Les Misérables doesn't hit theaters until Christmas Day, but several critics are already offering up their opinions about the upcoming movie musical.
"As a faithful rendering of a justly beloved musical, Les Misérables will more than satisfy the show's legions of fans. Even so, director Tom Hooper and the producers have taken a number of artistic liberties with this lavish bigscreen interpretation," writes Variety's Justin Chang. "Devotees of the stage show will nonetheless be largely contented to see it realized on such an enormous scale and inhabited by well-known actors who also happen to possess strong vocal chops."
Over at the Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy notes, "Director Tom Hooper has turned the theatrical extravaganza into something that is far less about the rigors of existence in early 19th century France than it is about actors emoting mightily and singing their guts out," adding that "Anne Hathaway dominates the early going, belting out anguish as the doomed Fantine."
Robbie Collins from The Telegraph says the film is "a heart-soaring, crowd-delighting hit in waiting" and also gives high praise to Hathaway: "When she half-sings, half-sobs 'I Dreamed a Dream,' hair cropped and eyes shining like Maria Falconetti, Hooper captures her performance in a single, unblinking, breath-catching close-up. This will be the clip they show before she wins her Oscar."
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye insists "Hugh Jackman gives the screen performance of his career in this five-star movie musical extravaganza."
Julie Stone of Newsweek enthusiastically calls the film "an absolute masterpiece, a triumph in cinema. It will win Best Picture and Oscars for Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway."
Adds Showbiz 411's Roger Friedman: "This now becomes the Titanic of this year's awards season, the epic to beat."