This evening, the Golden Globe awards will air on television. One of last year's big winners at the Golden Globes was "Les Miserables." Over the years, there have been many film versions of this story. This version is based on the popular stage musical.
Set in 19th century France, "Les Miserables" chronicles the often dire living conditions and social inequality which led to that nation's revolution. It stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, who spent many years in prison for stealing bread. At the beginning of the story, he is released and learns he will be on parole for the rest of his life. Shortly after this, Jean runs away. Years later, he has become the mayor of a town. His life intersects with a tormented factory worker (played by Anne Hathaway) and her daughter. Inspector Javert (played by Russell Crowe), who knew Jean in prison, spends years trying to find him. They are reunited when he meets him as the mayor.
"Les Miserables" is different from other movie musicals. It is similar to musicals on Broadway. Most of the dialogue is done through singing.
The cast of the film is excellent. Hugh Jackman earned an Academy Award nomination for his stunning performance. He does a great job showing how his character changes over the years. Russell Crowe is equally good as Javert, the tough inspector. Anne Hathaway won an Academy Award for her performance in the film. Her role is small, but she is very strong.
"Les Miserables" will appeal to those who seek a moving history lesson cloaked in an entertaining musical.