‘Les Miserables’ is what OSCARS have been waiting for!
In what seems like an eternity, Tom Hooper’slong-awaited “Les Miserables” starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway has finally been screened and finished. Director Hooper came out to introduce his film at the Alice Tully Theater at Lincoln Center on Friday, November 23, 2012 and explained that he had just finished the picture at 2 a.m. the evening before. The wait was well worth it. 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 filmThe King’s Speech (2010) with artistry and passion.
The film tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a paroled prisoner in the 1800s that over the course of decades, attempts to find redemption while a police inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) pursues him relentlessly.
What astonishes me is how emotionally invested I became with the characters. I’ve never witnessed the stage musical on Broadway so this is my first outing with the musical. Hooper brings focus to each player and ensures they are an integral part of the story and film. Jean Valjean is our hero, placed firmly front and center, attached to the screen and centered cinematically in the medium for all the audience to invest. Jackman has never been better, delivering his most devoted and tender turn of his career. His opening number “What Have I Done?” and near closing “Bring Him Home” are his shining moments showcasing a vocal master class and a sensational acting piece that will put to rest any doubts about how talented he really is. It’s unfortunate that despite his career-topping work, the Best Actor race is incredibly competitive and even more stacked. It’s not a sure-thing for him to be named among the nominees but a strong campaign with a constant reminder of his preparation for the role, losing 30 pounds, vocal training, etc. could push him over.