Les Miserables (2012)

Cinema Train

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Les Miserables. Some detested it and some loved it. The film is so unashamedly committed to its theatrical roots that a case can be made for either side. I think it is a great musical and a magnificent hybrid of over-the-top Broadway extravagance and large-scale Hollywood production (though the film was made in the U.K.). But be warned: if you’re not a fan of either one, this is not the film to win you over.

The average musical has a few good songs, many average or mediocre ones, and some bad ones. However, there really isn’t one poor song in Les Mis and there arguably isn’t a mediocre one either. Not only does the movie repeat melodies effectively and overlap voices with skill, the songs build complex situations and moral dilemmas that are charged with emotion and conviction. In a film flooded with hundreds of actors and extras, the…

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