CD review: Singing live robs 'Les Miz' of its sweep

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Grade • C+

DVD • The barricades again go up for "Les Misérables," a static adaptation of the musical version of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel.

Hugh Jackman stars as Jean Valjean, the prisoner who breaks parole and seeks a new life, with the dogged Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) on his heels. Valjean's story comes up against a student revolt against the French government when his ward, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), falls for one of the students, Marius (Eddie Redmayne).

Director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") pushed to have the actors sing live on the set, which pays off with Anne Hathaway's powerful portrayal of the tragic Fantine (singing "I Dreamed a Dream" in one take), but reveals the strain in other voices (notably Crowe's) and hampers any hope for a sense of cinematic sweep. —

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