Les Miserables, Channel 4, Sunday, 9pm.
FILM OF THE WEEK:
The odd thing about this musical is that it took so long to be made. The stage production first appeared in Paris in 1980, then made its debut in London in 1985 and hit Broadway two years after that, but it wasn’t until 2012 that it hit the big screen. But some things are worth waiting for, and this is certainly one of them. In the decades before it came to fruition, both Alan Parker and Bruce Beresford were rumoured to be in the running as director, but it was Tom Hooper, fresh from his success with TheKing’s who eventually took control. What should be noted at this point is that the characters do not speak in Les Mis, instead, everything is sung. What’s more, in a break in tradition, the actors were recorded singing live on set, rather than miming the lyrics and performing the songs in a studio later. This gives their performances a real dramatic urgency. It also meant that the entire cast had to be strong singers, and Hooper assembled a superb group of actors, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway (who won one of the film’s three Oscars), Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are among the major stars; even Russell Crowe, who also features, isn’t as bad as some critics made out on the movie’s release. If you’re planning on tuning in, make sure you have plenty of hankies ready – this is a real weepie, set in post-revolutionary France about an ex-prisoner.
Premiere. Musical, starring Hugh Jackman.