Based on Victor Hugo's classic novel, this two part adaptation is an epic tale of love, honour and obsession against the dramatic background of the French Revolution. Jean Valjean (Gerard Depardieu) lives a life on the run after a prison sentence for stealing a loaf of bread. Settling in a remote town, Valjean becomes a wealthy and respected businessman. He devotes himself to the care of the poor, including the beautiful, young, and poverty stricken Fantine (Charlotte Gainsbourg). When Fantine dies, she leaves behind a daughter, Cosette (Virginie Ledoyen), who has been left with another family while Fantine works in Valjean's factory. Valjean buys Cosette back from them and raises her like his own daughter. But they are haunted by Javert (John Malkovich), a policeman whose lifelong search for Valjean has become an obsession. A hunt begins that will come to a final confrontation on the revolution torn streets of Paris.
Brilliant and aweful
- Les Miserables review by JD
Throughout the 2 part film most of the actors put on a terrible French accent (with the exception of the Depardieus who are both utterly superb). Sometimes it is so bad it is pitiful. Occasionally there is some French (without sub-titles). Watched together it is 3 hours and it feels longer. If you're wondering there is no singing at all (thank goodness). It is a low budget film with a 70s feel to the camera work and finish. Not impressive. The plot is good in parts particularly those parts which have a Depardieu or John Malkovich in the middle. A very mixed bag.