• Film ID:
  • 11606
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=173 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • France.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • English.
Victor Hugo's classic novel of a prisoner on the run gets a reworking by Josee Dayan in this 3 hour film version. The highlight of this film (other than the beautiful lack of overblown musical maladies) is the casting. Gerard Depardieu uses his ambiguous persona to great effect as Jean Valjean; the captivating Charlotte Gainsbourg as Fantine; an angelic Virginie Ledoyen as her orphaned daughter and the menacing urbanity of John Malkovich is excellently projected onto Valjean's nemesis Javert. As with most films based on long, classic European novels, the director focuses on the thread of dramatic action to carry the film and fans of the book may be a little disappointed with the reliance on clich├ęd period detail, rather than depicting the social context in which the characters, members of a desperate underclass, were battling within. Still, their stories and conflicts make for a compelling historical drama.
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