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Les Misérables

Director:Bille August
Writer:Rafael Yglesias
Director of Photography:Jorgen Persson
Editor:Janus Billeskov-Jansen
Music:Basil Poledouris
Production Designer:Anna Asp
Producers:Sarah Radclyffe and James Gorman
Columbia Pictures; PG–13; 129 minutes
Release:5/98
Cast:Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush,Uma Thurman, Claire Danes and Hans Matheson
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo

This latest reincarnation of Victor Hugo's epic tale of revolution and redemption falls flat. A merciless police officer Javert (Rush) makes it his mission to pursue ex-convict Jean Valjean (Neeson) for 10 years. August's start-and-stop action makes mincemeat of Hugo's winding subplots, so that characters lack the weight of passing time. As a result, his film's stars seem to fade into the background. Thurman, as the prosititute Fantine, and Danes, as her heartsick daughter Cosette, are both unremarkable. Only Rush shines, getting at the heart of Javert's villainy in a way that makes Neeson's lack of big-hearted heroism all the more unfortunate.


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