Westhoff Reviews “Les Misérables”
By Jeffrey Westhoff
Rated: PG-13 for suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements
Running time: 2 hours, 37 minutes
Who’s in it: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfreid
What’s it about: Years after ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman) breaks his parole to become a virtuous man, fanatical policeman Javert (Crowe) continues to hunt him. While avoiding Javert, Valjean helps a dying prostitute (Hathaway) and, years later, her daughter (Seyfried).
Verdict: Director Tom Hooper’s interpretation of the blockbuster stage show is a musical in close-up. With his actors singing their roles “live,” Hooper can push his camera’s right into their faces. This is riveting for the first hour, then becomes repetitive. Jackman, Crowe and Hathaway are electrifying. This film was made for fans of the stage show. Others who don! ’t know the story going in will be lucky if they know it going out.