It's no secret that "Les Misérables" is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Set to open on Christmas day, the movie, based on Victor Hugo's French historical novel that was published in 1862, is already garnering accolades. Of course, considering the widespread popularity of the stage production, which has been seen by more than 60 million people across the globe, it's no surprise that the movie adaptation has sparked such intense interest.
Photo Credit: IMDB
Topping off a beloved story line, Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper and his team assembled an all-star cast, including Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, to name a few. Among the more unlikely actors starring in the film, though, is Sacha Baron Cohen -- known for his edgy and comical movies like "Borat" and "The Dictator."
The actor plays Thénardier, a sinister, yet goofy, character -- and he does so in a manner that adds a softer and more entertaining tone to a film that tackles with some fairly-heavy subject matter.
TheBlaze recently attended a screening of "Les Misérables," and after viewing the movie in its entirety, there's much to be said for the artistic lens through which it is presented. Even its most ardent critics would have a difficult time denying that it is, at its core, entertaining and well-acted.
One of the more unique attributes worth noting is the stunning performance delivered by its cast-members. Bearing in mind that the film is a musical, one of the most surprising elements -- a factor that keeps viewers attune to the screen throughout -- is the brilliant vocal performances.
Many movie-goers may not realize that Crowe, Jackman and Hathaway have stellar pipes, but, indeed they do -- and they exhibit them throughout the film. In fact, rather than recording and dubbing songs in post-production, the actors performed them live and in front of the camera -- something that, to date, hadn't been done to this scale.
The end result is a different feel for the music -- a more raw, real and natural tone. You can see just a sampling of the vocal performances in the film's trailer:
As anyone who knows the story well can tell you, "Les Misérables" is a tale that is strewn with human suffering, overcoming the odds and overarching selflessness, as characters are both flawed and relatable. The official movie site perfectly summarizes the plot:
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables 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.
If you're a fan of musicals and you're familiar with the plot-line, you'll likely love "Les Misérables." But even if you're not a lover of sing-songy films, the movie may still manage to hold your attention. The imagery (after all, film allows for effects and other tricks of the trade that stage plays often cannot replicate) is captivating enough to create intrigue, even among those who are not particularly attracted to the story or its associated music.
Widely built-up as the best movie of 2012, "Les Misérables" is likely not to disappoint.