a les miserables movie review

Here, in my latest video, I recap what it was like for me to see the film version of the most beloved musicals of all time, Les Misérables. If you have never seen the stage production of Les Misérables, this video may not make a lot of sense, so go read the Three Things You Should Know Before Seeing Les Misérables for some tips for newbies. But, if you are a Les Mis freak like I am, or even if you are only mildly familiar with the show, then this video is for you.

Les Miserables movie review from a big Les Mis fan

Basically, seeing Les Misérables on the big screen was like reaching the Holy Land or heaven, or both. Despite a few weak links, namely Russell Crowe’s voice and the Thenardier’s lack of baudiness, I was mesmerized by the cinematography and the performances. Hugh Jackman, oh, Hugh Jackman. The man went to the depths of his soul for this role and provided one of the most outstanding performances I have ever seen. Anne Hathaway—ditto.

I’ve been very disappointed by some of the slanderous reviews out there, because despite the few weak links I mention above, the movie overall is magnificent. One of the best reviews I’ve read was on Jezebel.com where the journalist tells you what she was thinking during every song. It’s a must read if you love the show as much as I do.

Are you a Les Mis freak too? Did you see the film? Watch the vid above and then tell me what did you think of my assessment?



  1. 1
    Jen says:

    Ok. I wanted to see the movie before and now I am gonna go see it today or maybe tomorrow.

  2. 2
    NotJustAnotherJen says:

    You are a freak and I totally love you. I felt the same way about the performances, but I did enjoy the Thenardiers. I will be INCREDIBLY disappointed if Hugh Jackman doesn’t sweep all of the award shows and Anne Hathaway doesn’t walk away with at least one. Anne & Hugh (cuz we’re on a first name basis) were RIVETING. Great review. xoxo

  3. 3

    […] Three Things You Should Know Before Seeing Les Misérables. TweetI am a self-proclaimed Les Mis freak. Since 1990, when I first saw the musical in San Francisco, as a young 18 year old wannabe theatre actress (think Rachel from GLEE without the voice and only 1 dad), I have seen the musical 19 times, maybe 20, which translates into nearly $2,000 I’ve spent on this show. I know every word (which is why I was thrown for a loop when the original song began to play) and I know every nuance. I just posted my vlog review of the movie, which you can catch here. […]

  4. 4
    Katie says:

    I heart Hugh Jackman. Haven’t seen the movie yet but also have heard mixed reviews, though mostly positive. Did see the play in London a few times, ok maybe almost 10.

  5. 5
    Melissa H. says:

    Great review! I can’t wait to see it! I’ve never seen the stage production but I read the book and have listened to the music over and over… and I have the piano books so I can play and sing along.

    My husband said he’d take me on a “French themed” date and see it. I hope he enjoys it like I would!

  6. 6

    I have read some of the reviews that did not give the best marks, but my husband really thinks it is awesome that they actually sang on set for the movie versus recording the songs and lipsyncing on set. Apparently never been done and he thinks that is going to add to the emotion of this specific musical on screen. I am not one of those Les Mis freaks who can tell even a little bit of the story line so I hope to get entranced in it when we go see it before it is no longer in theatres. And I’m going solely because of your review. I already passed on the opportunity to see it once. I’ll tweet you as soon as I get out of the theatre.

  7. 7

    Is there anything Hugh Jackman can’t do and do well? Awesome review!

  8. 8

    I have never Les Miserables. I’m not a huge fan of musicals (especially one that focuses on misery). I am, however, a big fan of Hugh Jackman. Is he worth seeing the movie?

    • Mary says:

      Well, this is definitely full of misery and a musical through and through so I don’t know how to advise you on this one. I tell everyone to just go and see for yourself. It truly is about love and light amidst the darkness so there is some beauty and positive messaging. And the acting and music are sublime. LMK what you decide. ; )

  9. 9
    Middle State says:

    I liked the movie far better than the stage play, aside from Russell Crowe, who gags me no matter what he’s doing. I’m not a fan of musicals but my oldest daughter’s role as young Cossette many years ago forced me into the story. (I can’t hear “Castle on a Cloud” without crying.) I think I liked the movie more because I felt I understood the story for the first time. Is that lame? Many of the details were edited for stage production.

