By Megan Bianco
Broadway fans have pondered the possibility of a big screen version of the ever popular musical Les Misérables for years. Now, Hollywood has offered up a movie musical version, one of the most anticipated films of the holiday season.
Based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo, Les Mis was turned into a French musical in 1980 and transitioned into English for London in 1985 and then Broadway in 1987.
In 19th century France, a thief named Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) escapes parole and creates a whole new identity and life for himself in a small town. An obsessed police officer Javert (Russell Crowe) continues to hunt for him. Fantine (Anne Hathaway) loses her job and health while trying to provide for her daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen and Amanda Seyfried) who grows up raised by Valjean and caught in a love triangle with Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and Eponine (Samantha Barks).
Co-starring Aaron Tveit, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen, Les Mis proves awkward on film with direction by Tom Hooper better suited for a drama than musical and a few actors who are limited in singing talent (like Crowe). The most interesting elements of the movie involve Hathaway as Fantine and she unfortunately has the least amount of screen time. While Barks and Baron-Cohen are also intriguing in their roles, amateurish editing and cuts kill all potential for the film’s success as a quality adaptation.