impatience with songs in musicals, it’s a very good film. It is as grand and epic as it needed to be. The casting was fantastic, apart from Russell Crowe. Crowe was perfect for the acting of Javert, but his singing was noticeably weaker that all of the other leads, which made his seem like a weak performance.
Hugh Jackman has been nominated for a Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Leading actor
Anne Hathaway has been nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar, won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and won the for a BAFTA for Supporting Actress
Paco Delgado has been nominated for an Oscar for Costume Design and a BAFTA for Costume Design
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell have been nominated for an Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling
‘Suddenly’ has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture
Les Miserables has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Film, an Oscar for Best Production Design, won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Film, was nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, won the BAFTA for Production Design and won the BAFTA for Sound
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes have been nominated for an Oscar for Sound Mixing
Danny Cohen was nominated for a BAFTA for Cinematography