Well, I can't stand Grand Opera but I love Les Mis, and if that makes me a Philistine, well so be it.
I'm really interested in the opinions of the "non-Les Mis-nutters," and more especially, the Les Mis virgins, who have never seen the stage show OR heard the music before. I'm really facinated to know how this film comes across to those who have no preconceptions whatsoever.
I'm not really a fan of musicals, however I can enjoy exceptions to that rule now and then (the list seems to be growing, so either I'm changing, was in denial or musical films have improved). I have to admit that I really enjoyed this film and found it moving. I was impressed by Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and was surprised and impressed by Eddie Redmayne, who I've found a bit wooden in the past, but he really came out of his shell for this film. Liked Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, and the child actors... even that street urchin wasn't as grating as I was expecting. I have to admit, though, that I wasn't too impressed by Russell Crowe's singing voice, which felt a bit weaker and more strained than I'd expect for the character he played, but over time I just let it go. His acting for the role and presence, though, was fairly good, although I felt that he felt that he was the odd one out (at least I got that impression).
Understandably the film skirts over a lot of the reasons for the anger that the poor had at the time in early nineteenth century France compared to Hugo's novel, but this is a film and it hasn't the time to go into such detail (nor go into detail about Waterloo like the novel does). I felt that it did enough to convey the problems of the time and certainly enough to move one. The ending was very moving and inspiring.
So, all in all, I really enjoyed my time and add yet another musical to the list that goes against my expectations.
Vive la Revolution... and all that jazz.