Les Mis­er­ables, Chan­nel 4, Sun­day, 9pm.

FILM OF THE WEEK:

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Television -

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.

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