Ah, Les Misérables! This was one of my most eagerly anticipated films this year. I'm a huge fan of the musical (saw it on stage last summer and the summer before that as well) and I ended up being a huge fan of this film too. So yes, I'm biased.
I won't trouble you with a long plot summary (it's epic and there are lots of characters) but it's a classic story of redemption, heartbreak, loyalty, defiance, and yes, there's lots of singing! I appreciated the intimate approach with the songs. Having seen the show on stage, I can certainly appreciate the power of amazing voices, but the film allowed you to really look at their faces, see their anguish and their tears. Anne Hathaway (Fantine) and Eddie Redmayne (Marius) really knocked it out of the park for me on their songs, and I couldn't ask for better from Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, particularly in his "What Have I Done/Soliloquy" at the beginning of the film. Very moving performances all around...if you are even the slightest bit emotional, bring tissues!
Oh, and casting the original Jean Valjean (Colm Wilkinson) as the bishop was brilliant. Brilliant! You can also catch the original Eponine (Frances Ruffelle) as one of the prostitutes. Little details like that make it all the more special for fans like me.
It was difficult for me to write this without being like "OMFG SUCH A GREAT MUSICAL EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING GO SEE IT NOW!" and no I'm not going to slam anything or anyone related to this film (Russell Crowe tried his best, okay??). See it for yourself if you haven't already, if only to be up to date when the Oscars roll around!
To love another person is to see the face of God...