I'm a huge fan of Les Miserables, have read the book 4 times (once in french!), seen most film adaptations, have every soundtrack recorded (including the french concept album), both Les MIs anniversary DVDs and have seen it on stage over 20 times.
All of that to say - I'm a Les Mis geek.
I was taken to see the film last week (I was visiting my family in Canada) and loved it. Yes, it's different from the stage version - but like others have said that is what makes it interesting.
I really thought that recording the singing live worked - it really allowed the actors to act the songs. Overall I didn't think the vocals suffered for that and I was impressed with the quality of singing. Russell Crowe was probably the weakest singer - but he wasn't bad - just not quite a West End vocalist. Javert is one of my favourite characters in the musical though - so he was being compared to some pretty amazing voices in my mind! The people who came with me (who are not Les Mis geeks) thought he was really good.
I found the close ups a bit overwhelming at times, but the film moved me and I cried more than once (but not for half of it as my niece claims!!!).
I've already booked my ticket to see it again when it opens here on the 11th!! Can't wait.
(Yes, my geek-ness does embarrass me a bit - but we all have our weaknesses.