Les Misérables (2012) Director: Tom Hooper
It was a rare bit of class on the modern Hollywood silver screen when the artfully made Les Misérables was released -a film of the musical version of Victor Hugo’s famous novel.
Of course, it tells the story of Jean Valjean (played by Hugh Jackman), escaped French prisoner who assumes a new identity and becomes a renowned factory owner. Valjean learns that a man is to be sentenced for his crime, upon realizing this error, Valjean goes before the court to pronounce himself as the former prisoner. Again, he evades Javert, the former prison guard turned chief of police (played by Russell Crowe). He hides out in Paris, becoming a philanthropist and helping the poor until the spirit of the people turns toward revolution. Valjean saves Javert’s life, and in moral confusion, Javert commits suicide by throwing himself into the Seine. Valjean dies at a convent with his confession papers delivered at the end. This is obviously a terse and vulgar summary of the plot of the story.
A variety of other notable actors appear in the film, including Anne Hathaway, who delivers a memorable performance of “I Dreamed A Dream,” for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Les Misérables is a well-done film, a rare moment of class and literature put to screen in our present age of film. However, this reviewer is not a fan, in general, of musicals.