    • Mary says:

      Really? I like them both for different reasons, but yes, RC gags me most of the time. Only thing I’ve liked him in is A Beautiful Mind.

  10. 10

    Ok. I mean. So, like – you’re a freak. But, I’m a freak too. And I think I finally found my freak-twin when it comes to Les Mis! I am jumping up and down. Someone finally understands me. (Hands over my fave, crying, really ugly sobs).

    Ok. enough of that.

    So you must have noticed how they changed some of the words around. Little things, where they would reverse the order some lines went. It happened in One Day More and in At the End of the Day.

    Colm Wilkinson? How brilliant. In the play, his role is miniscule, but it shouldn’t be. In the book, the Monsignor plays a larger role. Also, wasn’t it so smart to have Colm Wilkinson greet Jackman when he entering Heaven? Kind of like, it started with him and it ended with him?

    That made so much more sense than having Eponine there, right? I mean, she hardly knew the guy – why is she with Fantine greeting him in Heaven in the play? This made much more sense.

    Lovely Ladies in the play comes after I Dreamed a Dream. And I think it’s because of the logistics of a costume change. It made so much more sense having it the way it was in the movie, with it before I Dreamed a Dream, know what I mean?

    Ok, Enjolras? He was HOT. Like, really hot. I have seen him on something and it was killing me and I realized it was Gossip Girl in which he appears not-hot. But here he is very hot.

    Also in the play, Eponine is the one who delivers the note to Cosette, not Javroche. I think in the play, she dies coming back from bringing the letter, not in saving Marius. Though I may be confused, I was too busy staring at Enjolras.

    Yeah that original song kind of threw me for a loop. To be honest, I didn’t feel like it really fit. It seemed like such a departure from the rest of the soundtrack, but whatevs. They must have been getting sick of singing the same shit every day and some guy was like, hey, I’m drunk and I wrote a song. So, that’s probably what happened.

    I wrote this post – I was going to do a three part series but then realized I was freaking people out with my craziness about it.
    Love you girl. In all your Les Mis craziness!

    • Mary says:

      I am so excited to have found another Les Mis freak! Seriously, why do you live across the country? We need to hang out and sing the entire soundtrack together. The original of course, because yes, I too was annoyed at the line changes, particularly the one, “I have saved your soul for God” and “A man who turned from hating” instead of “Your mother gave her life for you…”. Anyway, I can’t wait to check out your Les Mis post. As soon as I finish my Idol recap post I will be all over it! ;) Cheers!

  11. 11
    mariana salerno says:

    YES, YES AND MORE YES!!!! You nailed the review, and made me pee my pants while you did it!! This movie has no words for how incredible it is, and I SO agree that you get different angles seeing it in a movie rather than play. LOVE!!!!!

  12. 12
    Sally says:

    You are soo lame. How about not being a slave to the hipster ness.

  13. 13
    Alicia King says:

    The waiting, dear Lord, the waiting! First I was cheated of seeing the stage play in SF over 20 years ago (long story). The bitterness of that remains in my heart, so finding out they were attempting a serious film version was a balm to my soul. Now I had to wait to watch your review until after I saw it myself. I just wanted to see it with my husband, who for millions of reasons, kept postponing the viewing. UNTIL NOW. We just saw it, so I just came here to get your (high-larious) take. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG, it was AMAZING!!!! Absolutely loved it. Won’t rehash the whole shebang, but I definitely cried my fair share. From the scope of the opening ship-shots to the heartbreaking kindness of the monsignor to Fantine’s horrors to that last soul-soaring pageant…I. Loved. It.

    I’m finally okay with missing the play. Pigs just flew through my house.

    • Mary says:

      This just might be one of my favorite comments ever. So glad you loved it!!! Oh I want to sit and talk to you about it for hours! xox

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