This new film is the movie musical adaptation of the musical of all musicals Les Miserables! We follow the life Jean Valjean as he gets out of prison, breaks parole, becomes a mayor, adopts a child, saves a few lives and sings his way through it all. That, plus half a dozen other sub-plots that make this a three hour story telling masterpiece.
I LOVE musicals!! Les Miserables is of course one of my top three favorites of all time so I was grinning like a school girl for the first twenty minutes of this movie because I was so excited. Hugh Jackman was a thrilling surprise (even though he couldn't quite reach that one high note that makes us all shiver when it's done properly), I was enthralled by his performance. Characters Eponine and Marius were personal favorites and even though I still think she was a little young for the role, I wasn't completely horrified by Anne Hathaway (as much as I wanted to be), she did a really great job. There is only one reason, and one reason only, that I can not simply put my stamp of 4 ginormous stars on this lovely piece of complicated musical genius. That reason crowed (not crooned) his way around the role just as the latter part of his name suggests he might. Russell Crowe, my dear gladiator, why didn't you just gracefully bow out of this one?
So here's the bottom line, while the Broadway production will undoubtedly always be better, nor should you replace seeing the play by seeing the movie, this one is worth seeing in theaters and even owning in your movie collection. It was ALL musical with very few deviations from the play. But please read the Motherly Advice below before buying your ticket.
And while Russell Crowe made me want to plug my ears whenever he opened his mouth, 7 of the 9 people I've talked to who have seen this didn't mind him. Apparently I'm a minority on this one, or the only one who has ever heard Javert's role sung beautifully like it's supposed to be?
Motherly Advice: This one definitely earns it's PG-13 rating, but that should come as no surprise to those familiar with the story line. Fantine's life begins to end when she is brought to her very lowest point as she begins to sell herself as a prostitute. You'll see her first encounter, both parties remain clothed and you'll only see them from about the waist up with very little to no "motions". However, there is no question as to what is happening and there is no question as to how she feels about being used this way. While I would have preferred a simple before and after, I will say that it was done as tastefully as can be hoped for, and you certainly feel her misery and shame which makes her following song all the more heart breaking.
One other sexually charged scene involves a fully clothed woman upon a fully clothed man shouting inappropriately. It's super brief (less than 3 seconds) but there nonetheless.
Violence is a theme in this movie, the fighting at the barricade involves gunfire, a little sword fighting and lots of death.
Because of the sexually related scenes (which ClearPlay will be able to snip out quite neatly when it comes to DVD) I'm saying this one is an adults only film. While you could cover your teen's eyes for the scene involving Fantine because it is very slow and obvious in coming the other snip just kind of sneaks up on you. So I suggest waiting to show this to your teens until ClearPlay filter developers can get their hands this one.
Danielle'- ClearPlay Comforter, Philosopher and Life Long Movie Viewer