Les Misérables ★★★

My problems with Les Mis actually have nothing to do with performances. I know a lot of people take issue with Russel Crowe's singing ability and portrayal of Javert, but I thought it was well executed and unique. Jean Valjean being played by Hugh Jackman was a stroke of genius and he destroys all possible expectations and performs flawlessly. The same goes for Anne Hathaway. I really enjoy practically all the performances in the film. HOWEVER...

I think Les Mis has a lot of bad camera work. There are some interesting wide shots of crowds and sweeping shots through the streets, but the extreme overuse of Dutch angles and extreme closeups somewhat make the film a chore to watch. A lot of the shots jump between being amateur at best and hideous at worst. What's so depressing about that is I think the other visual parts of the film: costuming, makeup, sets, even physical mannerisms of characters, are all executed well. But the film is dragged so far down by its shoddy camerawork that it just becomes barely enjoyable.

If you are a fan of musicals, then Les Mis is worth it. The songs and the performances are fantastic. If you are so-so on musicals then you may want to skip this one. However, if you are a Sacha Baron Cohen stan, you probably need to watch this film for his role. Breathtaking.