The casting was mixed as one would expect of a movie musical. You need to mix talent with names that will draw an audience. Overall they did a decent job of this. Hugh Jackman didn't wow me at first, but after my second viewing, I thought he did a phenomenal job as Valjean. The vocals were spotty at times, and his take on "Bring Him Home" was different because he "belted" most of it. Anne Hathaway was far and away the standout as Fantine. I have never liked the character on stage, but Hathaway really made me feel for and pity the character. Eddie Redmayne, as the male love interest Marius, started off lackluster, but I ended up loving him. He had a really good, unique voice and if Oscars were given for single performances, his "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" would give Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" a run for its money. I'd be remiss not to mention Russell Crowe. As Javert, all I will say is that it was poor casting. Enough has been said otherwise. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were good as the Thenardiers. That said, neither of them gave a performance we haven't seen before. It was very much Mrs. Lovett and Pirelli as the Thenardiers. I had hoped to be wowed, but I wasn't. I loved Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks. You could tell they came from a musical theatre background. I hope this helps to kickstart their careers for more than just the Broadway/West End community. I also fell in love with Daniel Huttlestone and Isabelle Allen as Gavroche and Young Cosette. They both are stars.
I thought Tom Hooper did a great job with how he edited and filmed the movie. The fact that all the songs were one take, sung live, really made it feel like a piece of live theatre, just presented in a different medium. I think that he made the story more clear than I have ever seen done with the show. By moving around some of the songs, I really got a clearer picture of how the story all tied together.
Was this the best sung Les Misérables ever? No. But was it one of the best ADAPTATIONS of it? Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and think it will completely change how movie musicals are presented in the future.
Agree/Disagree? Sound off in the comments!