The first screenings for Tom Hooper’s ‘Les Miserables’ were held in New York and Australia yesterday and early reactions are overwhelmingly positive so far. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, & Samantha Barks star. Les Miserables opens December 25th.
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Miserables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption–a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
Kristopher Tapley (Hit Fix): Hathaway wins. GOD. I wept. Film’s a triumph. They’re on their feet here. NYC crowd ate…it…up. And the Best Picture landscape will be shaken up one more time this season. Is this the one to take it all the way, two years after Hooper did precisely that? I’m thinking it might just be…Something else “Les Misérables” is worth mentioning for, of all things: Best Visual Effects.
Dave Karger (Fandango): I’d call it a sure thing Picture nominee for Oscar and the probable Globe winner. Anne Hathaway could easily win supporting actress. Her “I Dreamed a Dream” is the showstopper. Hugh Jackman has a great shot to bump out Denzel or Joaquin in the Best Actor race. His singing is quite impressive. Russell Crowe will be polarizing. I liked him but some people won’t like his voice. Supp actor is weak so he has a shot though.
Lucy R. Gibson (The West Australian): Can’t say too much about Les Miserables until its release but I will say this: it grabs your heart and squeezes it till you cry like a baby. I’m going to call it early but Les Miserables has Best Picture written all over it. Jackman owns it. It’s the role he was born to play.
Scott Feinberg (THR): As Fantine her (Hathaway) screen time is brief, but she makes an indelible impression, particularly during the showstopping “I Dreamed a Dream” number. In Valjean, Jackman has finally found a screen role custom-made for and worthy of his talents as a great physical specimen who can sing as well as anyone who can also act. Hooper could become only the 19th person to win two best director Oscars. Considering the fact that most film people hadn’t even heard of him three years ago, that’s pretty amazing.
Clayton Davis (Awards Circuit): Les Miserables is not only stunningly powerful, and beautifully crafted, it’s the best stage musical adaptation since Rob Marshall’s Chicago (2002). Incredibly moving and featuring some of the most powerful musical numbers ever constructed, Tom Hooper tops his previous film The King’s Speech (2010) with artistry and passion. Tom Hooper’s direction is what shines as he delivers zeal and intensity in his approach to bring every single actor and craftsman to their fullest potential. He’s the conductor, composing in ways, his most personal work.
Steven Zeitchik (LA Times): There will be plenty of review takes later, so suffice to say that in-between the movie offers some rousing emotion and vivid set pieces, uneven pacing and the sight of Russell Crowe singing. (He’s fine as the law-enforcing Javert but, like Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean and the other males in the cast, pales next to the women, Amanda Seyfried’s Cosette and particularly Anne Hathaway’s Fantine, whose single-take, close-up “I Dreamed a Dream” is bound to bring down multiplexes and land her on Oscar ballots.)
Wilson Morales (Black Film):Standing O for #LesMiserables! Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks are on stage now for Q & A. For those who are theater purists, you will LOVE #LesMiserables! Hooper did it right. Having Barks play role again but on film was great!
Richard Wilkins (Channel 9 Australia): All I can say about @LesMis …is that it is seriously AWESOME!!! #oscartime