Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried
It’s hard to imagine any film doing justice to Victor Hugo’s expansive, classic novel, Les Misérables. But the first step in accomplishing that task is assembling a stellar creative team, which has been accomplished in exemplary fashion here. Prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) jumps parole and is pursued by the relentless Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). Somehow it’s easier to accept Crowe as the criminal, but Jackman’s portrayal of the tormented Valjean quickly suspends any lingering doubts of his ability to do the character justice. Valjean’s quest to rehabilitate himself is complicated by a promise to Fantine (Anne Hathaway) to care for her young daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried).
This story of crime, punishment and redemption will steal your breath away. The characters are unforgettable, the music is hauntingly beautiful and the conclusion is … Well, you can find out on Christmas Day when the film opens. –p.d. lee