Les Misérables (1998)Closed Captioning
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Victor Hugo's stirring novel of redemption and revolution is brought to life by the artistry of director Billie August and his brilliant cast. Liam Neeson stars as Jean Valjean, a heartless convict who is transformed by a single act of mercy. Uma Thurman is Fantine, the vulnerable prostitute who begs Valjean to raise her only child, Cosette (Claire Danes). And Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Best Actor, Shine, 1996) is an ambitious policeman determined to return Valjean to prison. A truly epic film, Les Misérables is Magnificent! A compelling and powerful human drama with terrific performances by Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 43
- Fresh: 32
- Rotten: 11
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: With a first-rate cast and a venerable storytelling style, it fluently condenses Victor Hugo's epic novel and retrieves some of its suspenseful momentum.
Fresh: Without a doubt the most emotionally powerful and handsomely mounted production of the story yet.
Rotten: The movie's whole virtuous conception of Jean Valjean sticks in my craw. He's haunted and hunted, but he reeks of a reasoned, noble superiority that's a pretty sterile quality in the hero of an epic.
Fresh: Towering over the entire film is Liam Neeson, the Irish actor who seems at home in any kind of picture, whether it transpires in contemporary America, World War II Germany, or centuries-ago Scotland.
A bit too much missing plot.
I loved this movie, but I watched it before I read the book. I understand then necessity to eliminate large amounts of plot in order to condense this 1,000+ page novel into a film, but they went a step too far by removing Eponine (for those of you who haven't read the book, taking out Eponine is about the equivalent of taking out Cosette, as she was one of the most important characters). As for the rest of the cutting and condensing, I believe they did a rather good job. Please note that this is not the musical version of Les Misérables. The acting was wonderful and the musical score really helped keep the movie alive throughout. I would highly recommend it for those of you who aren't up to reading a book nearly the size of the Bible (though it is definitely worth your time!). I hope that watching this movie will compel many of you to read the book - I know it did for me.
Presented well but tears Hugo's story to ribbons
This version of Les Mis covers the central story of Hugo's novel, but completely eliminates key side stories and characters (i.e. - Éponine's tragedy). If you've never seen Les Mis performed on stage, this movie is delivered fantastically and has some great performances by notable actors (Uma Thurman's portrayal of Fantine is especially profound). HOWEVER, if you're a fan of the book or musical, watching this is like having your heart ripped out and given back to you on a platter. I suggest the 2000 miniseries if you want an accurate and extremely well done version (though it's entirely in French and a little difficult to get).
The above plot summary says it all. This is a truly magnificent, compelling, and powerful tale––skillfully and beautifully executed.
- Genre: Romance
- Released: 1998
- © 1998 Mandalay Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.