Review: “Les Misérables.”

It is incredibly difficult to make a good movie musical. From the early Hollywood musicals of the 1930s onward, directors have had to construct complex sets and orchestrate athletic dance sequences. Actors have had to find the right emotion in their voices and overcome the basic implausibility of suddenly bursting into song. Modern Broadway adaptations have been a mixed bag; Chicago found an innovative way to handle its big numbers, whereas Nine was a middle-brow attempt to dissect a highbrow filmmaker. The latest big-budget musical is Les Misérables, Tom Hooper’s adaptation of a Broadway adaptation of a very long Victor Hugo novel. There is no reason it couldn’t work, yet under Hooper’s lazy supervision, this is one of the most inept films of the year.

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